Career Development

What Does a Supply Chain Coordinator Do?

Find out what a Supply Chain Coordinator does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Supply Chain Coordinator.

The Supply Chain Coordinator plays an integral role in ensuring the smooth operation of supply chain activities, from procurement to delivery. This position involves overseeing the logistics of supply chain management to optimize efficiency and productivity, while also maintaining cost-effectiveness. By coordinating with suppliers, manufacturers, and customers, the Supply Chain Coordinator ensures that the right products are delivered to the right place at the right time. This role requires a keen eye for detail, strong organizational skills, and the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, ensuring that all elements of the supply chain work together seamlessly. Through effective communication and strategic planning, the Supply Chain Coordinator supports the overall goals of the organization by maintaining a steady flow of goods and materials, thus enabling businesses to meet their objectives with enhanced operational efficiency.

Supply Chain Coordinator Job Duties

  • Manage and optimize a supply chain logistics network with specific attention to planning, procuring, and coordinating the movement of products from suppliers to end users.
  • Negotiate contracts with suppliers and service providers to secure advantageous terms, including pricing, delivery schedules, and quality of goods.
  • Implement and oversee inventory management practices to ensure optimal stock levels, reduce holding costs, and minimize waste through efficient inventory turnover.
  • Coordinate with sales, production, and marketing departments to forecast demand and ensure the availability of products to meet customer needs without overstocking.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with logistics service providers to ensure timely and cost-effective transportation of goods.
  • Utilize supply chain management software and tools to analyze supply chain operations, identify bottlenecks, and recommend improvements for efficiency gains.
  • Ensure compliance with international and local regulations governing supply chain operations, including customs regulations, import/export restrictions, and environmental standards.
  • Lead sustainability initiatives within the supply chain, focusing on reducing the environmental impact of logistics operations and promoting ethical sourcing practices.

Supply Chain Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Factors impacting a Supply Chain Coordinator’s salary include industry experience, company size, and complexity of supply chain managed. Specialization in high-demand areas, such as technology or pharmaceuticals, and expertise in global logistics or sustainability practices can also significantly influence earnings. Advanced negotiation and analytical skills further enhance salary potential.

  • Median Annual Salary: $80,325 ($38.62/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $152,000 ($73.08/hour)

The employment of supply chain coordinators is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by the increasing complexity of global supply chains, the need for efficient logistics management, and the rising demand for faster, more reliable delivery services. Supply Chain Coordinators are crucial in navigating these challenges, ensuring smooth operations from procurement to distribution.

Supply Chain Coordinator Job Requirements

Education: A Supply Chain Coordinator typically holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management, Business Administration, or a related field, with a significant portion also pursuing Master’s Degrees for advanced knowledge. Relevant coursework includes logistics, operations management, procurement, and analytics. Majors in these areas equip candidates with the necessary skills for effective supply chain coordination, emphasizing strategic planning, problem-solving, and communication. Advanced degrees may focus on global supply chain strategies and leadership skills.

Experience: Supply Chain Coordinators typically come with a wealth of experience in logistics, inventory management, and procurement. They often have a background in overseeing supply chain operations, ensuring efficient delivery of products, and managing supplier relationships. On-the-job training is common, allowing coordinators to familiarize themselves with specific company processes and software. Additionally, many have participated in professional training programs to sharpen their negotiation, project management, and analytical skills, equipping them to handle complex supply chain challenges effectively.

Certifications & Licenses: Supply Chain Coordinator positions typically do not require specific certifications or licenses. However, certifications such as the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) from APICS or the Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) can be beneficial for career advancement.

Supply Chain Coordinator Skills

Inventory Management: Balancing stock levels to align with customer demand while avoiding excess or insufficient inventory requires analytical prowess and accurate forecasting. This capability ensures a seamless flow of goods through the supply chain, reducing costs and enhancing product availability.

Demand Forecasting: Predicting future customer demand with precision allows for the optimization of inventory levels, guaranteeing product availability without surplus. Analyzing historical sales data, market trends, and seasonal variations informs purchasing decisions and production planning.

Supplier Relationship Management: Maintaining steady goods and materials flow is achieved through effective supplier partnerships, crucial for uninterrupted production and timely customer demand fulfillment. It encompasses contract negotiations, dispute resolution, and collaboration with suppliers to boost supply chain efficiency and sustainability.

Logistics Coordination: Managing the movement of goods from suppliers to customers involves detailed planning, execution, and monitoring. It requires optimizing routes and schedules for timely deliveries, cost minimization, and quality maintenance.

Compliance Monitoring: Regular audits and proactive identification of potential compliance issues ensure supply chain activities meet legal, ethical, and regulatory standards. Collaborating with suppliers to address non-compliance and staying informed about legislative changes are part of this meticulous process.

Risk Management: Developing contingency plans to address potential supply chain disruptions involves monitoring market trends, assessing supplier stability, and being aware of geopolitical events that could affect goods and material flow.

Supply Chain Coordinator Work Environment

A Supply Chain Coordinator typically operates within an office setting, often situated within or near warehouse facilities to streamline operations. Their workspace is equipped with computers and advanced software tools essential for inventory management, order processing, and logistics planning. The nature of the job demands regular use of technology to communicate with suppliers, track shipments, and analyze supply chain performance.

Work hours may extend beyond the typical nine-to-five, especially during peak seasons or when managing international suppliers across different time zones. Dress code tends to be business casual, blending professionalism with the practical need for comfort, given occasional visits to warehouse environments.

The role involves a significant level of interaction with others, from internal teams to external partners, necessitating strong communication skills. The pace can be fast, driven by the need to meet deadlines and solve logistical challenges promptly. Opportunities for professional development are often available, given the dynamic nature of supply chain management, with companies encouraging upskilling in areas like data analysis and project management.

Advancement Prospects

A Supply Chain Coordinator can advance to roles such as Supply Chain Manager, Operations Manager, or even Director of Supply Chain, overseeing larger segments of the supply chain process. Progression often involves gaining expertise in inventory management, logistics, and procurement strategies.

To achieve these advancements, coordinators should focus on mastering data analysis tools and software specific to supply chain management, as these skills are crucial for higher-level decision-making and efficiency improvements.

Experience in project management and a track record of successful supplier negotiations also significantly enhance promotion prospects. Demonstrating leadership abilities by leading cross-functional teams on projects can pave the way to managerial positions.

Understanding global supply chain challenges and solutions is key for those aiming for director-level roles, where strategic planning and international logistics become paramount.


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