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How CPG and Retail Companies Can Remain Competitive in a Digital Revolution

Allison Mandel
March 30, 2017
The digital revolution undoubtedly moves quickly. According to PWC's Retail and Consumer Industry Global CEO Survey, over 50 percent of retail and consumer goods CEOs are specifically concerned with keeping up with the pace of technological change. In fact, the majority of CEOs reported that advancement in technology is one of the top three global trends that will likely transform wider stakeholder expectations. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail executives are tasked with making the best decisions for the growth of their companies, but they are not always sure what to do when faced with so many challenges. With rapid changes in automation and technology, companies across both industries are fighting to remain competitive and innovative.

Observe and Report

The advanced technological landscape affects more than just stakeholders; it also influences consumer behavior and spending, customer relationship management, and human resources. CPG and retail companies need employees with specific expertise, people who understand internal business functions and can adapt to the expectations of the digital age. In the face of impending go-to-market disruption, companies need help with time consuming and expensive tasks like data collection, market research for product launches, strategy evaluation, and new distribution assessment. According to a Deloitte research report, however, retailers are experiencing a talent shortage, and, more specifically, they feel ill-equipped to address their digital and data-driven business needs.

Tackle Challenges

While in hiring phases, companies must look for fast-learning, creative individuals, who are comfortable working with analytics and equipped to handle the needs of a technologically savvy customer base. To keep a steady flow of highly qualified, digitally adept talent, companies must strive to make retail and CPG more appealing by adopting the policies that match the wants and needs of potential candidates. As millennials and Gen Zers continue to take over the US workforce at a massive acceleration, businesses must respond by adapting to the demands of the next generation of talent. For example, younger generations want to work at socially responsible, diverse, and inclusive companies. They value flexibility, entrepreneurship, and independent work models, and they seek out opportunities for growth. Employee professional development and training opportunities are great for motivating and keeping career-driven employees satisfied and happy to come to work.

Embrace Solutions

Unfortunately, the current employment model does not provide retail and CPG companies the resources they need to recruit better employees. But they are are starting to embrace new employment models with small but rapid changes. By focusing on access over acquisition, companies are ramping up their innovation and organizational agility and adapting to new human capital solutions. For example, on-demand talent marketplaces that focus on vetted global networks, niche expertise, and project-based work, are allowing CPG and retail companies to tap into new skills that were previously unavailable to them. By leveraging and sharing contingent workers, and supplementing their in-house knowledge with expertise from flexible talent pools, companies are better equipped to address talent shortages, support their digital needs, bring innovative strategies into their day-to-day businesses, and capitalize on the best market opportunities. It's clear that the current CPG and retail landscape is ripe for innovation, but not without its challenges. As businesses across this industry struggle to remain competitive, they must address these challenges head on and continue to look for advanced ways to meet the evolving needs of customers and employees. Interested in diving deeper into the challenges facing companies today? Read our CPG Future of Work white paper for more information on the rise of the agile workforce. Future of Work graphic
Featured in: Workforce Flexibility

About the Author

Allison Mandel

Allison Mandel is a talented content marketer with expertise in B2B writing and editing. Bringing professionalism and high-quality work to every piece, Allison creates engaging stories that help companies develop their online presence, connect to customers, and generate leads. Allison's writing can be found in long- and short-form articles, blog posts, sales enablement documents, and other marketing copy. 

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