What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management 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. This field focuses on planning and forecasting, purchasing, product assembly, moving, storage, distribution, sales and customer service. Supply chain management 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.

Career Opportunities

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 supply chain management 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 typically

  • Possess good problem solving skills
  • Are able to effectively manage time and resources
  • Have a clear vision of “the big picture” as well as the “small details”
  • Desire working closely with other people
  • Possess excellent communication skills
  • Have the ability to think strategically about technology
  • Have a desire to take responsibility for developing and implementing their own ideas