Supply chain management is the management of services and goods including the movement and storage of inventory, raw materials and finished goods. The management involves the complete supervision from raw material to the end product. Every business needs people in the supply chain since it is an integral part of the business. A number of people are being hired for supply chain management jobs since the end goal is making profits through the end product.
The profile of supply chain management involves a lot of processes, stages, people and limitations. It is, therefore, important for the employee to have a set of skills to work efficiently.
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What is Supply Management?
Let us explain supply chain management using a real-life situation:
Imagine you walk into your favorite local bakery to buy a fresh, delicious pie. What you may not realize is that there’s a complex supply chain management process behind that tasty treat.
- Supplier: It all begins with suppliers, such as farmers who grow the fruit for the pie filling, flour millers who provide the pastry ingredients, and packaging companies that supply the pie boxes.
- Production: The bakery receives these raw materials and uses them to bake the pies. This involves careful steps of planning and coordination to ensure that enough pies are made to meet customer demand while minimizing waste.
- Distribution: Once the pies are ready, they need to be transported to the bakery’s storefronts or distributed to local grocery stores. This step involves logistics, like deciding which pies go where, scheduling delivery trucks, and ensuring the pies remain fresh during transit.
- Retail: When you visit the bakery, you see the end of the supply chain. The pies are on display, ready for purchase. The bakery staff helps you select your favorite flavor, and you make your purchase.
- Customer: You, the customer, enjoy the pie, savoring every bite. Your satisfaction is essential for the bakery’s success.
- Feedback Loop: If you have any feedback or complaints about the pie’s quality or taste, the bakery may use this information to improve its supply chain processes, from choosing better suppliers to refining production methods.
This real-life situation illustrates supply chain management in action. It involves a series of interconnected steps, from sourcing the raw materials till delivering the final product to the customer, all while striving to meet customer expectations efficiently and profitably.
Skills Needed for Supply Chain Management Jobs
To get hired for decent supply chain management jobs, an employee must have the following skills:
1. Knowledge of IT and Automation
A supply chain manager should be skilled in tools that can optimize and streamline the processes. They should be able to use tools like Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and warehouse management. Supply chain professionals should know the use of enterprise software applications such as ERP. TMS and WMS. They should also know the use of business intelligence applications.
2. Awareness About Marketing Dynamics
People in supply chain management should stay updated with market dynamics. They must keep in touch with the shifting consumer behaviour towards their products and market trends. A supply chain professional should be aware of the demand, supply and pricing of their own and competitor’s products.
3. Cost to Serve Concept
Supply chain management jobs demand employees who can understand their role in profitability and cost-cutting. They must know that their decision has a direct impact on cost structure. Those who understand the cost-to-serve concept can identify unprofitable products and consumer sections.
4. Project Management
Supply chain managers have a role similar to that of project managers. The major difference is that they are responsible for the supply chain rather than project handling. Supply chain managers should be able to lead and manage the team. This is a much-needed skill for expediting processes and increasing efficiency. As a supply chain professional, you can acquire the following project management skills:
- Negotiation ability for budgets, resources, timelines and schedules
- Organizational skills
- Risk management skills
4. 3C’s: Communication, Collaboration and Change
Supply chain management jobs can be quite challenging and this is why the concept of 3 C’s is important. Let’s talk about these in detail:
- Collaboration: You must learn to collaborate for yielding effective end results. You will be required to coordinate and work with other teams for fulfilling requirements. This is why network building is important for supply chain professionals.
- Communication: To build networks, one must learn to communicate effectively so that your requirements are easily understandable by others. Through effective communication skills, you can put forward issues and seek help.
- Change: Due to the abrupt changes in demands, market situation, geography; changes are inevitable. You must learn to adapt to changes and strategize accordingly.
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5. Negotiation Abilities
As a professional working in a high-pressure domain, you must learn to negotiate. Negotiation can be done on many aspects including price, deadlines, quantity, service location and other factors. Professionals with effective negotiation skills can save the business and its reputation.
Certifications for Supply Chain Management
You should do certifications and courses from time to time to upscale in your career. Supply chain management jobs often involve technologies, for which you should keep on learning. You can opt for the following online courses:
- Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) on APICS
- Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) Endorsement on APICS
- Operations and Supply Chain Management on Udemy
- Supply Chain Management on IIM Ahmedabad
- Advanced Programme in Supply Chain Management (APSCM) on IIM, Calcutta, felicitated by Hughes Global Education
Top Supply Chain Management Jobs Recruiter
There are top companies in the world that are on the hunt for supply chain professionals. These include:
The supply chain is one of the core functional parts of any business. Without an effective and skilled supply chain team, the business can become dysfunctional and thus, become unprofitable and paralyzed.
What are the five processes of the SCOR Model?
Five processes of the SCOR Model include: Plan, Source, Make, Deliver and Return.
What is SCOR Model?
SCOR Model is the Supply Chain Operations Reference Model. This is used for establishing standards, assessing waste and improving the SCM system.
How can you get a good supply chain management job?
Aspirants should have a bachelor's degree. A degree in finance or business is preferable but not mandatory. Work experience will take you further in your career. A number of organizations hire MBA students for supply management jobs. In addition, getting professional certifications can increase your chance of promotion.
What is EOQ?
Economic order quantity (EOQ) is the ideal quantity of goods that companies should purchase to minimize holding costs, scheduling costs and order costs.
What is cycle inventory?
Cycle inventory is the inventory accumulated because of ordering it in sizes or lots. This inventory is maintained to avoid carrying inventory costs.
What is an anticipatory stock?
The inventory or goods that are stocked as a result of the projection of future market trends.
What are the types of manufacturing inventories?
There are five types of inventories: raw materials, work in progress, MRO supplies, packing materials and finished goods.
What is inventory management?
Inventory management involves managing processes and disputes related to inventory. This can be controlling inventory holding levels, cost minimization and identifying bottlenecks and managing stock requirements.
What is the use of ERP software in the supply chain?
ERP is the enterprise resource planning software that is used for business information management, integration of systems, increasing efficiency and streamlining workflow.
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