10 things to know before starting a supply chain management career
The supply chain includes everything between when a business creates an item and when clients receive the finished product. The two ends of the same chain are obtaining the raw components for a product and delivering it to the client.
The career growth in supply chain management is high considering the demand for professionals in this field. One reason is that it’s hard to imagine how businesses would function today without it. Another factor is that the task requires solving problems in a puzzle-like fashion. This challenge may be psychologically engaging and even addicting.
How to start a career in supply chain management? Within many international businesses, particularly in retail, logistics and supply chain management is rapidly expanding and technology-driven. If you’re considering a career in this field or want to learn more about it, keep reading.
Why a career in supply chain management?
The epidemic’s aftermath has shifted the focus of innovation from products to processes. Careers in logistics and supply chain management provide you with a front-row seat to the entire process of planning, sourcing, producing, and shipping items to consumers, with plenty of room to diversify your skill set and choose an area of expertise that fits your abilities. Unlike most other occupations, supply chain and logistics professionals benefit from greater earnings and more promising employment prospects.
The workday of a supply chain manager is never dull
Maybe you’ve been in jobs when the days felt endless, and you couldn’t wait for your shift to end. Supply chain management is a field where the unexpected is a daily occurrence, for better or worse.
Because of unforeseen circumstances, you’ll often have to act as a crisis responder for the supply chain team. There is a lot of potential for panic because of many variables. Unexpected maintenance at a factory or a snafu with a necessary shipment from a supplier might knock both down. In many cases, you will have little warning before one of them happens and will need to respond quickly to lessen its damage. Although there may be instances when you feel overwhelmed, this is a rewarding part of your profession.
Storage and transportation are just some of the roles
Supply chain managers monitor the flow of materials, information, and money used in the production, distribution, retail, and final consumption of a product or its components. However, these duties can change considerably based on your company or organization.
When people first hear about the job, they may be surprised to realize that transporting and storing products is only a small fraction of what they would be doing. These days, however, many businesses take a more holistic view of their supply chains, allowing the traditionally separate functions of procurement and manufacturing to fall under the purview of a single supply chain executive.
Data-driven supply chain management
The supply chain relies heavily on data, and the ability to quickly derive meaningful inferences from that data is crucial. When you need to use this data to find answers to problems, it might be overwhelming because most firms have hundreds (or even tens of thousands) of different goods. You must be agile, quickly identify key information, and distill it into a concise summary.
People skills are essential
Supply chain management typically focuses on the methodology, best practices, and technologies that are important to the industry. However, the teams of professionals that carry out the procedures illustrate the best practices and manage the technology that makes the supply chain possible. Supply chain managers must work well with others, take the initiative, and put the client first.
A comprehensive foundation is essential for SCM
More information about each dot on the board is an asset because supply chain management is like a game of connecting the dots where each choice involves a lot of complex variables. To succeed in a field that demands a high level of expertise, you should do everything you can to acquire theoretical and hands-on knowledge. A refresher course in computer science and programming is also helpful.
Professionals in supply chain management are also in charge of people
Supply chain management is a growing sector that could be a good fit for you if you know the practical considerations of the job. People management abilities become as important as supply chain management skills at a certain point, if not more so. The best performers in this profession often also have strong interpersonal skills, although many people possess essential technical expertise.
Supply chain management is a high-pressure job
The SCM industry is fiercely competitive. Making a mistake or missing a deadline might cost a business several hundred thousand dollars and allow the competition to step in. The logistics field is high-pressure, time-sensitive, and cutthroat. It’s crucial to show up to work every day to give it your all because many other businesses compete for the same customers.
Broader networking opportunities
Meeting with your suppliers and listening to their words can pay dividends in the long run. Also, finding a mentor is crucial if you’re starting your job. This person could be your boss, a coworker, or just someone you meet while doing your job. A mentor might be a great resource if you want to learn something new or improve your skills.
Environment-friendly supply chain management
Supply chain management isn’t typically at the top of people’s minds when they think of green jobs. While streamlining the supply chain can have a significant beneficial effect on the planet.
Numerous employment opportunities
There are several career opportunities in supply chain management. Buying positions is often the next logical step after working as an expeditor and up the chain in many companies. Examples of job titles are logistician, production manager, salesperson, loader, and operations analyst.
Read more: Job opportunities for supply chain management career
How can you excel in the supply chain management career?
The role of supply chain management is fundamentally strategic. To be successful in this career, you need to be forward-thinking while still being detail-oriented, data-driven, organized, and process-driven.
- Choose the SCM component you are most interested in: Supply chain managers are in charge of the flow of products from the time production materials are purchased through the manufacturing process and stock delivery. You can specialize in particular fields inside firms through various jobs, such as purchasing, procurement, transportation, technology, facilities, etc.
- Choose your industry: The responsibilities of supply chain management will vary from position to position, business to business, and industry to industry. Before choosing a particular industry, examine that sector’s critical elements of supply chain management and logistics.
- Obtain a degree in a relevant field: You must first earn a bachelor’s degree in a field related to logistics or supply chain management to pursue a career in these fields. Further, you can pursue a master’s degree or a certification program to expand your knowledge and land in high paying jobs.
What are some key skills to acquire in an SCM career?
- Essential components of any logistics and supply chain management position are establishing and maintaining positive relationships with vendors, suppliers, and consumers.
- A supply chain manager manages inventory, sales, and the company’s finances. To analyze data effectively, make predictions, and report those to the appropriate people, you’ll need to be proficient in using Microsoft Excel.
- You will manage operations and supervise employees as a supply chain manager. Gain experience managing people by taking on leadership roles in college, such as in a group project or on a campus club.
- Logistics and supply chain management roles often include specialized software, such as Enterprise Resource Planning, and a solid grounding in the Microsoft Office suite (ERP).
Read more: Top trends in supply chain management industry
In today’s economy, supply chain management has never been more important. Long-term job prospects in supply chain management look bright, as many businesses are looking to fill positions with qualified candidates. Check out the postgraduate certificate program in Supply Chain Management offered by Manipal Academy of Higher Education through Online Manipal. This course will help you understand the fundamental principles of supply chain management and use the many services that the greatest professionals in the field have.
- Responsibility for a business’s whole supply chain, from acquiring raw materials through manufacturing.
- Enhancing the company’s supply chain to streamline operations, reduce costs, and increase client value.
- The supply chain in the modern world consists of several segments, including production, storage, packaging, transportation and delivery, IT, and logistics.
Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.
Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.
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