In our increasingly globalized society, the importance of supply chain managers is reaching new heights. You can thank these managers for speedy delivery times on orders, lower shipping costs, and keeping a steady flow of your favorite products available. Supply chain managers oversee every stage of the process that gets products to your door from raw materials to finished product. Accurate planning and forecasting helps them ensure an appropriate supply of materials to keep the production process running smoothly. These managers must stay on top of any changes that could affect the supply chain from the availability of ingredients to shipping interruptions… facility closings… or raw material shortages. Whatever the situation, they’re responsible for minimizing delays, and keeping costs down without affecting product quality. Maintaining positive relationships helps them integrate their work with other departments, like sales, marketing, and finance. While some supply chain managers are very hands-on, traveling to manage day-to-day tasks in warehouses and terminals, others stay close to the office to formulate demand forecasts, and troubleshoot customer issues. Regardless of focus, most work 40 hours per week or more. To enter the field, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, or a related field is typically required, along with five or more years of experience.
What they do:
Direct or coordinate production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, or financial forecasting services or activities to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer service, or safety. Examine existing procedures or opportunities for streamlining activities to meet product distribution needs. Direct the movement, storage, or processing of inventory.
On the job, you would:
Determine appropriate equipment and staffing levels to load, unload, move, or store materials.
Manage activities related to strategic or tactical purchasing, material requirements planning, controlling inventory, warehousing, or receiving.
Select transportation routes to maximize economy by combining shipments or consolidating warehousing and distribution.
movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
accounting and economics
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Analytical or scientific software
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.