The demand for supply chain managers is very high owing to the retail and e-commerce boom that global businesses are experiencing. If you are aspiring to join the big companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Walmart, Big Bazaar, Reliance and the likes, then a career in supply chain management can land you there.
The role of supply chain managers involves end-to-end integration and coordination of various processes, right from procurement of raw materials to delivering the final product to the customer. It also encompasses demand forecasting and inventory budgeting so that the work can be done right at the right time.
The skills required by a supply chain manager are:
- Project management
- Information technology
- Knowledge of cost ratios
- Understanding of market dynamics and economics
- People Management
The first step to becoming a supply chain manager is preferably obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business or management, with specialization in Supply Chain. However, you can also enrol in a supply chain management certificate program to show the desired qualification on your resume. Formal education will introduce you to the concepts of supply chain management, various processes, logistics, warehousing, distribution and other associated functions. The modules will also teach you about costs, revenues, value chain, quality management, inventory management, performance models and decision-making tools.
With your fundamentals clear and a basic degree in hand, you can apply for an internship or entry-level job in an organization. However, if you want to climb the career ladder in this field, you need to pour your heart and soul into grasping the business dynamics. You would require understanding the vision of the organization, looking at the big picture, finding out the challenges and opportunities in the industry and accordingly delivering solutions to make supply chain efficient.
Since your job demands end-to-end, holistic collaboration, it is imperative that you don’t shy away from groundwork. Remember that you will gain experience with every kind of task, no matter how small or complex. The more experience you get, more knowledgeable and expert you will become at the processes. This is the right way to climb the career ladder.
However, since the supply chain business is very dynamic, you need to evolve your skills with time. Technology and automation are game-changing tools in this industry. The right knowledge on this front can give you an upper hand over your peers. So, try to acquaint yourself with big data, analytics and database systems.
In order to stay updated with trends, it is advisable to do supply chain certification courses at regular intervals.