A supply chain manager directs and facilitates the production, purchasing, warehousing and related services or activities of a company so that it will have the supplies and raw materials necessary to continue its manufacturing operations. You must see to it that these are available when they are needed so that production can go unhampered.
As a supply chain manager, you can expect to oversee all aspects of the business process—from planning to buying to transporting to storing to distributing products and materials. The planning stage is particularly important because it is here where you will be meeting with the marketing and production management departments in order to determine demand and come up with appropriate manufacturing schedules.
You will be doing a lot of negotiating with suppliers and other service providers since you want to get the best offers for materials and services. When assessing a supplier’s proposal for a particular item, you will be looking at their prices and terms. You will check if they have the capability to deliver your orders on time as needed and can provide you with quality products, among others. You will also take into consideration their flexibility and willingness to meet any changes to the company’s supply requirements.
To succeed as a supply chain manager, you need to be highly-organized. You will be coordinating and communicating with different departments in your own company as well as with suppliers, vendors and freight forwarders so you need to always be on top of things. You should also be highly-analytical so you can draft and execute plans in a timely and efficient manner. You should also possess keen problem solving skills so you can resolve unexpected issues that will crop up and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that manufacturing operations don’t get affected. You should also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills since you will be talking with different people within your company and doing business with others outside it.
Why Become A Supply Chain Manager
A career as a supply chain manager is well-suited for those who intend to work in the fast-paced and dynamic manufacturing world where many of these professionals are needed. This is a position that is ideal for those who already have experience in and want to hold leadership positions in the area of supply chain management. A practical reason to go into this career is the excellent pay that awaits these professionals.
Supply chain managers can be found in companies that manufacture different products. They may work in transportation equipment as well as aerospace products and parts manufacturing. They may also work for the federal government. The work is fulltime and done during regular business hours. However, they may need to do overtime work if problems need to be addressed and demands have to be met. The work can be stressful if problems crop up in the supply chain, especially if these issues prevent manufacturing operations from moving forward. Supply chain managers must think quickly to be able to find solutions for these problems.
Supply Chain Manager Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of all other managers, the broader occupational category where supply chain managers belong is $110,210 which translates to an hourly wage of $50.51. This is considerably higher than the average of what other management training occupations receive which is pegged at $93,720.
Supply Chain Manager Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that there will be employment opportunities for supply chain managers in the next few years but the growth rate will be slower than the national average for all job types. The employment rate for this profession is projected to grow anywhere from at 3 to 7 percent.
Supply Chain Manager Degree
A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, supply chain management and related fields is the minimum requirement to become a supply chain manager. Of course, related work experience is a must before one can be promoted. To improve your credentials and prove competence, getting certification from such organizations as the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals or the Institute of Supply Chain Management will help.