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Accenture Supply Chain Academy helped MeadWestvaco improve talent retention in a critical workforce area. This focus is helping the company hit supply chain goals even in times of turmoil.
In challenging times, decisions made in the short term will have a long-term impact. While cutting costs clearly has had to be a major part of the agenda, leading companies have also made investments to position themselves for growth and distance themselves from their competition. One of the key areas that these forward-looking companies are addressing is the impact of talent within critical workforce areas.
MeadWestvaco (MWV), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, has been working hard over the past few years to make its supply chain not only operate more effectively and efficiently, but also looking at how to use its talent to build competitive advantages, reach new customers and expand markets. With leaner companies—the need for high productivity, innovation and the agility required to meet and exceed the ever-changing demands of customers—the supply chain workforce is an area of critical importance.
Having the desired capabilities of employees defined, MWV conducted an assessment of the organization to see how it compared and to understand the organization’s strengths and skill gaps.
MWV sought practical solutions that would not only extend development opportunities to its global workforce but also provide the depth and breadth needed to support the diverse needs of the workforce.
Classroom training events were developed around topics where collaboration is critical or met specific needs of their business operations.
In addition, Accenture’s Supply Chain Academy provides MWV with online courses, webcasts and online reference resources that align to the competencies in the supply chain. As an online learning program, it’s available globally 24/7.
The academy provides MWV employees with external perspectives and leading practices by leveraging Accenture research and supply chain expertise as well as a network of faculty from leading university supply chain programs who develop the course material. New courses and learning resources are introduced each month, which keep up with leading practices such as supply chain sustainability.
MWV is realizing the benefits of their focus on the talent part of the supply chain. In the first year of the program, MWV saw closure of skill gaps by 28 percent, and leaders attribute their investments in talent to helping them to meet and exceed their supply chain goals, even in the current economic turmoil.
The ongoing nature of the program has helped to sustain higher levels of capability as MWV has been able to consistently hit best-in-class benchmarks in subsequent supply chain competency assessments. Other benefits are being realized, too. For example, in Asia Pacific where job markets are much tighter, employee retention has been strong. MWV has also seen the results of people participating in the programs able to move into new positions and further their career opportunities, which serves to motivate others as well.
As demonstrated at MWV, good leaders clearly understand how talent will drive the business to achieve its growth and profitability objectives. By managing talent strategically, companies can turn talent into a competitive asset that is an increasingly important cornerstone of a high-performance business.
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