Supply chain management is most prevalent in retail, but almost any company or organization that uses a supply chain for products or information is going to require a supply chain manager. One might think a supply chain to be fairly self-reliant, at least once properly structured, but in reality a supply chain needs constant management to function properly and efficiently.
Below you will find details concerning the vital roles and requirements of this position (and some interesting things as well, such as compensation). Get ahead of the competition with this comprehensive course on supply chain management in retail.
Qualifications And Requirements
Like so many careers these days, experience is superseding education. Many people can pick up management experience in high school or college, working at restaurants or retail stores. Even still, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business, finance or engineering, will help you climb the supply chain management ladder faster.
You can also boost your marketability by earning credentials, such as those offered by the Institute of Supply Chain Management. Anything that helps you prove your ability to plan, analyze and take leadership initiative will give you an advantage in this job market.
Before we discuss the nitty-gritty of supply chain management, let’s just look at a general description. What is the ultimate goal of a supply chain manager?
The overall ambition of a manager is to create the most fluid and efficient end-to-end supply chain process possible. This means coordinating with everyone, from the companies that produce your materials to the delivery drivers who ensure your distribution clients can make accurate inventory predictions. Simulate your ideas before implementing them with this course on how to build a supply chain model in Microsoft Excel.
Your goal will be to cut costs while expediting the entire process; you will most likely be expected to have experience with the many different kinds of supply chain strategies. This blog post on the 6 primary supply chain strategies will give you an idea of what you can expect.
Duties And Responsibilities
Now let’s discuss the daily roles you will be expected to play:
- To begin with, you will analyze the efficiency and time-tables of your supply chain. Every day is a new day and one of the most important aspects of management is ensuring consistency.
- You will act as an intermediary for senior executives and clients/suppliers to coordinate custom, favorable agreements for selling/purchasing.
- Assist the sales department in developing business that is either possible with the existing supply chain or integrated into a new strategy.
- As manager, you will undoubtedly have to manage your staff; excellent service and consistency will be a never-ending goal of your career.
- Planning and negotiating for resources and materials will vary constantly.
- Implementing new initiatives to save time and money will be required as new products are introduced.
- You will often have to make big decisions under pressure; supply chains, like anything else, encounter problems. Finding solutions under pressure is an integral part of the job.
- Monitor inventory, shipments, arrivals, ordering and packaging timetables.
- Hire, train, lead and motivate employees.
Supply and demand never sleep, so there will be times, as manager, that you will have to work late, work weekends, work as long as you have to to solve a problem. You will need to possess superior communication and interpersonal skills (use this course to improve your communication skills in one day) and you will need to be steady under pressure and with multiple things happening at once. Not everyone is cut out for supply chain management. It requires a personality that feeds on details and efficiency. It also helps to have a knowledge of globalization, international standards and universal technical know-how.
Supply chain managers make a good living, at least once they rise to the higher levels of management. An entry-level manager is going to start small; this would be something along the lines of a management assistant and they can expect to make between $40,000 and $50,000 annually. But within just a year or two you could enter the median range for managers, which falls roughly in the range of $60,000 to $120,000. The discrepancy is large due to the equally large discrepancy in business size and capital. A truly experienced, expert manager can easily make more than $140,000 a year. Your compensation will be based almost entirely on your experience and record.
Get your foot in the door by increasing your marketability with this logistics management course that teaches you how logistics can be used for overall cost reduction.