Vietnam is seen as the next China by many importers because of its low labor costs and higher employable population. However, many have taken the bait and shifted their importing base to Vietnam. The others who are still watching how Vietnam performs are skeptical about the quality of products manufactured in Vietnam. Though Vietnam is yet to catch up with China, its focus on equipping the economy with much-needed expertise may lead to Vietnam taking the lead.
Vietnam still lacks diversity when it comes to its export portfolio. With products that are limited to machinery, textile, F&B and metals, Vietnam has a limited variety compared to China, Bangladesh and Cambodia. This need to diversify has shifted the hiring manager’s attention to overseas talent. China’s strength is also its equipment and tooling that abides by international standards. These custom-made equipment are making their way to Vietnam slowly and steadily. However, the country seems to be gearing up with increased investment in infrastructure in the manufacturing sector. Though all these efforts by Vietnam to take over as the export capital may seem too right to be true, the foreign trade deals are making it a reality with their intellectual as well as monetary resources.
While trying to diversify and keep up with the rapid growth it is incredibly important to channelize the resources to a few important functions.
Procurement & Supply Chain
Procurement & supply chain is different in the manufacturing industry compared to the other sectors where procuring and supplying is essential. In the manufacturing segment, there are many factors such as sourcing of raw materials, IP laws for tools and designs and an efficient logistics system that play an important role in an evolving manufacturing sector.
One of the advantages China has is a good technology for manufacturing products. Computer-aided designs and automated processes not only fasten the process but also level up the quality of products. A robust technological foundation makes it easy for organizations to abide by international standards.
All the skills that are important in crucial functions are among the top ones required in the Vietnamese manufacturing industry currently. However, some that are absolutely non-negotiable are manufacturing management, quality and process management and accounting and sales. Apart from this, technological expertise is also garnering much importance in this sector. As the manufacturing industry in Vietnam aims to spread its wings to other export market creativity and innovation will remain as the top contenders in the skills chart.
Some roles are spearheading innovation and growth in the manufacturing sector. These include:
Operations manager in any manufacturing unit is assigned with tasks such as organizing schedules, employees, meetings and performance goals. They are also expected to oversee the daily aspects of manufacturing plants. With more business coming in the Vietnamese manufacturing units, the tasks have become complex and more quantity and quality. Hence, there’s a dire need for expert operations manager in Vietnam’s manufacturing industry.
The engineers deal with the manufacturing equipment and help in ensuring smooth functioning. They also deal with technical aspects of the product. As technology is still in its inception stage in the Vietnamese manufacturing unit, more and more engineers are needed to step up this game.
The product manager defines the why, when and what of the product. Product managers deal with the designs as well as the utility aspect of the products. As Vietnam intends to diversify its manufacturing portfolio, product managers will help to develop designs that are most beneficial to the customers.
Human Resource Manager
It is not a surprise that a growing economy and a sector tapping into global markets are on a lookout for human resource managers. Skilled labor and talent is the backbone of any economic progress, especially, for a country like Vietnam that is highly dependent on its low-cost skilled labor for its export business.
While Vietnam is taking over, China may seem like a dream, but China’s increased labor costs have led to eroding profit margins creating more opportunities for Vietnam. Since 2011 China’s wages have increased up to 60%. Vietnam’s rise in the last few years has definitely stunned the world, it won’t be a surprise if this Southeast Asian economy ends up being one of the strongest among Asian countries. However, the only talent will determine whether this country will make it to the top.