The DNA of Supply Chain Executives (2022)

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This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Supply Chain Management Review (www.scmr.com) and is republished here with permission.

The daily life of supply chain managers is full of challenging tasks: negotiating last-minute order changes with sales due to new customer requests; defining working capital requirements with the CFO for the next budget period; or reviewing network structures for new emerging markets with suppliers. This diversity is particularly driven by the cross-functional nature of the job: Supply chain managers interact with many departments and people within and across the firm. In a recent discussion, a plant manager in the machining industry, a passionate athlete, shared his view on the role of supply chain managers. "I am an operations guy," he said. "I really need tenacity to bring my production forward and achieve my annual cost reduction target; I need a limited set of capabilities, in particular, staying power like a marathon runner. A supply chain manager is a different type of athlete. He needs all these cross-functional skills, should be versatile, and must coordinate well with all departments. I admire people with these skills. In athletic terms, a supply chain manager should be a like a decathlete-the king of the athletes."

Still, little is known about the backgrounds, careers paths, and success factors of these "decathletes" who intend to make supply chain management the performance engine of the company. In a joint project, our research group from Küehne Logistics University and McKinsey & Company intensively analyzed the gene pool to shed light on supply chain professionals' origins and evolution. We studied the career paths and educational backgrounds of thousands of supply chain managers and hundreds of supply chain executives. In addition, we conducted numerous interviews with supply chain executives.

In this article, we provide an overview of our findings. We summarize the educational backgrounds of supply chain professionals, detail the careers that led professionals into a supply chain executive position, and present factors that enable a successful career in supply chain management (SCM).

Supply Chain Education

To understand the educational background of professionals in supply chain functions, we analyzed the data of a large-scale survey using the online job platform StepStone, with more than 40,000 participants, most of whom work in German-speaking countries. We focused on employees in SCM and the related functions of sourcing and logistics.

(Video) Managing Your Supply Chain Data w/Power BI - Analysis Techniques

University education has become essential for supply chain professionals. Considering the challenging tasks of supply chain managers, it is not surprising that the average level of education is high. Exhibit 1 shows that the proportion of professionals with graduate university degrees is significantly higher among supply chain executives than among their logistics or sourcing peers. We find that 71 percent of supply chain executives hold university degrees, compared with only 50 percent of executives in sourcing and 23 percent of executives in logistics. The numbers for supply chain professionals without staff responsibility are comparable (Exhibit1). In industries such as automotive (78 percent), manufacturing (79 percent), and FMCG (85 percent), the average educational level is even higher.

The DNA of Supply Chain Executives (1)

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If we consider educational breakdown by age, we find that a university degree is almost essential for young professionals in SCM, as their overall educational level has significantly increased. While only 40 percent of 60+-year-old SCM professionals hold a graduate degree, 84 percent of the 25- to 29-year-olds do (Exhibit 2). While the level of education is significantly lower in logistics and sourcing, the trends are similar.

The DNA of Supply Chain Executives (2)

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There are various reasons for the high educational standards in SCM. In many firms, SCM is a highly visible endeavor with strategic priority. Frequently, SCM is responsible for managing the material flows from multiple international production plants through numerous 3PL-managed distribution centers to thousands of customer locations around the globe, coordinating an inter-cultural team of experts from all functions. To do this job, SCM needs nothing less than the best talent-and that best talent most frequently pursued university education.

This was not always the case. In early days, on-the- job training was the most important source of knowledge and skills to fulfill the majority of daily tasks. In particular, anyone with a decent track record in manufacturing was eligible for planning tasks. Other functions such as engineering, finance, or marketing were already more advanced and hiring well-educated university graduates was much more common. However, as SCM matured and skills requirements increased, learning-by-doing was no longer sufficient. The increased need for the best talent has been fueled by the rapid evolution of the SCM profession since the end of the 20th century. Today's supply chain managers need analytical and mathematical skills that were shaped at a university to cope with challenging tasks such as real-time decision-making in production planning, reviewing SKU profitability, or re-designing a supply chain process for end-to-end visibility. Presenting the analysis results to peers and communicating the implications to top management requires another set of skills. Higher levels of education are often associated with providing this broad portfolio of skills.

Having a well-educated workforce in place is also essential to boost the acceptance of SCM among peers in other functions. Experts and executives in other core functions may respect advice and opinions from colleagues with higher educational levels more than from hands-on practitioners.

Business administration and engineering background leave largest footprints. Examining the fields of study, we are not surprised to find that only a fraction of university graduates have earned formal degrees in SCM; until recently, there were few formal academic programs in SCM. Previously, firms filled positions with relevant professionals who possessed good analytical skills or prior knowledge in adjacent fields. As illustrated in Exhibit 3, the majority of supply chain executives studied business administration (44 percent), followed by engineering (19 percent) and industrial engineering (14 percent). Although state-of-the-art supply chains are dependent on high-end IT infrastructure and software packages, only 2 percent of supply chain executives studied computer science. Here, we see differences between industries. In the technology industry, only 25 percent of supply chain executives studied business administration, while 53 percent have an engineering background. In the FMCG sector, this trend is reversed: business administration graduates constitute 63 percent of the total, and 16 percent are engineers.

The DNA of Supply Chain Executives (3)

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(Video) Lecture 10: Green Supply Chain Strategy

That is changing as the demand grows for supply chain professionals. Universities such as Stanford and the University of Tennessee reacted to the increased demand with dedicated programs for supply chain education. For example, executive education programs with multi-day seminars helped bring executives without formal SCM background up to speed on the related concepts and approaches. The University of Arizona and the University of Houston have recently launched dedicated MBA programs for supply chain management.

If we consider the challenges ahead, including ensuring the same-day delivery of goods, leveraging Big Data for more accurate forecasts, and predicting the impact of 3D printing on future manufacturing processes, well-educated and diverse educational backgrounds will become more essential than ever. Combining the state-of-the-art knowledge of young professionals with their specific studies and the experience of supply chain veterans seems to be the most promising path to address these challenges.

Supply Chain Career Paths

Formal education is an important basis for successful business careers. However, it is typically only the starting point. Accordingly, we decided to analyze how professionals moved into the role of a supply chain executive. To investigate their career paths and its characteristics, we gathered detailed resumes of 300+ supply chain executives. By supply chain executives, we refer to supply chain managers who are directly responsible for staff. We were interested in their career path, including all job positions until their current executive position in SCM. To our surprise, we found that (i) supply chain executives have limited prior functional experience in SCM, (ii) there are many transition opportunities from other functions into SCM, and (iii) we can identify six common career patterns that lead into supply chain executive positions.

Low formal SCM experience. Our research indicates that supply chain executives spent the largest portions of their careers prior to moving into executive SCM positions in logistics, procurement, and sales/marketing. While this might be partially intuitive, we find that a surprising number of supply chain executives are appointed without any previous exposure to SCM. Often, they have much more experience in other functions; in our sample, supply chain executives spent 88 percent of their previous career span outside the SCM function. Even if we include the adjacent functions logistics and manufacturing, we find that still only 40 percent of the prior business experience is SCM-related. Companies seem to be willing to recruit executives from other functions for a number of reasons. Many firms seem to value prior positions with staff responsibility more than extensive SCM knowledge-having broad management skills beats having deep content knowledge. In particular, if the position requires a strong focus on leading personnel or managing projects, extensive SCM expertise seems to be less relevant. As an executive climbs higher up the hierarchical level and is less involved in day-to-day operations, the importance of functional knowledge decreases further.

Regarding communication, professionals from sales/marketing and finance often communicate better. Typically, supply chain analysts are very focused experts who dig deep to solve challenges analytically. However, to take the next step on the career ladder, one must sell oneself to senior management. SCM devotees often seem to lack this skill, while selling and negotiating should be part of the daily routines for sales.

Another challenge is that SCM is frequently perceived as being below "classic" management functions. SCM still partly suffers from its former image as a support function in charge of ordering trucks or stacking pallets. Therefore, sales or engineering often appear more attractive to young graduates with more formally defined career paths. However, SCM is cross-functional by definition; thus, it is easy to enter it with a different functional background.

Transitions. As discussed, many supply chain executives spent a large portion of their career in other functions such as logistics, sourcing, or sales/marketing. For this reason, we analyzed the transition frequencies between different functions (Exhibit 4). The chord-chart shows how many professionals are moving into and out of SCM functions. The size of an outer segment (function) illustrates how much experience professionals gathered in different functions (e.g., much time was spent in logistics, and little was spent in HR). The thickness of the ribbon relates to the number of transitions between functions. For example, many people switch from logistics to SCM (thick tie), but few HR personnel switch to SCM (thin tie).

The DNA of Supply Chain Executives (4)

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While many job transitions occur internally, we find many transitions from logistics (24.8 percent), sourcing (15.6 percent), and reasonable transitions from production (8.9 percent) into SCM. Obviously, personnel with these adjacent backgrounds are more likely to adapt quickly to their new environment and tasks. For instance, because the majority of SCM activities at a large retail company in essence involve managing physical flows, a former logistics manager can rather easily take over related SCM tasks. In the pharmaceuticals industry, however, SCM personnel need a better understanding of chemical products and quality requirements. Accordingly, a person with a manufacturing background is a good fit to manage and optimize the flow of products. In the machining industry, a technical background in engineering and product development might be valuable.

Despite many transitions from these adjacent functions, we also find many transitions from other functions such as sales/marketing, consulting, and project management into SCM. Apparently, SCM requires people with this special expertise because many large-scale projects need to be conducted. And, we find that 63 percent of supply chain executives were promoted internally.

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Our transition analysis indicates that SCM is not only cross-functional by its job description but that it is also truly cross-functional in the experience of the staff. The door is open to anyone to switch into SCM and contribute with external knowledge right from the start. In the end, each supply chain executive position requires specific skills from other disciplines, and such positions are filled with people whose profiles match those needs.

Six career patterns. While each career seems individual and unique at first glance, we identified six different career patterns among all career paths, using a methodology from DNA sequencing. We compared all career paths with each other as if they were DNA strands of different animals. Career paths can look very different at first glance. While some supply chain executives started off as "supply chain analysts" and worked their way straight upwards through SCM until they became "director of supply chain applications," others started as "buyer" and passed through "senior sales agent" and "regional director of sales Asia" positions until they became "head of supply chain processes." Still, our methodology is able to capture similarities among career paths and expose six patterns. Exhibit 5 illustrates the details of these career patterns.

The DNA of Supply Chain Executives (5)

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We characterize the first career pattern as the "Neighbors." It is the largest cluster, with 69 percent of one's business life spent in logistics, procurement, and production. The "Homegrown" pattern corresponds to native supply chain leaders; the majority of their previous career was spent in SCM, and the second largest fraction was spent in logistics. Despite being the third-largest cluster in our study, the next pattern is labeled "Outsiders." Within this cluster, only 12.9 percent prior business experience was spent in SCM, logistics, production, and procurement combined: The largest share of their career was spent in consulting and project management functions.

The next pattern is labeled "Demand-siders" because the majority of the prior business experience of these managers was spent in sales/marketing and in business strategy- two functions that usually put great focus on customer orientation. The "Engineers" have the greatest proportion of individuals with a production background. Its members possess the strongest engineering background among all clusters. "Sourcing Specialists" is the smallest cluster; these individuals spent the longest time in procurement.

It is interesting to see that these six patterns prevail despite the individual biographies of supply chain executives. The diversity of those biographies resembles the extraordinary, cross-functional nature of the SCM profession-many roads lead to Rome. However, some roads are shorter, and some are longer, as shown in Exhibit 5. Given the straight career trajectory of the Homegrown career pattern, on average, they reach a supply chain executive position in 8.8 years. Surprisingly, the Outsiders are even faster-although they were only exposed to SCM jobs for 2.8 percent of their career. The fact that a high proportion of Outsiders are former consultants could explain their above-average career success as consultants, who are known to pursue exceptionally ambitious career goals and whose broad knowledge and diverse skills are valued by employers.

How to become a supply chain executive. How then does one become a supply chain executive? In addition to education and prior experience, we found that many factors are key drivers behind successful supply chain careers. Career development is shaped by one's performance and behavior on the job and by one's personality and skill sets. For our research, we conducted 20+ interviews with supply chain executives (including individuals leading >1,000 employees) on how they advanced their careers, which covered their specific career paths and what were success factors for them.

Through our interviews with supply chain executives, we identified three dominating profiles: the Number Guy, the People Leader, and the Cross-functionalist.

The Number Guy

Given the analytical side of supply chain management, there is a significant percentage of executives who have risen in the ranks by planning and analyzing data. We refer to this profile as the Number Guy. He loves to detail production schedules, determine correct inventory levels, and optimize service levels. While he focuses on data, he can sometimes miss the big picture and the importance of demonstrating value to peers/senior management. A Number Guy fits companies that do not have direct reporting from SCM to the board because he lacks communication skills. Given these characteristics, a Number Guy must undertake three things to become a supply chain executive:

  • Communicate and get out of your box. You are great at what you are doing, but unfortunately, nobody knows about it. Consider meetings to be a marketplace where you can sell the work about which you are passionate as your product. Communicate your contribution to your supervisor and participate in more group projects.
  • Improve your management skills. Your analytical skills and the depth of your SCM expertise are already sufficient to become a professor. However, an executive needs to learn how to motivate and lead people.
  • See the big picture. You must be aware of the consequences of your decisions to other functions. You might also consider switching to another function (at least for a certain time) to understand another perspective.

The People Leader

(Video) 4.2.1 Biomass Supply Chain Management

The People Leader excels at managing people and projects, while analysis and content are left for others to solve. The People Leader wants to problem solve in teams, is proficient at communicating with peers and senior managers, and prefers to delegate tasks to others. Often, the People Leader has background experience from another company function.

The People Leader works with a top-down approach without going down into details, which results in a basic SCM understanding. He yields the best results in enterprises where the supply chain already performs and where he has Number Guys working for him who complement his strengths with their SCM expertise.

Given these characteristics, the People Leader should consider the following to become a supply chain executive:

Deepen your SCM knowledge. You already possess the skills that many SCM peers lack: managing people, networking, and selling yourself. However, in many situations, your limited expertise and knowledge become apparent to experienced peers. You need to work on your SCM knowledge by exchanging ideas frequently with your SCM colleagues, reading books and relevant magazines, and attending SCM workshops and seminars.

Enrich your personal network with relevant SCM people. Your communication skills have enabled you to establish a rich network with various people within your firm and perhaps even extending to customers. Take advantage of this talent, and establish contact with new people relevant to your SCM department. For instance, having a strong network and relationship with suppliers can help your department achieve a wider overview of the supply side and the best prices on the market. Become surrounded with people with better functional knowledge than yours.

If it does not fit, you must admit. If you ended up in SCM unintentionally and you see your strengths elsewhere, you should consider moving out of SCM.

The Cross-functionalist

The Cross-functionalist has very good end-to-end visibility into supply chains. He has gathered previous experience in different positions and functions. He understands the cross-functional processes, which makes him a true endto- end thinker with a holistic view of the company. This also makes him a savvy executive with a deeper understanding of the political game and the ability to negotiate with other senior managers in the company.

Furthermore, the cross-functionalist possesses the relevant breadth and depth of SCM knowledge and speaks the language of peers from other functions. He owns the fundamentals that are required to make a true contribution to SCM performance and works best when his company provides end-to-end visibility, motivates open communication and transparency about ongoing supply chain projects, and pursues mid- and long-term targets.

Given these characteristics, here is what the Crossfunctionalist needs to consider to become a supply chain executive:

Think step-by-step. You already have the best combination of skills and competencies to become a supply chain executive. The only thing standing in your path is you. While you have a great end-to-end view of SCM, you must focus on your own tasks first and prioritize them according to your job description and senior management's assignment. Otherwise, your KPIs will suffer, and you will not live up to your potential. Think step-by-step. Do your job first, and push your extending ideas forward afterwards.

Find a mentor-even if there is no official mentoring program. Although you are already a highpotential leader, many interviewees mentioned that career success was subject to external influence, e.g., luck, coincidence, or a mentor. Because no one can influence luck or coincidence, you should try to find an experienced leader as a mentor who can give valuable advice and open doors for promotion. Many interviewees state that they even climbed up the career ladder in the slipstream of their mentor by taking over his position upon the mentor's promotion.

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Increase your leadership skills. Because you are already a prospect for future supply chain executive positions on paper, you should work on the soft skills required for future senior management positions. In particular, developing leadership skills is crucial for later success. You can gain experience by volunteering as a project coordinator or a mentor for an intern in your department. Finally, you should always follow your passion and interests. Almost all of the supply chain executives interviewed mentioned that their main motivation always has been their passion for the job

About the authors: Knut Alicke is a Master Expert in McKinsey's Stuttgart office, Kai Hoberg is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy at Kühne Logistics University, where Christoph Flöthmann is a Ph.D. candidate, and Johan Lundin is an Engagement Manager in McKinsey's New Jersey office.

FAQs

What is the role of supply chain executive? ›

The job of supply chain executives can encompass everything from strategic planning, to data analysis, to personnel management, as well as procurement and overseeing logistics and supply chain operations. One of the most important characteristics of top-level supply chain executives is leadership.

What are the 3 C of supply chain? ›

Clarity on what your enterprise needs and what your supply chain must deliver, convergence of people and systems on those goals, and cooperation to keep each contribution constructive can provide you with an effective platform for supply chain and enterprise success.

Who is the father of supply chain management? ›

Keith Oliver is a British logistician and consultant known for coining the terms "Supply Chain" and "Supply Chain Management", first using them in public in an interview with Arnold Kransdorff of the Financial Times on 4 June 1982.

What are the four 4 stages of supply chains? ›

What are the components of your supply chain you should be focusing on right now?
  • INTEGRATION. Integration starts at your strategic planning phase and is critical throughout your communications and information sharing and data analysis and storage. ...
  • OPERATIONS. ...
  • PURCHASING. ...
  • DISTRIBUTION.

What are 5 key roles in the supply chain? ›

What roles are available in procurement and supply chain?
  • Buying products or services. Purchasing is a key component of any procurement role. ...
  • Managing procurement processes. ...
  • Supplier relations. ...
  • Understand business goals and objectives. ...
  • Policy management. ...
  • Sustainability & Ethics. ...
  • Manufacturing. ...
  • Merchandising.
16 Dec 2019

What are the 7 supply chain functions? ›

While supply chain is a very broad career field, it has 7 primary functional areas: Purchasing, Manufacturing, Inventory Management, Demand Planning, Warehousing, Transportation, and Customer Service.

What are the four pillars of supply chain management? ›

Managing the “4 pillars” of global procurement – people, process, technology, and supply chain – is crucial for ensuring a global approach to standardizing technology infrastructure for the enterprise.

How many pillars are in supply chain? ›

There are three pillars to supply chain management, each of these points hold indispensable value for a business.

What are the 6cs in logistics? ›

The six Cs of strategy include: concept, competition, connectedness, continuity, conviction, and the capacity to change. These are elements of the broad process of thinking about how a business develops its strategic depth and capacity.

What are the 6 types of supply chain management? ›

Six Types of Supply Chain Models
  • The Continuous Model.
  • The Fast Model.
  • The Efficient Model.
  • The Agile Model.
  • The Custom-Configured Model.
  • The Flexible Model.
  • About IDB.
  • FB.

What are the 8 supply chain processes? ›

The Supply Chain Management Process includes the building blocks of Supply Chain Management are Strategic Planning, Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Procurement, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Order Fulfillment and Transportation business processes.

What is ERP in SCM? ›

An ERP provides a comprehensive management system that allows for integration of transactions, material planning, and other functions into a single system — making it easier for manufacturers to better manage all their operations including their supply chain.

What are the 10 key elements of supply chain management? ›

What are the 10 Basic Elements of Supply Chain Management?
  • Integration. Every business needs strategic planning for the better functioning of operations. ...
  • Operations. ...
  • Purchasing. ...
  • Distribution. ...
  • Agility. ...
  • Innovation. ...
  • Performance Measurement. ...
  • Alignment.
8 Jul 2022

What are the four walls of supply chain? ›

There are four major elements of supply chain management: integration, operations, purchasing and distribution. Each relies on the others to provide a seamless path from plan to completion as affordably as possible.

What is supply chain life cycle? ›

In short, a supply chain life can be separated into three stages: 1) formation, 2) operation and 3) extinction. Each step is critical to the next step, even extinction is critical to the next formation and the overall success for the supply chain and the overall continuity of the business.

What are the top 3 elements of supply chain? ›

Generally the key aspects of Supply Chain management are Purchasing (sourcing), Planning (scheduling) and Logistics (delivery).

What are the 7 key issues of supply chain management? ›

The following are the 7 most important objectives of Supply Chain Management.
  • Improving Efficiency. ...
  • Improving Quality. ...
  • Optimising Transportation and Logistics. ...
  • Reducing Costs. ...
  • Enhancing Customer Satisfaction. ...
  • Improving Distribution. ...
  • Maintaining Better Coordination.

What are the 5 types of supply chain? ›

The Top-level of this model has five different processes which are also known as components of Supply Chain Management – Plan, Source, Make, Deliver and Return.

What are the 7 R's of supply chain management? ›

So, what are the 7 Rs? The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport UK (2019) defines them as: Getting the Right product, in the Right quantity, in the Right condition, at the Right place, at the Right time, to the Right customer, at the Right price.

What is the most important part of supply chain? ›

Planning

This is one of the most important stages. Before the beginning of the entire supply chain, it is essential to finalise the strategies and put them into place. Checking the demand for the product or service, checking the viability, costing, profit, and manpower etc., are vital.

What are 4 functional areas of logistics? ›

There are five elements of logistics: Storage, warehousing and materials handling. Packaging and unitisation. Inventory.

What are the 7 principles of procurement? ›

7. Principles of Procurement
  • Accountability. ...
  • Competitive Supply. ...
  • Consistency. ...
  • Effectiveness. ...
  • Value for Money. ...
  • Fair-dealing. ...
  • Integration. ...
  • Integrity.

Which company has best supply chain? ›

The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 Companies for 2022
RankCompany
1Cisco Systems
2Schneider Electric
3Colgate-Palmolive
4Johnson & Johnson
21 more rows
26 May 2022

What are the 5 principles of procurement? ›

5 Procurement Principles UN Staff Members Should Know
  • Best value for money. ...
  • Fairness, integrity, and transparency. ...
  • Effective international competition. ...
  • The interest of the Contractor. ...
  • Client centricity.

What are three 3 aspects of operations and supply chain management? ›

The three levels of supply chain management are strategic, tactical and operational.
  • Strategic Planning. This level of supply chain management is responsible for developing long-term plans that outline the company's overall objectives and goals. ...
  • Tactical Planning. ...
  • Operational Execution.

What is the difference between supply chain management and procurement? ›

To recap, procurement is the process of acquiring the supplies you need to run your business operations. On the other hand, supply chain management encompasses how those supplies are transformed into finished products and delivered to the end-users.

Which of the 6 C's is most important? ›

Let's understand the 6 C's of nursing a little better. Care is the first C; Care is defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something. The primary duty of the nurse is to care for the patient. Amongst all the C's this is the most important.

Who created the 6Cs? ›

The 6Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment and competence – are a central plank of Compassion in Practice, which was drawn up by NHS England chief nursing officer Jane Cummings and launched in December 2012.

How do you cite the 6 C's? ›

Care, Compassion, Courage, Commitment, Communication and Competence: The 6 Cs - Dot Chadwick, 2017.

Is supply chain a high paying job? ›

Supply chain salaries remain solid, even during a global pandemic. According to ASCM's 2021 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report, the typical salary for individuals entering supply chain is $60,000. The median salary is $86,000 and $90,000 for professionals with APICS/ASCM certifications.

Is supply chain a good career? ›

There is tons of room for career growth.

Due to the highly structured and tiered nature of supply chain management, there are plenty of opportunities to advance for ambitious and driven people. In fact, CNN Money found that there's an average of 25.5% career growth over 10 years for people in the industry.

What are the responsibilities of a supply chain specialist? ›

Coordinates shipments and works to improve supply chain processes at a company or organization. Procures materials and manages order prices and quantities; receives shipments and organizes inventories; forecasts demand, responds to changes in demand, and resolves supply chain issues.

What is a SCM officer? ›

The role is responsible for the generation of purchase orders, follow ups, payments and management of commitments, reporting on non-performance of service providers, purchase of goods, materials and services for the NDA as well as ensuring compliance with the Treasury policies and regulations.

Are supply chain managers happy? ›

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, supply chain managers rate their career happiness 2.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 18% of careers.

Which supply chain field pays the most? ›

The 10 High-Paying Careers for Supply Chain Management Majors are:
  • Logistics Manager $104,827.
  • Supply Chain Manager $104,071.
  • Global Commodities Director $103,601.
  • Purchasing Manager $103,289.
  • Strategic Sourcing Manager $100,015.
  • Procurement Manager $95,285.
  • Production Manager $94,248.
  • Facilities Manager $91,728.

Which field is best in supply chain management? ›

Top 5 Careers in Supply Chain Management
  • Manufacturing. Since supply chains begin with the process of manufacturing and end with getting the product into the hands of the consumer, manufacturing jobs are among the most important in the field. ...
  • Data analysis. ...
  • Procurement. ...
  • Transportation. ...
  • Customer service.

Are supply chain jobs stressful? ›

Supply Chain by its very nature is a high paced, adrenaline infused, stress laden profession. Throw on top of that the stresses and strains that accompany a global pandemic and the stress levels can become overwhelming.

Is working in supply chain hard? ›

Supply chain management is also a stressful job because emergencies crop up all of the time. Shipments are often late; workers might slack off, there could be an issue projecting how much inventory a company needs. Supply chain managers need to be able to handle stress and also keep morale high.

Is a MS in SCM worth it? ›

A master's degree program in supply chain logistics can still be valuable, however, provided it gives students opportunities to flex their logistics muscles and expand their networks through research and fieldwork partnerships at large companies.

How do I become a good supply chain specialist? ›

Here are four essential qualities of any good supply chain manager.
  1. Strong Software and Computer Skills. The days of managing your supply chain with a basic spreadsheet and a head for figures are long gone. ...
  2. Flexibility. ...
  3. Project Management Capability. ...
  4. Excellent Communication Skills.

What is the career path in supply chain management? ›

Supply chain management is an umbrella term that includes many different positions. Patel says a typical path includes beginning as an expeditor then advancing to become a buyer and moving upward from there. Other job titles include operations analyst, loading operator, sales, production manager and logistician.

How do I become a supply chain expert? ›

Requirements and Qualifications
  1. High school diploma or GED certificate required.
  2. Bachelor's degree in supply chain management, logistics, or engineering a plus.
  3. APICS certification a plus (CPIM or CSCP)
  4. Supply chain experience (2-3 years minimum)
  5. Experience with SAP software.
  6. Attention to detail.
  7. Problem-solving skills.

Who does a supply chain manager report to? ›

For instance, when I was a chief purchasing officer, I reported to the VP of operations. As you'll see, a good case can be made that supply management at the factory level should report to the general manager, and the corporate level should report to the CEO.

What are the four cornerstones of effective supply chain management? ›

Integration, operations, purchasing and distribution are the four elements of the supply chain that work together to establish a path to competition that is both cost-effective and competitive.

What are the differences between logistics and supply chain management? ›

Logistics focuses on the movement and storage of items in the supply chain. Supply chain management (SCM) is more comprehensive, covering all of the coordination between partners that have a role in this network, including sourcing, manufacturing, transporting, storing and selling.

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