From tapping 11 times to write a 4 letter word on Nokia 3310 to tackling inventory management in just a click, an entire generation grew up.
This world where work from home has become the new norm and conferences are being held online instead of a board room seemed a virtual reality 10-15 years ago. However, it’s happening. And it’s not a sci-fi movie or an episode from Black Mirror; this is a new reality.
And this new reality has a lot of opportunities for supply chain professionals. The Covid-19 may have significantly impacted the global supply chain, but every industry, every domain, and every company still needs a supply chain manager. In fact, they need it now more than ever in the face of disruption.
So are you ready to explore the plethora of jobs in supply chain management? Are you prepared to tackle the intricacies of today’s dynamic supply chain? Let’s help you understand the why, what, where, and how of building a career in the supply chain. Let’s help you make the right decision of choosing supply chain management and whether this is the ideal career choice.
First, let’s talk about why this domain has become so popular.
Why is a Career in Supply Chain Becoming Popular?
Is It The Growing Demand? Yes.
During the pandemic, which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, companies suffered significant losses in terms of supply chain and logistical barriers. The government closed down the borders, and everything and everyone remained where they are. This is what caused a cataclysmic deceleration of production and procurement around the world.
However, by leveraging the expertise and experience of supply chain professionals, the industry bounced back. In fact, the post-Covid-19 global market for SCM is expected to grow from $23.2 billion in 2020 to $ 41.7 billion by 2026. This accounts for a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 10.3%.
The unprecedented rate at which this domain is accelerating is fascinating, right? Well, the reason behind this increasing demand is the growing need of organizations to enhance business continuity by minimizing potential failures. Organizations worldwide are seeking expert guidance from supply chain managers to oversee the intricacies of logistics and overcome the challenges of the supply chain in the new reality.
Is It The Lucrative Pay? Yes.
As this increasing demand creates new opportunities, the role of supply chain and logistics would become ever more critical, as would the demand and competition to attract top talent. This means competitive sales, especially to managers or higher levels.
According to the Logistics Management Annual Salary Survey published in April 2022, researchers have reported a consequential increase in logistics and supply chain salaries for 2022.
So yes, one thing you can be sure of is that if you have the right skills, knowledge, and experience, the jobs in supply chain management will come with lucrative pay!
Is It Because the Supply Chain is Easy? No.
Some people think that supply chain and logistics are all about following up with vendors and procuring raw material; that’s why they consider building a career in this domain. However, the job comes with its complexities.
For instance, in the automobile industry, supply chain professionals prepare cost reports for every vendor, negotiate prices, raise purchase orders, keep track of those orders, and ensure the suppliers follow through. Any hindrance in the process and the supply chain professionals are the ones who take responsibility.
Clearly, the job is not as easy as it sounds. Most professionals face the challenge that the trends are constantly evolving; staying abreast of these changes is not easy. And pursuing a college or MBA degree now and then is not a feasible option. Enter supply chain management online courses! However, with the proper expert guidance, you can build a thriving career in this domain.
Several Edtech platforms offer credible supply chain management online courses that can help you stay up-to-date with the latest themes and trends of the domain and the practical application of best practices and strategies.
Does it Have Something to do with Abundant Career Opportunities? Yes!! Maybe…Definitely YES!
As mentioned above, the jobs in supply chain management will witness a surge in demand. And this will unlock up new avenues for aspiring as well as established supply chain professionals.
What’s more, an advanced degree is not necessary to climb the success ladder but can pave the way to career progression. Senior-level roles are plentiful but require advanced knowledge and experience. This is where an online supply chain management course can come in handy.
For instance, the IIM Lucknow supply chain management course offered on the Talentedge platform is gaining a lot of traction from aspiring professionals and those striving to upskill. By providing exposure to every facet of the supply chain, these online courses aim to help you build the prowess you’ll need to thrive. In addition, the best part about pursuing these courses is that you’ll gain practical knowledge rather than theoretical knowledge, which means you can have more hands-on experience than any other candidate.
It’s getting good, right? Well, read on, as it’s about to get even better!
Is It Because There’s a Bright & Shiny Future Ahead? Yes, Yes, and Yes!
Supply chain technology is finally getting the attention it deserves. Gartner predicts, by 2023, the demand for robotic goods-to-person systems will quadruple to help enforce social distancing in warehouses.
So the question remains whether machines will replace you? Let’s answer that for you right now – NO.
Some tasks may be automated or taken over by bots. However, machines will not replace people. Technology in the supply chain domain is here to free up human resources to focus on more critical tasks. This is where intelligent employees with an accredited certification in supply chain management will stand out. The more technologically savvy you are, the higher your chances will be of getting a lucrative job. In retrospect, the future is bright, and the future is technology.
Future of Supply chain Management in India
The pandemic has hit a deadly blow on businesses around the globe. India is no different, and many companies have suffered hugely during this period. But what is the silver lining in those dark clouds is that supply chain and logistics have gained importance like never before. Though in a minor way, even small companies started offering home deliveries as people could not visit shops. E-commerce companies saw a massive rise in orders. This prompted them to improve their deliveries.
Still, India is not fully geared to become the supply chain capital of the world. But there are bright signs to show that this field in India will get the best technology upgrades. Thanks to the rising purchase capacity of the middle class in the country, retail business will continue to increase. This will increase the need for more logistics support. The Supply chain market in India is expected to touch $307 billion by this year’s end.
There are several reasons to say that the supply chain in India will see a boom in the near future.
1. Better Logistics Systems
Companies are putting money where it is needed. There is a lot of investment for improving infrastructure and operational efficiency. This will drive the nation to become a logistics powerhouse soon. One can find more tech-driven integrated logistics in many companies. Many warehouses in the country feature automatic sorting and handling of goods. New technologies like IoT are increasingly used in supply chain management. The inclusion of such advanced technologies is helping to save time in logistics operations.
2. Better Export Prospects
With many initiatives from the government, exports are now picking up in the nation. We are being exposed to many international brands in new niches. This can give a boost to exports. Domestic consumption of such brands is also on the rise. Production facilities are being upgraded to match international standards demanded by these global brands. Manufacturing efficiency and standards are going up steadily. Brand India is becoming popular in more parts of the world. These factors will certainly give a boost to SC improvement.
3. Better Infrastructure
Logistics infrastructure is seeing continuous improvement. Warehouses are enhanced with modern technology. This is especially true in places around ports. As imports increase, ports are seeing a major overhaul. Warehouses near these ports are being upgraded to suit specific goods that will need unique storing facilities. Ports are handling more goods as the years go by. This can be expected to rise in the future. These factors drive the increase in jobs in supply chain management.
4. Marketing India Well
Every country needs to be marketed. India has been doing that very well with our PM talking extensively about India and the huge opportunities for investment in this country. Countries across the globe are now aware of the technological advancement that the nation is going through. This has brought in lot of investment. These investments are bringing in the money needed for improving infrastructure and logistics. The arrival of more multinational companies is sure to give a big boost to the supply chain.
5. Cloud Computing Improves Asset Utilization
There is increased use of cloud computing for better utilization of assets. Students of the XLRI SCM course learn how logistics service providers can cooperate by sharing their assets. Using cloud computing makes it easy to network all available warehouses and fleet operators. Only with a lean operation can there be increased efficiency. Sharing information on a real-time basis makes it easy to collaborate in picking up and delivery of materials. With less idle time for fleets, the efficiency of the delivery ecosystem improves greatly.
6. Better Access To Data
Another advantage of cloud technology is the huge amount of space it provides for storing data. Companies need not invest in costly IT infrastructure to store data. All logistics data can be easily accessed by anyone in the network. This means that information is available with these operators at any time. They also get control over all goods movements constantly without sitting in an office. Fleet operators can provide information to clients from wherever they are using their mobile devices.
7. Improve Efficiency Using Big Data Analytics
The quick proliferation of analytics technology in India is helping many businesses. Supply chain management companies can use this science to improve their efficiency. Analyzing data will help to show how much balance life an asset has. Using this technology, companies can find out the best delivery method that saves time and money. Using past information helps to find out where pitfalls can happen in delivering goods across the seas. This will help in eliminating such mistakes and improve delivery times.
8. Transformation Using New Technologies
The inflow of FDI is resulting in another transformation. Companies are able to find money to integrate new technologies into their operation. Big data, machine learning, and deep learning have become common terms among supply chain service providers. These technologies help to avoid wastage and help improve efficiency. Most firms are considering renovating their existing infrastructure by integrating these new technologies. Optimizing operations using modern science will see a huge transformation in supply chain management and bring in more profits.
9. Reduced Human Intervention
This is another factor that will catalyze the growth of the supply chain in India. Many of the processes have been automated. The extensive use of artificial intelligence is the driver behind this. When there is lesser human intervention, it will help to complete processes much faster. Another advantage of reduced interference by people is that there are no hidden charges. This drastically brings down the cost of logistics. RFID And GPS devices are ensuring that freight operators can get real-time information on the movement of goods.
10. Use Of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology is not just for cryptocurrencies. It can be used for any transaction where multiple entities are involved. Supply chains have started using this technology for better coordination between different service providers. Many entries are made at various points in a supply chain. When done manually, there can be errors. This technology will help to remove these errors. All interactions between various agencies like drivers, carriers, terminals, freight forwarders, shippers, and others are becoming faster with blockchain technology.
Because of the above factors, the supply chain is expected to get a big boost in India. But what benefits do professionals from the IIM Lucknow Supply Chain Management course derive from the growth of this industry? They get better job opportunities and higher pay as demand for such qualified people increases. Let us see some of the best jobs that they can aspire to take up.
Also Read: 5 Functions of Supply Chain Management
Highest Paying Jobs in Supply Chain
All companies that ship goods to customers must have an efficient logistics department. The logistics manager is responsible for the smooth movement of goods from sourcing to delivery. The person will supervise the activities of a group of employees in the warehouse, loading, and shipping departments. A manager at this position must make sure to improve efficiency in all these departments and find ways to decrease costs and improve customer satisfaction. They must analyze delivery times and prepare a report on this.
These professionals continue to find ways to reduce obstacles throughout the journey of a product from suppliers to customers. The person must also regularly coordinate with team leaders of various units to ensure that everything is in order. Regular inspection of warehouses, vehicles, and other equipment should be conducted, and repairs are undertaken if necessary. Another important work is to try and reduce inventory to optimum levels to save money and space. They must also hire, assess and promote their team members suitably.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 6,00,000 INR Per Annum
Supply Chain Manager
A supply chain manager coordinates between various teams in the supply chain. The person must also actively interact with sales teams to get market information. It is part of their job to create and implement policies with regard to supply chain management. They must also ensure that optimum inventory is maintained so that there is no dead investment or unwanted use of warehouse space. These professionals are in touch with suppliers regularly. They check various contracts with suppliers and analyze their cost-effectiveness.
Supply chain managers must lead and guide a team of managers under them. They must additionally ensure that there is a proper flow of information between different entities in the supply chain. Supply chain management online courses will equip them with enough knowledge to manage this department. They must be familiar with each of the areas like sourcing, warehouse management, transporting, order fulfillment, etc. Experience in different sections of logistics will be an added advantage. Strong interpersonal skills are essential to perform their duties successfully.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 8,00,000 INR Per Annum
Commodities managers are chiefly responsible for purchase and logistics. They must ensure that all purchase requests are completed on time, and there is enough availability of raw materials in the warehouses. These professionals keep a lookout for new suppliers of materials. They analyze these suppliers and find out if there is an opportunity to reduce costs. Mitigating supplier risk is another important task they perform. It is necessary to make sure that there is no shortage of raw materials that will lead to production breaks.
These experts are usually employed by companies that conduct high levels of purchasing of complex materials. This job is usually done inside an office. They are in regular touch with sales officers to understand order trends and arrange for enough raw materials. They must also ensure that all items they purchase maintain very high quality. Studying market trends and understanding demand for products is also part of their job. These people usually report to the CFO. This position usually demands a good amount of relevant experience.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 9,50,000 INR Per Annum
Purchasing managers are involved in almost all activities of a company. They are responsible for purchasing most items and ensuring that those are of the desired quality. These people maintain an excellent rapport with most suppliers. This will allow them to know any shortage of availability in advance. They are capable of reviewing proposals for new projects and understanding their benefits to the company. Regular interaction with marketing teams to discuss sales proposals is also part of their job.
This is one of the jobs in supply chain management that requires excellent analytical skills. They must also be good at math. Finding the viability and profitability of projects is one of their skills. These professionals are also tasked with handling contract negotiations with various vendors. A good business acumen combined with knowledge of their company and the industry will make them successful.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 7,25,000 INR Per Annum
Strategic Sourcing Manager
Though their name suggests that they are involved in sourcing, these professionals do much more than that. They are responsible for seeing that a company runs on profit. Their analysis drives all purchase decisions. These professionals are expected to search for new opportunities and development possibilities for the firm. When new plans are put in place, they are expected to convince people to accept and implement them. They work in tandem with purchasing and procurement teams.
Strategic sourcing managers regularly interact with suppliers and try to milk the best deal out of them. They must recruit suitable people for the sourcing job and train them. In many companies, the sourcing team reports to the strategic sourcing manager. Their duties include conducting independent market research and coming up with accurate forecasts. This will help in sourcing the right amount of raw materials without causing excess stocking. They will put in place various cost reduction strategies.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 10,00,000 INR Per Annum
Procurement managers are the people who connect a company with its suppliers. These people are tasked with finding good vendors for raw materials and finalizing contracts with them. They will ensure that the materials are of high quality and sold at the best prices. Procurement managers use excellent analytical skills to locate suppliers and get the most favorable terms with respect to supplies and payment. These officials also continuously monitor the performance of different vendors and make sure that they comply with the contract terms.
In companies where regular projects are undertaken, these managers interact with project managers and team heads to know their requirements in advance. This will help in making sure that all items are available for the completion of a project on time. As procurement involves selecting items as per required quality standards, most companies prefer a technically qualified person for the job. A certificate from an XLRI SCM course will be an additional arsenal for landing a good job. This institute is best for supply chain management courses.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 870,000 INR Per Annum
Production managers are responsible for manufacturing an item as per customer requirements. They must ensure that the quality assured by their company to customers is always maintained. These persons are tasked with planning the production of goods as per orders and ensure that there is no delay in their delivery. They will coordinate with the sales teams to make plans for production as per the sales forecast. The other important duty they perform is to ensure that all machines are in good condition to manufacture goods without any unexpected failure.
Production managers are also responsible for maintaining necessary safety standards in the factory. They must ensure that all safety measures are taken to protect people and equipment. These professionals must train new employees in factory operation. They must spend time at the plant and be ready to demonstrate practically to others. These people usually come to this position after many years of experience in the same company or in similar factories. They will continuously strive to improve efficiency and reduce production costs.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 675,000 INR Per Annum
As the name suggests, these officials are entrusted with maintaining a facility. This could be a hospital, hotel, factory, or warehouse. Their duty is to ensure that these premises are kept in a condition that would make them ready for functioning. In a factory, they must ensure that all machines are in good condition. They are also responsible for ensuring that utilities like power and water supply are functioning well. In many factories, there may be requirements for various gases. These must also be available when needed.
These professionals are also often tasked with warehouses. This is especially true when these storage spaces must meet certain special requirements. Perishable items must be kept at a particular temperature. Facilities managers must ensure that this is maintained at all times. Any repair to any of the equipment must be done immediately. There are other warehouses where goods must be arranged in a specific manner to prevent any damage. These must be ensured by having the required storage systems. They must possess the technical knowledge to ensure proper working of the facilities.
Average Salaries Mid Career: 530,000 INR Per Annum
The above positions may be available in various companies. It is essential to see which industries require the services of supply chain professionals the most.
Industries You Can Work For
There is perhaps no industry where the supply chain is as important as in the e-commerce business. This business has transformed the way people purchase things. Everything is available online, and anyone can buy it from anywhere at any time. This has made sales forecasting very difficult. Even with modern analytics, it is not easy to predict sales trends accurately. Such unpredictability brings with it a huge and expensive problem – overstocking. If they don’t have enough stocks, it is possible to lose customers.
An important lesson students learn in an IIM Lucknow supply chain management course is to maintain optimum inventory. All supply chain management officials must strive to maintain inventory in such a way that it doesn’t amount to holding slow-moving stock. Such stocks can also take up valuable space in warehouses. Companies must have enough items to execute all orders, but they should not exceed required levels and result in excess stocks. This is why this is an excellent industry for SCM officials to work in.
The retail industry is booming in India. There are large retail chains that sell a variety of products. Some sell almost everything you need for your home, while others specialize in certain types of merchandise. What is commonly found in all these companies is that they depend on immediate customer gratification for their survival and growth. Customers cannot wait to get their items in their hands. Retailers cannot stock too many items in their shops. A balance between these two happens with efficient supply chain management.
An efficient supply chain management can reduce the cost of moving inventory from one shop to another. It can also improve response to customer orders. Good logistics will make sure that customers can get their products when they want. In mail-order services, the time buyers must wait to get items delivered will be reduced considerably. Efficiency in this process will help retailers to offer a better mix of products to customers while reducing their inventory costs. SCM is a critical activity for retailers as it can make a customer either satisfied or frustrated.
With globalization, the automotive industry has spread so wide that you don’t know where many of your car parts are manufactured. A car has approximately 30,000 parts, and many of them are made at other factories. They must arrive at the car manufacturing plant for timely assembly. Even a small delay in the arrival of a couple of parts can delay the delivery of vehicles to customers. With most manufacturers adopting the just-in-time production methods, such delays could prove very costly to the makers.
Such a job could be highly challenging for any SC manager as there must be extremely great coordination between suppliers, manufacturing plants, and other entities that ensure timely delivery of parts. Extremely close monitoring of parts movement is essential to ensure everything reaches on time. It is necessary to integrate all entities on a common platform for complete visibility of parts at any time. Buying trends in this industry are affected by various factors. Supply chain managers must perform excellent risk management also in this industry.
The healthcare industry is unique because there are various stakeholders with different goals in the same business. A hospital may want to purchase a particular product, but actual users may want a different item. In the same manner, while the management may prefer to stock generic items, patients may demand specialized products. This makes maintaining inventory a difficult process in hospitals. These businesses cannot avoid keeping any product for fear of dissatisfying patients. The expiry of medicines is another aspect that hospitals have to consider when stocking medicines.
With healthcare costs rising steeply in recent years, all hospitals are trying to cut costs wherever possible and pass on the benefit to patients. An efficient supply chain is a solution for this. The SC officials will be able to locate sources closer to their business so that inventory can be limited. All supplies can be got within a short time, avoiding the need for keeping a heavy stock of items. A proper SCM setup will allow them to ensure that vendors are performing as per contract.
The above are just a few industries where supply chain management assumes a high significance. Almost all companies that deliver goods physically will need logistics management. With customers’ demand for price and deliveries becoming stringent by the day, companies cannot overlook this process. If there is so much demand, then this is an excellent profession to choose. But how do you become an SC professional?
Question of the Millennia –
How to Become a Supply Chain Manager?
Are you wondering how to get into this exciting and rewarding career? The first thing is to see where your passion lies. If you are in love with finance, you can get into operations and look at ways to control costs. An engineer can join a third-party logistics company and design new solutions. One must also look at what strengths they have. This can be done by taking various assessment tests that are available online. Try to enlighten yourself as much as possible about the profession and its intricacies.
The next step is to stay updated with the latest trends in this field. There is much on the internet to learn about what is happening in supply chain management. Attending events related to the supply chain is another method. This will also help you network with people who are already on the job. Talking to them will help you know more practical sides of this profession. Try to get a supply chain internship. This is the ideal way to stay ahead of others when it comes to getting a job.
Here are the skills you need
1. IT And Automation Skills
Supply chains cannot work efficiently without technology support. Whether it is in warehouse management or in inventory control, the use of the software is essential to do that job correctly. To be a good leader in this field, one must be familiar with software and know how to use them for improving efficiency. Analytics tools are also essential in modern circumstances to make better decisions.
2. Understanding Market Dynamics
The purchasing behavior of customers is changing rapidly, and this requires companies to keep up with these trends. A supply chain manager plays an important part in ensuring customer satisfaction. This makes it necessary that these professionals are aware of market dynamics and changes in customer preferences. As sourcing goes from local to global such awareness becomes highly essential.
3. Knowing Cost-To-Serve
An XLRI SCM course can teach how crucial a role supply chain management plays in the cost reduction of a product. It is necessary to know how much exactly it costs to serve every customer segment in a company. Not calculating costs incurred till the last mile of the journey can lead to losses or lesser profits in selling to some customers. This must be understood and corrected.
If there is anything that an SC manager faces most regularly, it is a change in plans. There are so many factors in a supply chain that could malfunction or delay. This means that all plans will have to change. Sometimes one will have to suddenly look for new suppliers. At other times it will be a search for alternative transport methods. Accepting change and being flexible is essential to do this job successfully.
A supply chain manager must have interactions with a variety of people both inside and outside the firm. They will need to get different teams to work together and complete jobs successfully. Collaboration is also needed with vendors of various items. When there is a shortage of any supplies or a price hike, an SC manager must negotiate and ensure that there are enough materials for production.
What is the qualification for supply chain management?
You must possess the necessary qualifications for the job. There are various paths to choose from. One can complete a business degree with a focus on supply chain management. An alternate way is to get a business degree and go for an online certification in this subject. There are also post-graduation courses from various reputed institutions. Ed-Tech firms like Talentedge offer various online courses in this specialization.
For someone aspiring to enter this profession, the first thing to do is to get a foot in the door. There are various entry jobs available that one can use for getting experience and learning the work. From there, it is easier to move ahead. What you need is a passion for the job and the willingness to put in a lot of long hours.