Consumer Goods Tech Jobs of the Future
1. Digital Disruption Manager
Job Description: A potential new contender, CGT believes that employees will play a more active role in predicting the future needs of their companies, as well as assessing incoming threats and opportunities for disruption from competitors. Leveraging algorithms that can analytically forecast future market and consumer shifts, the digital disruption manager will be tasked with staying abreast of any and all innovations across the field, leveraging these insights to create new products and introduce new opportunities.
Disruptions lasting a month or longer now occur every 3.7 years on average, according to McKinsey & Company, which estimates the cumulative cost to consumer goods companies equating to one-third of a year’s earnings every decade. While companies can handle short surges in demand, the firm notes, they are quite vulnerable to major shocks.
The takeaway? It doesn’t hurt to be over-prepared.
2. VP of Decision Intelligence
Job Description: While many of today’s IT-focused leadership roles rely on data, there will likely emerge an executive who is solely responsible for augmenting data science efforts, merging it with social and environmental data sets and applying machine learning at scale. This individual will enforce clean data standards, implementing various strategies across information gathering, analytics, and dissemination to improve efforts across consumer loyalty, workplace optimization, and product innovation.
Colgate-Palmolive is currently exploring the future of decision intelligence and what new roles will be required to support it. The company is already democratizing analytics across the enterprise by investing in supply chain analytics engineers for a dedicated analytics catalyst team, and also a coach to lead them.
3. Chief Experiential and Digital Innovation Officer
Job Description: Our take on several existing roles, such as digital transformation officer and digital strategy officer, the chief experiential and digital innovation officer will lead comprehensive, enterprise-wide IT upgrade efforts, reducing redundancies, tearing down silos, and optimizing data efforts that touch every area of the business. They will largely focus on bringing digital experiences to life, whether it’s for the end consumers or employees.
Several consumer goods companies have leveraged similar skill sets within their own leadership structures. Levi Strauss & Co., for example, recently named Jason Gowans as its first chief digital officer in an effort to elevate the company’s digital commerce strategy. In the role, Gowans will be responsible for unifying engineering, data, artificial intelligence, and digital product management across all e-commerce and digital go-to-market efforts. Starbucks made a similar move, expanding the duties of Frank Britt, who is now EVP, chief strategy and transformation officer.
4. Manufacturing Automation Manager
What are CPG companies offering to attract more talent?
Consumer Brands Association:
- Work environments that convey inclusivity and a strong sense of community
- Flexible work options and enhanced employee benefits
- Onboarding bonuses and wage increases
- More robust health benefits that include support and resources for fitness and mental health
- Tuition reimbursement and upskilling opportunities to meet increased workforce demand for jobs that offer career growth and mobility
Modern Workforce Trends
Without a reinforced labor strategy that takes employee values and needs into account, these leadership efforts will fall short. CGT spoke with Joseph Aquilina, senior director and associate general counsel at the Consumer Brands Association, to get a better understanding of how general workforce trends have changed over the years, what today’s employees are prioritizing, and how consumer goods companies are responding.
“The seismic post-pandemic shift in worker attitudes has significantly elevated the need for greater workplace flexibility,” says Aquilina. “CPG companies are now implementing innovative tactics to recruit and retain workers, such as more flexible work schedules, promotional opportunities that reward longer-term employment, among a variety of new incentives that strive to meet changing workforce preferences.”
Consumer goods companies are recognizing the importance of investing in their employees, Aquilina notes, particularly as they play an increasingly large role in keeping the business moving forward.
“A reliable workforce is an essential spoke in the wheel of our nation’s supply chain, which is already being burdened by increased post-pandemic consumer demand, ingredient shortages, extreme weather, and geopolitical events, among a variety of other challenges,” he says. “We have seen our companies go above and beyond to attract, train, and retain their workforce all while putting the employees first through robust benefits, increased wages, and flexibility.”