As a whole the Medical Device Technology Industry is estimated to be worth somewhere between 173-193 billion euro and Ireland are the second biggest exporter of medical technology in Europe with giants like Boston Scientific and Medtronic employing 5200 and 4500 respectively in Ireland alone. The main area of expertise lies in Cardiovascular (Abbott, Medtronic and Boston) but there are plenty of Orthopaedic (J&J and DePuy) and Diagnostic (Beckman Coulter) MedTech companies too. The West of Ireland specifically has roughly 40% of the employment in the MedTech sector and 31% of that is stationed in Galway city and county. Eight of world’s top ten med tech companies are established here. The only downside…the companies in the West need more Engineers as their growth is surpassing the local development of graduates. So why not be part of the wave of new job opportunities washing over the West? Galway – the beating heart of the Medical Device Sector It’s a well-known fact that Dublin has overtaken London as the most expensive city to live in Europe. It’s also far to say that there is plenty on offer across the south in the biomedical engineering sector, but it is spread very far apart with one location not necessarily leading the way. It’s also no secret that multinational MedTech companies have identified Ireland as one of the best companies to develop their excellence, manufacturing and R&D operations. Don’t worry though as the Wild Atlantic West has plenty to offer and particularly in the MedTech hub, Galway. With the IDA developing Parkmore, Mervue and the other business parks and with most of the working professionals either directly or indirectly employed by a MedTech business, the future seems as bright for the West Coast of the emerald isle. Galway also has a thriving cultural scene, even winning the European Capital of Culture for 2020 where they aim to flood the city with cultural activities and tap into the deep history and sense of community. Galway has been named UNESCO city of film and awarded the European green leaf award as the most environmentally sustainable small city. Start-ups or Multinationals? The choice is yours! Whether you’re looking to get into an established company and to learn from the best in product excellence and R&D like Boston, Medtronic or Merit or have your heart set on getting into that niche start-up and making a life changing new product, thereby claiming your place in the Global Medtech Innovation. There is so much opportunity. A client of ours made waves after starting off in the engineering start-up program with NUIG by making ground breaking neurovascular devices and were recently acquired by J&J to help the Galway based site grow further with a global network of sister sites in America and Europe to help with manufacturing, compliance and product development. Similarly, another start-up called Novate was sold in a deal worth up to $150m due to their success in developing a blood filter. Also, with the likes of Capsos, Neosurgical and Veryan there is a large possibility, the amazing ability of the Irish and particularly Galway to innovate will continue strong, further adding to the vast opportunities for Engineers here in the West. Start-ups aren’t the only ones pushing the boundaries in Research and Development as Boston had 21 successful patent applications last year for their Galway site. They are also the largest medical device employer in Ireland and the Watchman implant has the MedTech sector very excited. Medtronic too have added the likes of Covidien life support products to their growing catalogue and founded their global site of excellence and development here in Galway for a reason, the continued success of the Galway talent pool to innovate and improve patients’ lives. Similarly, academic studies into MedTech are securing massive investment such as the Cúram research centre at NUI Galway (NUIG) which secured 22 million in funding from the EU. Finally, a key aspect which many of the MedTech companies here are involved in is Additive Manufacturing and the research of 3D Printed medical device solutions. Specialists in Polymers, Compliance/Regulatory Affairs and Manufacturing will have their choice of the lot when it comes to the jobs of the future. Innovation has been and will continue to be a massive part of the West’s success story in Medical Devices. Why the West? From Sea Sessions (outdoor music festival on the Atlantic coast which is not to be missed) in Donegal, Other Voices (an unmissable acoustic experience in Mayo) and the Galway International Arts Festival. The music scene has something to be seen and heard all year long. Galway has become renowned for attracting the music stars of the future, with no small mention to Ed Sheeran who busked and based a world-famous song on the city. If trad music is what your searching for, Sligo Live or one of the many traditional pubs will be sure to give you a great night out. Regarding food, the Galway farmers market has a baffling variety of Indian, German, traditional Irish and even more types of cuisine. Similarly, the likes of Kai (Awarded Michelin Bib), Cava, Dela, Ard Bia and the Galway Bay Brewery (Several best in Ireland beer awards) all have fantastic locally sourced food but as a whole Galway has been highlighted as the Gastronomic must visit city of Ireland. Sport-wise and activity wise, there are plenty of local sport clubs across the city and suburbs to join with the Medical Device companies offering sports and social clubs too. Also, Connacht have enjoyed plenty of success domestically and in internationally. The Sportsground is very centrally located and is always worth a visit. Croagh Patrick and Westport offers a decent challenge to mountain and hill climbers with spectacular views. As annual exports of medical devices valued at over 7 billion euros it would only make sense that investment has been made to further develop the infrastructure in the West of Ireland. With two airports, both seeing increased global services including regular flights to the UK and Germany from Knock and massive long-haul flights departing from Shannon as of late, the west is well serviced. Also, it is very well connected by road and rail to the other beautiful parts of Ireland. It’s hard to argue with how amazing the West of Ireland and how much further potential it has is. With a bright future in the medical device sector, come visit us or contact us directly for all of the details on the top jobs in MedTech here in the West of Ireland.
After graduating from university, looking for your first job can be daunting. You have spent so many years in education and working hard to achieve your degree, you’re eager to start your career but it can be difficult to know how, especially when you’re among so many other graduates in the same position as you applying for the same roles. At Sigmar Recruitment, we want to make the job hunt a little less overwhelming and help you to start your career successfully. Here are the best tips to stand out in your job hunt: Ask Your Lecturers If you’re unsure about what companies to apply for, get in touch with your college lecturers and ask for their recommendations. This is a great way to know what companies are hiring graduates and it’s a great way to introduce yourself when applying. “I heard about your company through my lecturer ____ and I just wanted to introduce myself and enquire about any open positions.” Don’t Be Afraid of The Phone If you’re interested in a job and you’ve applied with your CV, it’s always a good idea to ring the hiring manger to introduce yourself. Often when mangers are recruiting for a position they are inundated with applications. For you to stand out, phone the company and let them know that you are interested in the role. Email Before Attending a Job Fair Student job fairs are like a recruitment frenzy. HR mangers meet so many people in the space of a few hours so it can be hard for them to remember every single person. If you know of a company that will be there and better again, the representative from the company attending, email beforehand. Leading up to the event, you should email to introduce yourself. This will make standing out a lot easier and it will probably be appreciated by the representative as well. Do Your Research Always know about the company you’re applying for before approaching anyone for an interview. The question “What do you know about our company?” will always be asked in an interview. It’s not often you will know what will be asked in an interview so it would be foolish to not prepare. It’s also a great way to impress your interviewer. Doing good research before an interview shows interest and preparation. Name Drop Highlighting your personal connections can be a great way to stand out. If you know of someone who is a client/colleague/friend of the person you are being interviewed by, mention it. Also, if you know someone who works for the company you're applying to, don't be afraid to mention their name in your cover letter. Many businesses actually encourage and reward their employees for referring job candidates so you should always name drop where you can. Always remember, that all the people you admire and see working in role that you aspire to achieve, they all started where you are now. Everyone has to start from somewhere and you will get there with the right attitude and time.
Losing your job can be a very difficult life change to cope with. Getting the initial news will come as a nasty shock, but with these tips from Sigmar Recruitment you will get through this trying time. Don’t Panic You feel shocked and that’s natural. It is stressful losing your job, but sending your brain into overdrive worrying is not going to do you any good. Spiralling with negative thoughts will only make you lose clarity and stop you from making any progressive plans. Trying to remain calm is the first step and the most important thing to keep in mind while you search for a new job. Do Start Your Job Hunt Job hunt immediately. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile. Upload your CV to job boards, get in touch with recruitment agencies and attend networking events etc. It’s important to get the ball rolling straight away so you can stay active. Remember, the sooner you start looking, the sooner you will find a new job. Don’t Clam Up It’s natural to not want to engage with others while you’re unemployed. It often happens when people lose their job, they shy away from social interactions but it’s important to remain involved with friends. Let your friends and family know you are looking for a new job and use your network to ask of any opportunities. The people you know will be happy to help you out so don’t shy away from contact. Do Accept your Situation Accepting what has happened and allowing yourself to be emotional will help you to move forward. Losing your job is terrible and you’re only human so it’s ok to feel miserable. Giving yourself that time to accept your circumstances will help you to process this huge change. Once you’ve accepted the situation you will begin to think clearer and move forward. Don’t Borrow Blindly You may be tempted to borrow cash to tide yourself over or dip into savings. While this may be necessary, borrow or dip into savings as sparingly as possible. Do Rethink your Standard of Living When you’ve set yourself a standard of living it can be hard to re-adjust, but it’s important to reflect on your wants and needs at this time. Your employment status has changed so you may need to adjust the money you spend regularly in order to cope with this significant drop in your cash flow. Consider shopping for cheaper brands and budgeting your weekly spend on social activities. Don’t Neglect Your Wellbeing Be aware of your stress levels. It’s not easy losing your job and you will feel stressed and anxious at times but now that you have more free time, it’s the perfect time to try something new to help with your stress. Try mediation or yoga or adult colouring. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. Take a look at these successful people who received painful rejections before they accomplished all their goals Walt Disney Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” JK Rowling JK Rowling got fired when working at the London office of Amnesty International because she would write stories on her work computer all day long. Photo: Daniel Ogren Flickr Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey was an evening news reporter and apparently got fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Photo: Ian Evenstar Flickr Elvis Presley After a performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told by the concert hall manager that he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks (his former career). Bill Gates When Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard he started a business with Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data, which flopped. Luckily, they tried their hand at business again and this time Microsoft was born. Photo: OnInnovation Follow Flickr Albert Einstein Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four and didn’t read until he was seven. He was subsequently expelled from school and was not accepted to the Zurich Polytechnic School. Long story short, he came around.
Are you in a recruitment process for a new job? If so, it's important to know what employers look for in a good candidate. Of course, things like qualifications, skills and experience are important but that’s not all employers want. If you've already been asked to interview, chances are your CV has already shown that you have the right qualifications, which is why you are being considered. Now, during the interview stage of the process, the hiring manager will be looking for a little more. Employers need to make sure that you will fit in at their organisation, match their company values and essentially be a part of their team. If you're feeling nervous about a job interview, it's good to remember these 5 things employers look for in an employee... 1. Positive Attitude Being upbeat and positive can make a huge difference. If you are a happy and positive person, a hiring manger will be confident that you will make friends easily and you will enjoy the work you do and even motivate others with your positivity. Being positive can make you approachable and make people want to work with you. 2. Dependable Employers seek someone who is trustworthy and reliable. It’s a crucial character trait in the workplace. Being on time for work and trusted to complete important tasks is what an employer expects from all their employees. 3. Enthusiastic About Learning A person who is eager to work and learn is very attractive to an employer. Showing you have a strong work ethic and are interested in upskilling and improving is exactly what any hiring manger wants. If you're interested in the company and want to invest in learning, your employer will be just as eager to invest in you too. 4. Quick Thinking A person who can react well when things go wrong is very useful to an employer. Having the ability to think on your feet in difficult situations can be of great benefit to any team/company. 5. Works Well In Teams Getting along with people is a huge plus. Maintaining good working relationships and working well with others shows you are a team player and fit with a company’s culture.
Changing career takes a considerable amount of commitment and determination. If you feel that you want to change careers, ask yourself these 10 questions to see if a career change is right for you… What Do You Want? Self-assessment is the first step in making any big life decision. The only way to make an informed decision about a career change is to learn about yourself first. Understanding you and your work-related values, interests, personality type and aptitudes will help you know exactly what it is you want. Do You Have What It Takes? If you’re interested in pursuing a new career, you need to do your research. Look at the job market, understand what hiring managers want, what the expectations are and the skills you need. It is important to recognise what is expected before diving right in. It’s important to note that you may also be expected to work unpaid, in an interning capacity, until you gain enough experience. What Can You Offer? If you choose this new career what exactly is it that you can bring to the table? Do you have transferable skills or industry knowledge? If not, you may need to return to education before you can move into this new field. Who Do You Know Who Can Help? Even though you want a career change, the network you’ve made in your current role could help. Look at who you know and see if anyone has advice in the industry you’re interested in. LinkedIn is a great place to start. Is There Long-Term Prospects? Can you go far with this career? Changing career is a big step and you need to figure out in advance if it is worth it. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 years with this career and 10 years and so on. If the career path isn’t clear, you may need to reconsider. Is This A Good Time? Timing is everything. You need to take a look at where you are in your life and decide whether changing careers is feasible. It’s a huge commitment, so you need to be sure the timing is right as well as the career. Is It Affordable? Changing careers may involve taking a pay cut. You could have 10 years’ experience working, but if it’s not in the field you’re going into you can’t expect to be on the same salary. Can you afford to earn less or even nothing at all, because you may be required to do an unpaid internship? This is probably the most important question of them all but it’s important to remember that higher earnings don't necessarily mean job satisfaction. Do You Have Your Family & Friends Support? Having the support of your family and friends can be crucial in succeeding with a career change. Having that bit of encouragement can really help. Also, it’s important to listen to the people close to you. If your family and friends aren’t being supportive of your decision, you may be making the wrong one. Are You Willing To Return to Education? Qualifications aren’t everything but they are important to hiring mangers. If you don’t have transferable skills and industry experience, returning to education may be the only way to move into a new career. Are Your Expectations Realistic? Weigh up the facts. Can you really do this? Talk it through with someone you trust. Sometimes when you really want something it’s easy to get carried away in excitement. Don’t rush into it and make sure the change is possible. Transitioning to a new career is difficult, but if you are confident it’s the right decision for you and you persevere, you should have no trouble succeeding.
We asked some of our recruitment consultants to tell us their key tips on what makes a good CV. Here’s 20 things to keep in mind before sending out your CV: 1. Details & Numbers The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Fiona Joyce, Recruitment Consultant, Office Support says “Noting ‘Administration’ for example isn’t enough, you need to include the type, volume, systems used, deadlines/timeframes – go into detail. For example, admin support could be basic paper work (scanning, filing, shredding) or it could be high level admin support (diary/calendar management, correspondence and document preparation, report writing etc.). Not going into enough detail is selling yourself short and letting the competition supersede you.” 2. Specific Timeframes Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them. 3. Achievements It’s a good idea to include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you achieve goals outside of work. 4. Key Skills The key skills area of your CV is very important. Alan McLoughlin, Recruitment Consultant, Insurance and Financial Services says, “Don’t just list your competencies. List your skills and beside each one, explain how you gained that particular skill”. 5. Professional Development If you’ve completed any online courses or have studied independently, please be sure to include this information on your CV. Hiring managers love to see this as it shows both an enthusiasm for learning as well as the ability to work off your own initiative. 6. Clarity & Structure Structure your CV so it is easy to read. You can do this by: Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV. Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. The formatting should be uniform and consistent If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment You should be consistent in your formatting. If you’re using italics font for each job title and bold font for the name for each organisation you worked for, make sure you do this consistently. 7. Leave Out Graphics & Images Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed. 8. Visa/Employment Permit Status For foreign Nationals your visa Status is crucial! You must specify what visa you have and if there is an expiry date. 9. Professional Profile – Don’t waffle Your professional profile should be at start of your CV. Use this section to outline your technical expertise, years of industry experience and qualifications etc. Try to avoid saying things like, “I am hard-working and reliable”. 10. Bullet Points Always use bullet points where you can. In your duties section and skills section put the information in bullet points rather than a paragraph. This makes it a lot easier to read and for hiring managers to see quickly and clearly what experience you have. 11. Contact Details You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CV’s get forwarded around and saved on hard drives so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contacts. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV. 12. Targets Achieved Someone with a track record of achieving goals really impresses managers. Setting and achieving targets shows self-motivation and determination. If you have achieved targets in your work experience make sure to include them in your CV. 13. Practical Skills Make sure to list any practical skills like having a driving license, manual handling certificate or fork lift licence. These skills could be really attractive to an employer, depending on the role you are applying for. 14. Tailor your CV to every Job Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. Don’t regurgitate the same CV for every job. Use the job specifications to guide what you should be mentioning on your CV. 15. Extra-Curricular Activities If you play sport or music etc. (and you have space on you CV), include your hobbies because they can make you stand out. Alan McLoughlin, Recruitment Consultant, Insurance and Financial Services said “I once read a CV that had “I enjoy hill walking” 3 times. Don’t use irrelevant hobbies when you can use that space for something more useful”. 16. Personal Details – Not too Personal It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively. 17. Be Aware of Length The CV is a recap, not a life story. Keep it brief but comprehensive. Two pages is the norm, but three is OK. Conor Ryan, Recruitment Consultant, Construction says, “If you’re running out of space, you’re either being too specific and waffling or you’re going too far back in your experience. The rule of thumb is that you don’t need to detail roles any further back than 10 – 15 years. Your cut off point will depend on how many roles you’ve had.” 18. Balance the Info Make sure you’re giving the right amount of information for each role. You’d expect to see more duties listed for a role that you’ve spent more time in. Always keep the information on your CV proportionally balanced. 19. Tools & Systems You should outline which tools/software you’ve worked with previously as most HR managers will run a keywords search so it is important they are listed on your CV. 20. Double Check Always double-check that the information provided is correct. It’s the last step because it’s always the last thing you do, but it doesn’t make it the least important! You could have followed all the above steps correctly but you left a typo on the first page all because you forgot to double check. Following all the steps but forgetting to double check it could cost you a job. Always double check! We hope you found these tips helpful. If you think you need help with your CV or job searching, you can upload your CV to our website and let one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants give you the help you need.
We asked our specialist recruitment consultants across a number of industries what they think are the most crucial dos and don’ts for candidate CVs. Dos Structure Good CV structure is so important. You can do this by: Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV. Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. This might not apply to marketing jobs but I know financial services do not enjoy it. The formatting should be uniform and consistent. If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment. You should follow an obvious pattern. If you’re using Italics for role and Bold for organisation, you need to do this for every role. Details The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Jobseekers often put just one word to describe their duties and when you consider the competition out there this isn’t enough detail to stand out. Statistics, facts and figures are essential. If you hit targets, made sales, achieved goals, employers want to see the exact numbers and/or percentages. Achievements Include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you’re outgoing and achieve goals outside of work. Extra Curriculars If you play sport or music etc. include this on your CV. This will make you stand out. However, don’t include ridiculous hobbies. Charity work and current hobbies are acceptable, but don’t put down hobbies for the sake of it, like “I enjoy walking”. Use that space on your CV for something more relevant. Don’ts Don’t Leave Gaps Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them. Don’t Include Graphics Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed. Don’t Forget to Include Contact Details You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CVs get forwarded around and saved on hard drives/desktops so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contact email address. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV. Don’t use Personal Details It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively.
Searching for jobs is a job in itself. It can be challenging and time consuming but there are ways of making the task a little easier. If you are planning on finding a new job, Sigmar Recruitment has devised a list of top 5 job searching tips to help you in your pursuit of the perfect job. 1. Get Employers to Come to You Uploading your CV online can increase your chances of being seen by employers. Most job searching websites like; Jobs.ie and Monster.ie allow jobseekers to create an online profile using their CV content. This online profile can then be viewed by potential employers and recruiters. There is also an option when you create your account to highlight specific jobs and organisations you’re interested in and receive email notifications when positions become available. This is useful for any jobseeker as it does the hard work for you and allows relevant job vacancies to come directly to you. 2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile The first thing you should do before applying for a job is ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant work experience. Often employers will search for you online while reviewing your CV. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it could be the reason you get called for an interview. Extra Tip: If you are unemployed and don’t have an issue with making your employment status public, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile headline to something like, “Currently seeking (insert type of role here) in (insert location here)”. This will let others know that you are currently job seeking. 3. Target the Right Companies It’s important to know what type of company you are looking for. This all comes down to your personal preference. Knowing what you want will make it easier. Would you rather be; “a big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond”? By eliminating the type of companies you don’t want in your search, you will narrow down the available jobs suited to you. Extra Tip: If you know of a company you think you would like to work for, search for reviews of the company online. Glassdoor.com lets you search millions of reviews of companies that are all posted anonymously by employees. This is a great way to get an honest appraisal of organisations you’re considering applying to or considering accepting an offer for. 4. Network Use the contacts you have to enquire about available jobs and get the word out that you’re looking for a new position. Often jobs can be found through people we know so it’s a good idea to get in touch with any relevant contacts you may have. Building on your current network can also give you an advantage in your job search. Attending conferences and job expos are a great way to network and find out about career opportunities. 5. Keep Positive Finding the perfect job isn’t easy and may take time. As rejections start coming in, it’s important to always try to stay positive. It’s only natural for you to feel deflated when things aren’t going according to plan but try to use the rejection as a motivation to work harder. The right job is out there for you and you will find it if you stay persistent and optimistic. Don’t have the time to job search? If you find yourself not being able to find the time to search for jobs properly, you can contact us in Sigmar Recruitment. You can upload your details and CV to our website, create an online profile and one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants will contact you to discuss potential job opportunities.
The supply chain industry in Ireland continued to grow in the last 12 months with a number of multinational companies setting up EMEA manufacturing or virtual headquarters across the country from Galway to Cork and Athlone to Dublin. Candidates are coming to the Irish market in large numbers, in particular experienced Irish supply chain professionals are returning from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. This in turn increases supply of candidates but they are being more selective of the jobs and the salaries they require. There is currently a gap in the market between what companies are paying and what candidates can now demand. In 2016 salaries increased in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and food industries, however companies with exposure to Brexit in terms of exports will keep salaries constant as they navigate the ramifications of the changing political landscape. After speaking with senior managers and directors all year about developments at their companies a number of key trends have emerged. Real-Time Tracking for Consumers is Paramount for Customer Engagement For any company that is supplying produce or specific products directly to consumers, real time tracking is essential to keep the customer engaged. With the world being “smaller” and more connected, consumers have a myriad of choice when it comes to spending their money. This leads to impulse buys and the expediency of a speedy delivery, is essential. This is making the visibility of tracking technology used by the company directly or third party logistics (3pl) providers vital. Plan, Plan, Plan – Improvements are Always Needed Brexit, currency fluctuations, increased tariffs, geographical disruption – supply shocks are everywhere. 2016 was a year of turbulence and change with most of the aforementioned occurrences unpredicted at the start of the year. However, regular planning or even reactive planning to changing market conditions was essential for nearly every company dealing with a changing geo-political environment in Ireland, the EU and beyond. Flexible Supply Chains V Lean Supply Chains The focus over the past number of years, and rightly so, has been to champion Lean principles throughout the supply chain. This has led to companies reducing costs and trying to improve processes on a regular basis. Between supply shocks and the changing global economic and political landscape, companies can be left with major stock shortages affecting key parts of their supply chain. With consumers being more transient, keeping or maintaining service delivery through a period of disruption is key. More and more companies have set up excess stock facilities and depots for excess raw materials to insure continuation of supply instead of irreparable damage to their brand over the long term period. With expansions and new system implementations rampant as companies seek to increase market share and deliver a better service offering to consumers, supply chain experience to improve and create a flexible supply chain for a European marketplace is being sought in the form of senior contractors for certain durations from 2 months to 2 years. For those in Supply Chain or interested in getting into it, courses to upskill in a different ERP system would be hugely beneficial the movement evermore to Big Data and its usages across the supply chain function. Supply chain qualifications as a primary degree are becoming more in demand, putting certain candidates at a disadvantage therefore bettering a qualification is advisable. Undertaking a supply chain course, particularly one with classroom participation, thus drawing from other students’ supply chain experience would be advisable as more and more companies are looking for people to have a supply chain qualification on top of their initial degree.