Jobs in supply chain management cover a wide range of responsibilities that include helping to plan, create, move, and manage all aspects of a company’s or institution’s products and/or services. To ensure a constant flow of goods from supplier to consumer, this chain of connected segments is managed on several levels. Director of logistics, director of operations, warehouse manager, project manager, sourcing manager, consultant, and chief information officer are just a few examples.
It helps to be familiar with the five management processes: plan, source, make, deliver, and return to better understand the variety of supply chain management jobs. Plan is a resource strategy that satisfies customer expectations maximizing efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. The development and oversight of product pricing, payment, and shipping is the responsibility of Source.
Manufacturing encompasses all aspects of the process, including production, packaging, testing, shipping preparation, and product innovation. Deliver covers the entire process of getting a product from the factory to the customer, including warehousing, inventory, and invoicing. Return is the system for dealing with products that are defective or damaged.
The five management processes demonstrate how varied supply chain management jobs are and how diverse a supply chain manager’s responsibilities are. Each process considers a different aspect of business, and even that varies from company to company depending on the needs of the company and the needs of its customers. The responsibilities of an operations manager, for example, vary greatly depending on the type of facility being managed. Shipping schedules and inventory software are among the responsibilities of a warehouse, while material purchasing and safety concerns are those of a manufacturing facility.
Even within a job, the requirements can change drastically from day to day. A vice president of supply chain management is in charge of overseeing all aspects of the company. His or her job is to assist in the integration, troubleshooting, and streamlining of each step of the supply chain, as well as to get involved wherever he or she is needed or can improve efficiencies. This could include meeting with a vendor to develop and improve manufacturing procedures one day and overseeing the implementation of a new inventory protocol the next.
There is no one-size-fits-all career path in supply chain management. While logistics degrees and internships are advantageous, they are not required if adequate on-the-job experience can be obtained. Most supply chain management professionals have spent many years honing their supply chain procedures while also honing their management and business skills. Top-level supply chain managers come from all five management districts and are typically promoted based on strong overall business knowledge, the ability to juggle multiple tasks, and performance success.