Career Development

Supply Chain Manager Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

Supply chain managers are a key part of the business world. They help to ensure that businesses have secured an ample supply of raw materials, supplies, and other items that they need to run their operations. They then manage the logistics behind getting those items from point A to point B to ensure there are no delays or other issues along the way.

Supply chain managers are a key part of the business world. They help to ensure that businesses have secured an ample supply of raw materials, supplies, and other items that they need to run their operations. They then manage the logistics behind getting those items from point A to point B to ensure there are no delays or other issues along the way.

Beyond the obvious logistical duties of this role, supply chain managers must also stay up-to-date on industry trends and regulations so they can anticipate future challenges and problems.

Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a supply chain manager and what it takes to become one yourself.

Supply Chain Manager Job Duties

Supply chain managers have a number of responsibilities, including:

  • Planning, coordinating, and overseeing the flow of materials or products from supplier to customer, using software that integrates all aspects of the supply chain process
  • Reviewing inventory levels on hand and ordering more product as needed to meet customer demand
  • Developing relationships with suppliers to ensure product availability and negotiate pricing terms with suppliers
  • Coordinating with members of sales teams to develop forecasts for future demand by region or on a companywide level
  • Measuring performance against goals on an ongoing basis in order to identify problems that may require hiring additional staff or implementing changes in processes
  • Monitoring competitors’ prices and adjusting own prices accordingly based on market conditions
  • Analyzing data from multiple sources including supply chain operations, customer purchasing preferences, financial reports, industry trends, government regulations, and economic indicators to make strategic decisions about future operations. 

Supply Chain Manager Salary & Outlook

The median annual wage for supply chain managers is $77,250. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the manufacturing industry, and the top earners are making over $157,000 per year.

Demand for supply chain managers is expected to grow steadily over the next decade. As technology advances and companies look for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency, they will turn to their supply chains as one way to do this. Supply chain managers will be in demand as organizations look for ways to boost profits while providing high-quality products at affordable prices.

Supply Chain Manager Job Requirements

The requirements for supply chain managers are as follows:

Education: Supply chain managers must have a bachelor’s degree in business, logistics or another relevant field of study. A number of universities across the country offer specialized programs for supply chain management.

Training: Supply chain managers should have several years of experience before entering the position. They typically start out in an entry-level position and work their way up through the ranks. They learn about inventory control, sales and inventory forecasting, transportation management and purchasing.

Certifications & Licenses: A professional certification is not required for this job, but many companies prefer candidates who hold one. Some examples include Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).

Supply Chain Manager Skills

Supply chain managers need the following skills:

Strong communication skills: Supply chain managers must be able to communicate effectively with employees, clients, and vendors.

Organizational skills: Supply chain managers must be organized in order to keep track of all information regarding their business.

Ability to handle stress: The job is high-stress because supply chain managers are responsible for so many people and departments within their company. They are also responsible for making important decisions that can affect the entire company.

Knowledge of the industry: It is important for supply chain managers to know what is going on in their industry and how it will affect their business and customers. This knowledge helps them make better decisions and provide better customer service.

Management skills: Supply chain managers must be able to manage and supervise employees, both directly and indirectly.

Decision-making skills: A supply chain manager must be able to make quick decisions about issues that arise on the job.

Supply Chain Manager Work Environment

Supply chain managers may work for a variety of businesses, from manufacturing companies to wholesalers and retail stores. Supply chain managers usually work in offices, but they may spend time traveling to meet with suppliers or attend meetings when necessary.

The job can be stressful because supply chain managers are responsible for overseeing the delivery of products on time and within budget. Supply chain managers typically work during normal business hours; however, overtime is often required to meet deadlines or solve problems.

Supply Chain Manager Career Advancement

As a supply chain manager, your career progression is a bit more flexible, depending on the company you work for and your personal ambition. You may find that you’re happy as a supply chain manager and choose to remain in that position.

Or, you might want to advance to a position as a supply chain director. With these responsibilities, you’ll oversee supply chain managers and be responsible for all aspects of the supply chain. You may even have the opportunity to oversee the entire procurement department and look for ways to save the company money through procurement and efficiency.

To advance your career, you can focus on strategic planning, increasing your knowledge of the product, or increasing your knowledge of supply chain logistics. This will allow you to solve problems, create more efficient plans, and increase profits for your company.

Supply Chain Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how supply chain managers work. Supply chain managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Global Supply Chain

In recent years, globalization has been a major trend in supply chain management as more and more companies focus on international trade.

The need for companies to compete on an international scale is pushing many businesses to consider automation as a means of improving efficiency and productivity.

Some argue that this will result in job losses, but it’s more likely that the adoption of new technologies will simply lead to higher skill requirements for workers in this field. 

Impact of Robotics and Automation

The increased use of robotics and automation has led to concerns about the impact on supply chain managers, as some believe it will replace their jobs entirely.

However, there are some fields that may benefit from this trend as companies continue to move towards greater transparency and efficiency through data analytics, which will allow for faster response times and stronger relationships with customers. 

Local Sourcing and Production

Local sourcing and production have become a growing trend for supply chain managers as they move towards increasing awareness of environmental impact and sustainability.

As businesses move towards more environmentally-friendly practices, supply chain managers will need to find ways to meet the needs of customers who want locally sourced products while still staying within budget.

How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

1. Planning Your Career Path

Supply chain managers play a critical role in coordinating the flow of goods from manufacturer to consumer. To succeed in this field, it is important to have strong analytical skills and good communication skills; you will be managing people as well as information, so strong leadership abilities are also key.

A background in business administration or a related field is helpful for those interested in pursuing a career as a supply chain manager. However, if you don’t have a degree but still want to enter this field, you can start by building your experience by working at a company that provides services to businesses such as shipping and receiving. 

Look for ways to get more involved in the industry. Attend conferences and networking events; volunteer to help with logistics for an event or client; or reach out to someone in the field to ask about their career path. The more time you spend working in the field, the better equipped you will be when it comes time to apply for jobs.

2. Writing a Resume

The best resumes for supply chain managers highlight their ability to manage multiple projects and manage people. It’s important to list not only the skills that you possess, but also how you’ve demonstrated these skills in previous jobs.

For example, you may want to emphasize how effectively you organized your team and delegated responsibilities, or how well you used technology to streamline processes. When describing your previous work history, provide details on what you accomplished at each job in the form of metrics or numbers. 

Also, include any certifications or licenses that are relevant to the position–this will show employers your commitment to continuing your education and keeping current on industry trends.

3. Applying for Jobs

If you want to become a Supply Chain Manager, start by determining which industries you are interested in. Then, reach out to supply chain professionals working in those fields and ask them about their work. It’s always best to have some familiarity with the company before applying for a job there. Use LinkedIn and other professional networking sites to contact employers and search for job openings. Connect with recruiters, and be proactive about reaching out to companies to let them know that you’re interested in employment opportunities.

During your job search, keep an eye out for industry-related conferences, workshops, and seminars where you can network with other professionals. This is also a great way to gather information about companies and discuss potential job opportunities. If you don’t see any events happening in your area, there are several resources online where you can network with like-minded individuals and get information about current industry trends.

4. Ace the Interview

The interviewer will be interested in your aptitude for both analytical thinking and general business acumen. You’ll likely be asked to describe your resume in an engaging way, but also to elaborate on how your experience might translate into something valuable for the company.

It is especially important to demonstrate that you are familiar with the type of work that the company does. It can help to do some research beforehand, so that you are prepared to talk about the most pressing issues in supply chain management today.

Be mindful of your demeanor throughout the interview. Be sure to smile, maintain eye contact with your interviewer, and speak with an enthusiastic (yet still calm and confident) tone of voice.


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