It may be an employers' market, but many companies are still having trouble finding the right people for their logistics operations: reliable employees who know how to manage both people and processes. That's led several companies to call in the military—or to be precise, military veterans—when they go to fill jobs requiring logistics expertise.
YRC Worldwide, to name just one example, has been recruiting ex-military logistics specialists for several years, and about 15 percent of its employees are either former military personal, on reserve, or in the National Guard. Earlier this year, YRC joined the Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative (EPI). Through that program, employers work with the military to hire qualified applicants who are leaving the service.
Former military logisticians have much to offer, says Jim Kissinger, YRC's executive vice president of human resources. In addition to having real world experience, they generally have a strong sense of commitment, professionalism, and work ethic, he says. It only makes sense: "In the army, being able to deliver the right equipment at the right time to the right place might make the difference between life and death, or between victory and defeat," he observes. Furthermore, the military's success in developing officers' skills in planning, setting objectives, evaluating results, and training subordinates is "second to none," Kissinger added. "They are exceptionally good at [logistics], and there is a direct transfer of skills to what we have to provide to our customers."
Training can help ease military logisticians' transition to private industry. APICS—The Association for Operations Management—has partnered with the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), a U.S. Department of Defense program for service members, DOD staff, and their family members. Through DANTES, the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) exam will be delivered at test centers on military bases worldwide. The organizations will also expand military personnel's access to other APICS education and certification programs.