Hunter Campbell Market Insights - Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement 2021 / 2022

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Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Specialist Recruitment


Kia ora and welcome to Hunter Campbell’s first Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Market Insights publication. As New Zealand’s most experienced Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement search and recruitment partner, Hunter Campbell offers a unique in-depth knowledge of the Supply Chain landscape both here, and globally. We’re deeply committed to bringing value and insight into the Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement and Accounting and Finance sectors. We’ve drawn on our extensive practical expertise, hands-on experience and working sector knowledge to analyse, reflect and advise on what has been a challenging period. Weaving together up-to-date, accessible information to enhance and expand your understanding of the current employment market. Whether you’re an organisation looking to connect with the best Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement talent, or a talented sector Leader looking to discover your next opportunity, this publication delivers the information you need to make good chemistry happen. We’re also excited to launch our new brand. Encompassing everything you value us for, our refreshed look and feel tells our story; we are Leaders searching for Leaders, we are proud of our team and the work we do, delivering the power to enhance a culture of performance by seeing the effect that true talent has, when matched with the right team. And finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support - we know you have a choice in your recruitment partner, and we thank you for choosing us.

Ken Webb

Founding Partner



Contents. 01.

Economic Update - Brad Olsen, Principal Economist Infometrics


Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Market Update



Salaries and Recruitment Forecast



Supply Chain Disruption



Pillars of Success



Partnership and Potential



Looking to the Future




Economic Update. - Brad Olsen, Principal Economist Infometrics New Zealand’s economic outlook remains upbeat, although the uncertainty over the extended effects of the Delta outbreak of COVID-19 are weighing on future growth. Uncertainty remains, with business activity in Auckland and part of the Waikato still constrained, and concern about summer economic activity, falling consumer sentiment, and border reopening all increasing caution about what’s around the corner.

spaces and the general removal of usual skilled migration

However, economic fundamentals are showing remarkable resilience, which provides New Zealand with a solid foundation from which to bounce back again from current setbacks. Spending activity outside of Auckland has shown strength, although the hospitality sector remains hard-hit across New Zealand.

has accelerated to 4.9%pa – the fastest in decades

The labour market remains incredibly stretched, with the unemployment rate dropping to a record-low 3.4% in the September 2021 quarter – in line with the December 2007 record pre-Global Financial Crisis. Jobseeker Support numbers continue to fall, job ads remain at high levels, and businesses report that they are experiencing both the most difficult period to find labour, and the highest levels of job churn, since the 1970s. The intense labour market pressure is down to both strong economic demand activity and widespread skills shortages. Businesses are having to offer higher pay and other non-remuneration benefits to not only attract new staff and retain their current workers. Limited MIQ


is a key challenge for businesses. Supply Chain disruptions continue to worsen, with freight costs up ten times above normal levels. With various pressures building in the economy, inflation (excluding the GST hike in 2011). Considerable heat in the cost of living has seen the Reserve Bank increase interest rates, with expectations of continued hikes to reduce the level of stimulus in the economy. House price growth continues unabated, with constrained supply of new houses keeping the pressure on. Building levels are at record levels, with over 47,000 dwelling consents in the last year, and the wider construction sector is stretched as housebuilding rises further, commercial investment charges ahead, and infrastructure needs grow. The uneven hit from COVID-19 remains a key concern as New Zealand’s economy evolves, with some areas, industries, and households hard hit. Other parts of the economy are experiencing intense pressure. In general, an upbeat and confident view of the economy remains. But caution over the uncertain path next persists.


Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Market Update. Your specialist search and recruitment partners in performance. Hunter Campbell is the unparalleled experts in the Supply Chain, Operations & Procurement sector. We have the most experienced Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement search and recruitment team in New Zealand. But ours is no ordinary experience; we have the unique advantage of practical expertise, hands-on experience and working sector knowledge. Clients work with us because we consistently deliver the highest quality candidates, and candidates work with us because we are proactive partners with strong connections to the best brands in the sector. Our approach brings together specialist expertise, deep understanding, strong relationships, hands-on experience and proactive agility to connect people and culture, acumen and action, IQ and EQ, ambition and outcomes.

We are Hunter Campbell. These are our insights.


Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Market Update cont.

A TALENT SHORT LABOUR MARKET Prior to the arrival of Delta to New Zealand in August 2021 New Zealand’s economy was expanding at more than twice the pace forecast by economists. The impact of New Zealand’s latest lockdowns are yet to be seen, with the RBNZ stating the recent restrictions have not materially changed the medium-term outlook for inflation and employment. The OCR was raised by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5% in October, due to strongly rising prices, a hot housing market and tight labour market, with further expected rises to continue over the next six months. New Zealand’s unemployment rate was (seasonally adjusted) 3.4% last quarter, the lowest we’ve seen since pre 2008 GFC The level of job vacancies has risen above pre-COVID-19 levels across all the industries and regions, with overall job vacancies increasing well above previous record highs. We suspect that the ongoing border closure and resulting constraint on labour supply is artificially inflating these vacancy numbers.


Heavy traffic has bounced back reflecting that the supply chain is operating across boundaries where personal travel is restricted. As New Zealand moves forward and restrictions ease global experience suggests a strong resurgence in both traffic flows and activity.

THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC Industries most exposed to the pandemic, and impacted by our closed border suffered the highest job losses, as we’d expect. In ASB’s – Q1 2021 Labour Market Data Review, we saw a fall in the numbers of those employed in Manufacturing (-4%) and Transport, Postal and Warehousing (-5.8%).

The expected wave of Kiwis retuning to New Zealand following the global impacts of COVID-19, has not eventuated. And although we saw increased engagement from candidates looking to return to New Zealand between April – June 2020, the rates of return have remained stable, and in line with pre-COVID-19 numbers. With easing MIQ requirements on the horizon this flow of returning kiwis may increase.

However, we note that this reflects a significantly reduced number of people in the country able to fill these roles, rather than a lack of people employed in these roles.

Interestingly, the people returning to New Zealand have been of a different profile. Rather than the usual professionals returning from the traditional Kiwi OE, we’ve seen an increase in a more experienced demographic; professionals with young families returning home for lifestyle reasons.


The lack of immigration coming into New Zealand is having a direct impact on our labour force.

This has meant a notable increase in the seniority of the talent entering our market.

Current immigration policy restricts skilled migrants entering New Zealand. This lack of talent entering the country has seen a shift in power in the employment market - with the power now lying with employees, causing an upward pressure on salaries.

We expect that the annual trend of returnees following the European summer will continue this year. With Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement remaining a talent short market, and the serious demand for Leaders – we welcome this injection of talent to the market.

Former Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman comments, “The window of opportunity for New Zealand to attract talent is evaporating rather rapidly as the developed world becomes vaccinated. Many Asian countries are now on an aggressive hunt for that talent.”


With no new talent entering the New Zealand market, we see a domino effect throughout the sector, and across all levels. We predict this will hit crisis point over the next 6–18 months.

We use the ANZ Truckometer as a timely and accurate gauge of economic momentum in New Zealand. It is a set of two economic indicators that uses traffic volume data from around the country as a proxy for economic activity. It offers valuable insights - particularly for the New Zealand economy, where large proportions of our freight are moved by road.


The Light Traffic Index fell 6.4% in October, while the Heavy Traffic lifted 1.0% month on month. Lockdown restrictions across New Zealand mean that traffic slows have been outside of the norm and the Truckometer indexes are unlikely to be a reliable GDP indicator in the near term. The Light Traffic Index fell 6.4% representing the travel restrictions in Waikato and Auckland domestic travel. The Heavy Traffic Index rose 1.0%, with both light and heavy traffic remain well short of pre-Delta levels.

It’s now more important than ever to create good chemistry between your team and your organisation. Building a workplace culture where your people are valued and treated well is vital.


A shift in power: The importance of good chemisty. 7

Salaries and Recruitment Forecast.

Demand Planner




Maintenance Engineer $85,000 $90,000 $100,000 $120,000 $120,000

Demand Planner positions are becoming harder to fill as our Supply Chain evolves



Leadership Senior Leadership

$80,000 $90,000 $100,000 $120,000 $120,000

Warehouse Manager



National / Regional

$75,000 $90,000 $100,000 $120,000 $120,000 $140,000

COVID-19 has highlighted the

Businesses are becoming more

The need for specialists who can

concerned with Supply Chain risk,

maintain machinery is constant.

and feedback points to an increased

Many organisations, such as food

demand for specialists who offer sound

manufacturers, were able to keep

decision-making, mitigate risk,

working at even the highest alert levels

improve performance, and use big

during the COVID-19 lockdowns. And

data to forecast and plan accurately

with the increased demand for product,

for future demand.

ensuring the machinery was fully

importance of having robust warehousing and distribution operations.

$130,000 – $165,000 $170,000 – $220,000

The Sales and Operations (S&Op) process has existed globally for over 30 years. However, it is a relatively new function in New Zealand businesses. COVID-19 has exposed issues around forecasting and organisations’ ability

is expected to increase. An efficient

to react quickly to changing customer

warehousing operation must accurately


pick and dispatch stock to customers on time, every time, to keep ahead of

augment their current team and

Both Mechanical and Electrical

We expect to see further demand for

capability with Demand Planners and

Maintenance Engineers are on

specialists in Supply Chain, Operations

Immigration New Zealand’s long-term

demonstrable experience and ability.

National / Regional


alongside the growth of E-commerce

the competition.

Business Planning (IBP) who have


$110,000 –

The demand for Warehouse Managers,

operation was critical.

and Procurement (S&OP) and Integrated skills shortage list.



and becomes more complex.

We expect businesses will aim to

Sales & Operations Planning Manager

quality Warehouse Managers who can establish efficient processes. There is also considerable demand for candidates who have experience working with WMS Systems and RFID scanning, as companies recognise the

As a result, businesses are refining their planning and forecasting models to alleviate risk. With executive teams demanding total visibility across the organisation - often down to individual SKU levels, and customers driving the need to react quickly with faster planning cycles, S&Op Managers fulfil a vital role.

Companies are also increasingly

need for sophisticated technology to

Through a well organised process, a

turning to new technology and analytics

remain competitive.

S&Op Manager provides visibility across

software to maintain efficient demand

the value chain, helping to mitigate risk

planning processes needed to remain

and provide information for forward

competitive in today’s marketplace.

decision-making. Companies are employing skilled S&Op Managers to lead a complex process and use the analytical tools to deliver precise information to assist in decision making at an executive level.

*These salary figures are intented as a guide only and can vary depending on factors like size of company, industry, size of team etc.



Procurement Production Category Manager Planner Procurement Specialist/ Junior Category Manager



$85,000 –


Lean Professional $55,000 – $65,000

$110,000 Intermediate

$65,000 – $90,000


$120,000 – $140,000


$90,000 – $110,000

$150,000 – $180,000



Category Managers, particularly within

Production Planners who can accurately

the IT and Digital sectors increased

and efficiently manage plans, remain in

from the levels we saw in 2019.

high demand. The impacts of COVID-19

redundancies - Procurement teams remained largely intact, reflecting the

have shown us how critical it is to have accurate forecasting for demand and supply.

importance of the Procurement function

The role of the Production Planner is

to organisations.

vital to ensuring the right quantities are

As global Supply Chains broke down and lockdowns continued, Category Management professionals managed

being produced, at the most efficient lead times - reducing waste of raw materials to save costs.

risk at much higher levels. We predict

With more companies also investing

that this will continue.

in their ERP/MRP systems, we are

Businesses are seeing that they can benefit from adopting Category Management to reduce Supply Chain risk, and minimise cost. As a result, we see that Procurement professionals will remain in demand, and we expect the market to grow - putting additional pressure on organisations looking to secure talented individuals.

seeing demand for candidates who have expertise with these systems, and advanced Excel skills to ensure their planning is accurate.


$100,000 –

In 2020, the demand for Procurement

Interestingly, while there were inevitably

Graduate and entry level role with up to two years’ experience

Senior Management/ Leadership

$60,000 –

Supply Chain Coordinator Graduate/

$50,00 -



$75,000 Intermediate $75,000 – $90,000 $100,000 –


$55,000 – $70,000 $70,000 – $80,000

$120,000 $120,000 –

There continues to be a good level of


interest in both experienced Supply Chain Coordinators, and up-and-coming

$150,000 +

candidates across the market. As the market continues to improve,

we expect that more roles will Businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of minimising risk, become available at the Supply Chain and safeguarding their future through Coordinator level. reducing waste, improving productivity and ensuring optimal customer service and delivery. Experienced and qualified Lean professionals are relatively scarce in New Zealand, and with limited ability to access overseas talent, Lean Specialists are in high demand. We expect this trend to continue for some time to come. Lean Manufacturing is essential to businesses as a process to navigate a forever-altered global business landscape. Utilising Lean in combination with new tools and technologies can help businesses iterate, solve problems and adapt to keep up with the unprecedented pace of change. The increasing emphasis on big data is particularly compatible with Lean; it provides metrics and outcome monitoring and guarantees a more accurate view of gaps and strengths.


Salaries and Recruitment Forecast.

Supply Chain Manager

Logistics Coordinator

Supply Chain

$130,000 –


$50,00 –





GM Supply

$180,000 –




$180,000 –

Supply Chain

$300,000 +



$55,000 – $70,000 $70,000 – $80,000

Production Manager




$70,000 – 100,000 $100,000 – $150,000 $150,000 – $250,000

Supply Chain Manager (SME)




$80,000 – $100,000 $100,000 – $120,000 $120,000 – $140,000

COVID-19 has highlighted the fragility

Logistics Coordinators need to be agile

We believe the quality of Production

The recruitment outlook for Supply

of some global Supply Chains. This has

in this market. Companies are having to

Managers in New Zealand is

Chain professionals remains

emphasised the need for planning and

rework how they can service demand,

outstanding. Our Kiwi ‘hands-on DIY’

buoyant. While the importance of Big

risk mitigation across the supplier base

changing or finding additional suppliers

attitude lend itself to this career,

Business in New Zealand is not to be

and logistics networks. Many businesses

for their raw materials. This means

especially within the primary industry

underestimated, arguably SME’s are

realise they are overexposed and

Logistics Coordinators are required to

sector in the regions.

the backbone of the economy.


oversee more suppliers and

We are always coming across top

Continued Supply Chain disruption

talent, which makes the job market

and the value of a good Supply Chain

The slow movement of goods is

very competitive. With the continuation

is increasingly recognised, we are

currently causing issues for companies.

of Manufacturing onshoring due to

seeing the demand for experienced

Good communicators and proactive

global Supply Chain disruption, we

Supply Chain professionals continue

solutions-focused people are essential

see a significant uplift in production

to remain strong.

for these roles.

recruitment over the next three to

This presents career opportunities for Supply Chain practitioners in both the corporate and SME environment.

logistic movements.

five years.

*These salary figures are intented as a guide only and can vary depending on factors like size of company, industry, size of team etc.



Inventory Manager

Reliability Engineer


$50,000 –




$60,000 –




$80,000 –






$80,000 – $110,000 $110,000 – $140,000 $140,000 – $180,000

The demand for experienced

The recruitment outlook for engineering

Supply Chain candidates across

professionals remains strong,

New Zealand remains very strong

especially within FMCG production and

and has done throughout 2021. The

manufacturing. This demand is only

market is incredibly tight in finding

going to increase for the foreseeable

skilled experience and inventory roles

future with the talent pool from offshore

are no different.

greatly impacted.

Employers recognise how critical it is

As the desire for improved performance

to manage their inventories efficiently,

and out of plant equipment continues,

whether it be raw materials or imported

so does the demand for Reliability

finished goods while working against

Engineers. The Hunter Campbell Supply

shipping challenges and balancing stock

Chain & Operations Team have recently

on hand versus cash flow.

recruited a number of Engineering roles within manufacturing and production across New Zealand and we are continuing to see demand in this space.


Supply Chain Disruption The Bullwhip Effect. The Supply Chain has been profoundly impacted by COVID-19. The ability to procure raw materials, transportation restrictions and manufacturing impacts, combined with downward price pressure has resulted in the ‘bullwhip effect’. This is where small changes at one end of the chain turn into big ripples at other Supply Chain layers. The previous twelve months has seen significant changes turning into insurmountable obstacles. We’ve seen artificially low freight prices in play for several years, now real pricing is being implemented and impacting the ability of goods and services to be released in the market. Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand, Rosemarie Dawson confirms, “In December 2020, freight costs soared by 289%.” The severe lack of freight capacity has positioned New Zealand importers and exporters in direct competition with global companies for freight. Empty containers leaving New Zealand are now worth more to these companies than ones filled with our produce.



The end of JIT methodology.

The importance of retaining talent.

For decades Supply Chains have been changing to adopt a JIT methodology; delivering goods when needed - designed to save time, money and storage.

These cumulative impacts have meant New Zealand businesses have recognised the undeniable value of the Supply Chain.

However, with COVID-19 breaking several links in this chain, we may be looking at the end of this model as New Zealand deals with the business

due to the pandemic now being implemented, we’re

impacts of this approach.

have become a way to fill this void.

New Zealand businesses have few levers left at their disposal, and manufacturing businesses especially face the reality of losing market share, incurring debt and encountering adverse employment outcomes.

The shortage of talent can be attributed at least in

This less-than-ideal Supply Chain environment is

teams through training, remuneration and career

likely to hamper New Zealand’s export-led recovery.


With business plans and strategies that were delayed seeing new jobs being created – adding to the talent shortages in the sector. We note that contract roles

part, to the previous lack of investment in Supply Chain training and education. This means retaining talent is more important than ever, and we’re seeing considerable investment from businesses into their


Pillars of Success for Supply Chain, Operations & Procurement. At Hunter Campbell, people are at the heart of everything we do. Because people inspire potential and drive performance. People are the creators of good chemistry. We believe in continuous improvement, and using our unique and in-depth understanding of the Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement sector, we empower our candidates to develop and enhance their true talent.

These are our pillars of success. 14


TECHNICAL SKILLS Our Supply Chain is focused on measurement and analysis - technical skills will directly impact your ability to do your job successfully. Don’t isolate your experience to one aspect of the Supply Chain; always look for opportunities to broaden your experience.


TRAINING & EDUCATION Seek out relevant courses and degrees in your sector; while not crucial to success, they add weight to your credentials. The various courses we recommend for Supply Chain professionals include: •

BCom with a specialisation in Supply Chain & Operations

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply courses

Association for Operations and Supply Chain Professionals certification

Auckland University Business School Supply Chain Management program.


LEADERSHIP SKILLS Your ability to lead is a massive factor in your progression. Both the leadership of people, and building the strengths of your team, but also your ability to lead projects. Seek out leadership opportunities in your development.





This is an area that often lets candidates down. The ability to manage up, communicate, listen, build relationships and ‘work in the grey’ is crucial to your success. Identify any gaps in your skills and proactively

Being technically competent is performing your job. Being commercial and your ability to see the impacts on the bigger picture, is excelling at your job.

With an ever-changing sector, candidates’ ability to move with change and to problem solve stands top candidates out from the rest.

look to establish these.



06. 15

Partnership and Potential.

Hunter Campbell is a people business that understands the business of people. This enables us to do much more than simply recruit for roles. We add real value to the conversation, share unrivalled insights across our network, and better understand which people and teams will create good chemistry – and in turn deliver the best results. We take a fresh approach to recruitment, viewing each role as an opportunity to transform the function and enhance performance. As this Kiwi organisation discovered, working with Hunter Campbell is far more than working with just a recruitment partner.



The Evidence. A combination of unnecessary complexity, lack of coordination and disconnected sites across several geographical regions including Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington and Sydney was causing a large New Zealand business a range of Supply Chain issues. We came on board to help the business resolve these problems and improve supply to all its customers. This meant carrying out a complete review and re-design of its Supply Chain. In partnership with the business’ senior leadership team, we set the goal of transforming the Supply Chain into a business enabler. To achieve this, we centralised the Supply Chain function and made several key appointments: •

We appointed a Supply Chain Director, with overarching control, to manage the end-to-end function for all the various decisions.

We appointed a Supply Manager to review the supply and procurement process, ensuring lead times on raw materials and packaging were managed to meet customer demand.

We appointed a Distribution Centre Manager to support raw material packaging and the flow of

finished goods, providing better visibility across the inventory levels and identifying and reducing SLOB stock holdings, while at the same time improving the overall DIFOT for the business. Evidently, this was much more than a standard recruitment brief. But by working together as partners in performance, the business was able to tap into our deep knowledge of how effective Supply Chains operate and our experienced perspective of what a “good” Supply Chain structure looks like. After a complete redesign of a complex Supply Chain structure and the appointment of key positions across the Supply Chain, the business saw immediate improvement of key Supply Chain metrics across demand accuracy, DIFOT, and availability of supply. And as a result, we were able to help them achieve their ultimate goal of improving supply to key customers and move their business forward.


Looking to the future. We expect the employment market to remain competitive.

The vaccine rollout, and easing of border restrictions will see the world reopen and this will impact New Zealand’s talent pool. The extent of this impact will depend on whether New Zealand businesses have done enough to keep our top talent on shore, or whether the pull to Australia and the United Kingdom wins out. Workplace flexibility and the impacts on business culture are likely to see a return of people flocking back into offices and a rise in the importance of employer branding. The future is a bright for Hunter Campbell. Our investment into building the highest performing specialist Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement and Accounting and Finance recruitment team has resulted in expansion, and we have outgrown our current office space. We’re looking forward to moving into a new office in Ponsonby; one that supports our continued growth, represents our refreshed brand, and enables the next stage in our journey.



We are the drivers of good chemistry, your specialist Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Search and Recruitment Partners. We are Hunter Campbell.

Ken Webb

Wayne Fry

Founding Partner

Manager, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement 021 486 565 021 656 502

John Boyle

Tom Storey

Senior Consultant, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement

Consultant, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement

021 737 576

021 0878 9027

Rose Buffalo-Snell

Nick McConnochie

Katherine (Kat) Biggelaar

Associate Consultant, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement

Senior Consultant, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement

Consultant, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement

021 0892 8708

021 197 9121

021 225 4735 19

Specialist search and recruitment partners. 20

Specialist Recruitment

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