Getting Started into a Supply Chain Management Career
Supply chains play a vital role in the economic growth and stability around the world. It is a profession that requires an overall understanding of the processes of a product from its raw form up to its final product.
Supply chain industry is broad and it offers a lot of opportunities. In fact, there are numerous disciplines involved in supply chain. However, the supply chain is confronted with workforce problem. Finding qualified candidates is difficult considering the fact that recruitment firms are looking for highly qualified supply chain professionals that possess experience or certifications, even at the entry-level.
What you need to possess in the Supply Chain Industry
Getting into the supply chain industry is not as easy as you think. You have to master some skills for you to get hired. As a first step, you need to identify a potential job and update your resume and highlight your skills that match the opportunity.
You need to keep in mind the following attributes that make a successful supply chain professional:
Analyze and Comprehend Data
As a supply chain professional you will be confronted with a lot of data. You will oversee the statistical data concerning the logistics, purchasing and transportation processes, inventory and a lot more.
Communication and Relationship Management
You will be dealing with multinational clients from time to time. It involves a lot of negotiation processes and reports of every transaction you make. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your clients will play a vital role to your success. With your communication prowess, your supply chain processes will surely succeed.
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Strong Knowledge of Microsoft Excel
You will constantly face spreadsheets and database considering the fact that you are tracking the journey of your shipments. Every supply chain candidate must know how to use the tools used to manage supply chains.
As a supply chain professional, you have the task to negotiate. Constantly you will be tasked in finding vendors and raw materials for the creation of certain products.
How to Overcome Lack of Experience in the Supply Chain
Coming from an unrelated field to working in the supply chain industry will not be easy, but there are certain ways for you to get an experience and work your way into the supply chain industry.
One way you can gain experience in the supply chain is through internships, but it is not feasible for established professionals who are transitioning into a new career.
A feasible option for established professionals who would like to enter the field of supply chain is through certification courses and training which require ample time and commitment.
Career Options in Supply Chain Management
There are different titles in the supply chain industry. In fact you may notice the same job title at two different companies, but have different sets of responsibilities.
Here are some of the positions you can read in most companies:
- Purchasing Manager. The major role of a purchasing officer is to oversee the strategic task of identifying the suppliers and the details of purchasing. It also involves a lot of negotiations and developing metrics for procurement costs, service levels, quality and delivery time.
- Supply Chain Manager. It is the most sought-after role in the field of supply chain. The supply chain manager is in charge of developing solutions and implementation across all functional areas. A supply chain manager must have an encompassing knowledge about logistics and distribution, purchasing, manufacturing, inventory management and a lot more.
- Procurement Analyst. Is tasked to analyze historical purchasing cost of each materials and forecasting its future cost.
- Logistics Manager. It involves contract negotiation with suppliers and carriers. They possess well-versed analytical skill and have a sharp interpersonal skills.
- Inventory Specialist. It analyzes historical details of inventories and forecast future inventory. Determine the replenishment cycle of goods.
- Warehouse Manager. The warehouse manager is involved in the retail distribution, transportation and managing the placement of the products within the warehouse.