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Saturday, October 25, 2014 | 2:40 PM CDT

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What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply Chain Management (SCM) includes all the activities that must take place to get the right product into the right consumer’s hands in the right quantity and at the right time – from raw materials extraction to consumer purchase. SCM focuses on planning and forecasting, purchasing, product assembly, moving, storage, distribution, sales and customer service. SCM professionals are involved in every facet of the business process as they strive to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by building and delivering products better, faster and cheaper.

Supply chain management professionals play a role in all kinds of organizations - manufacturers, retailers, transportation companies, third party logistics firms, government agencies and service firms. Firms from around the world in all sectors of the economy recruit SCM graduates. As a supply chain professional, an individual could work in a variety of areas including purchasing, logistics, new product development, global sourcing and procurement, quality management, inventory control or traffic analysis, operations and supplier relationship management. Competitive pressures and sophisticated customers who demand innovative and speedy solutions characterize today’s global business environment. Understanding and optimizing business processes is a cornerstone of success, and for this reason, supply chain professionals are in strong demand.

Successful supply chain professionals are typically detailed-oriented with an ability to prioritize, plan and organize. In addition, they are usually quick-learners, possess excellent communication skills, can effectively manage relationships and work in teams, and effective problem-solvers.

Supply Chain Management professionals make business better

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding careers in SCM.  This information will help you to learn more about a career in SCM and understand the opportunities such a career may have in store for you.

What kinds of people pursue SCM degrees?

The profiles of SCM professionals are varied, but in general, such individuals possess many of the following traits:

What are typical career options for SCM professionals?

Why should I choose to major in Supply Chain Management?

What is an average salary for an SCM professional?

Supply Chain Management majors have among the highest average starting salaries of the undergraduate degree programs at Mays Business School. The average starting salary for Supply Chain Management graduates was $58,000 in 2014 with top students commanding salaries as high as $72,500.