Your Guide to Finding a Job as a Supply Chain Manager
We have put together a guide to finding a job as a supply chain manager, covering a basic understanding of the job, as well as the skills, experience and necessary training:
1. Know the key industry terms
Here are two of the most important definitions you need to be familiar with:
Definition of supply chain management:
Supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer… It is said that the ultimate goal of any effective supply chain management system is to reduce inventory.”
Definition of a supply chain manager:
Supply chain managers must oversee the import or creation of raw materials to be used by the company … track the materials as they are combined, shaped, and altered to form new products … monitor these items all throughout the product development process in order to ensure that adequate supplies are on hand … develop a delivery system that will ensure maximum product creation and optimal shipments to customers or other manufacturers for further use.
2. Understand the three main flows
Understanding the three main flows is important to succeeding in any supply chain management role. It helps you to see how the various elements of supply chain management work together to keep an organisation’s operations efficient.
According to TechTarget.com, supply chain management encompasses three flows:
- Product Flow
The product flow involves moving the product from supplier to consumer, and also looks at product returns by the consumer.
- Information Flow
The information flow involves tracking the status of delivery, keeping the delivery status up-to-date and processing orders.
- Finances Flow
The finances flow includes scheduling and processing payments and understanding credit terms.
3. Gain the necessary skills and experience
If you want to work as a manager in the supply chain industry, you need to make sure you have the following:
According to TechTarget.com, supply chain management software includes planning applications, execution applications (which track the product and the information) and database warehouses. Database warehouses share information between suppliers, clients and manufacturers. Software experience in this industry is important, as many organisations make use of software such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), SYSPRO, etc.
Education and training in related areas
As a prospective supply chain manager looking for a job, education in process management, project management, mathematics, engineering, business administration, business management, or economics can be beneficial. Ensure that your education in this field (or related fields) is industry-recognised and that it upholds industry standards.Remember, though, that while formal education is beneficial, there is nothing like hands-on experience gained on the job.
Characteristics and skillsets
- Innovation: The ability to come up with new ideas for faster, more efficient product delivery and tracking (from new technology to shifts in company structure).
- Adaptability: According to com, supply chain management “can involve anything, depending on the situation.” This requires you to adapt according to what needs to be done.
- Communication: Communication skills are essential, as a supply chain manager interacts with partners, manufacturers and clients among others.
4. Grasp the workplace and job market
According to Sokanu.com,supply chain managers often work in an office environment alongside other departments, where the manager can analyse and oversee daily operations in the company. Often, the office is close to the related manufacturing floor or production area. The job can include travelling to other sites if required by the company for visiting new vendors, manufacturers or locales.
Supply chain managers can work in many industries including “manufacturing, aerospace, defense, and energy” (SupplyChain247.com). Many companies require around five years experience in the industry or in a related field. Supply chain management jobs are available in small and big companies.
Search for supply chain management jobs.
Did you find this blog post interesting? If you did, you might enjoy another blog post called: Top 4 Careers in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.