Eight reasons to consider a career in supply chain management.

This handy guide answers common questions for those considering a career in supply chain management (SCM) and provides eight reasons why you should take the leap.

What skills do I need to work in the supply chain industry?

It depends on the role. The great thing is that supply chain roles demand a diverse range of skill sets, so chances are you already have some skills that would help you be a success. Good skills to have if you want to work in a supply chain management role include:

  • Inquisitiveness.
  • The ability to seek out and identify trends in data.
  • Forecasting based on data.
  • Problem-solving skills, with the ability to be pragmatic and think on your feet.
  • Change management skills, especially in roles where you’ll be managing in all directions.

The global supply chain landscape is changing by the minute, so your skills and knowledge must remain sharp too.

What qualifications do I need to get supply chain jobs?

Most recruiters within businesses looking for supply chain management professionals will seek out candidates with a bachelor’s degree or whatever the local equivalent is where you went to college or university. Some roles specify that you need a degree in a logistics or supply chain-related field. Others may look for graduates in general, but if you’ve completed a degree across a broader range of topics with modules related to supply chains and inventory management, your application may benefit. 

Now we have some background to SCM, let’s look at the reasons why you should consider this field for your full-time career.

  1. You can choose your industry

The supply chain is a major part of business today, but it is more accurate to say that it is an industry in itself. While that is true to some extent, there’s a difference between working in supply chain and working within a supply chain in a specific industry.

There are many different routes you can take to shape your career. With supply chains in almost every industry, you can work with a company you’re passionate about and still have a role in the supply chain. A job in supply chain can give you a vital role in ensuring others who love those products get what they need when they need them. This will give you the opportunity to explore opportunities in both B2B and B2C supply chains.

  1. Diversity of supply chain roles

Deciding you want to work in supply chain management is just the start. Supply chains have many moving parts, which means there are many different roles available.

When you work in supply chain management, you could be:

  • A procurement manager, working alongside supply chain planners sourcing raw materials.
  • Working in warehousing.
  • An inventory management specialist.
  • A distribution network planner.
  • Involved in delivery fulfillment, either in terms of bulk freight or customer deliveries.
  • Overseeing optimisation of the broader value chain.
  1. In supply chain operations, every day is different

As a result of the way supply chains work, no two days will ever be the same. While this is true even of simple supply chains, complex global supply chains are even more diverse. As a result, you will never get bored with going to the office and doing the same thing every day between 9 and 5. Rather, there will be new challenges, new ways of working, new suppliers to identify and audit, new supplier relationships to manage, new people to meet, and new problems to solve.

  1. Demand for supply chain professionals is growing

As the global economy continues to grow, low and middle-income countries continue to catch up to high-income nations in terms of consumption, which requires supply chains to be more robust. The demand for raw materials is increasing, warehousing needs are changing and logistics management is becoming more complex. This is resulting in a greater demand for highly skilled supply chain professionals and more opportunities.

  1. Jobs deliver tangible outcomes

Low levels of job satisfaction can be attributed to a lack of a sense of achievement, according to many studies. In supply chain management, you get to see your work come to fruition in the real world, which often leads to a greater sense of achievement.

  1. Opportunities to travel

If you’re managing global supply chains, you may get the chance to travel pretty often and see many different parts of the world. Although the trips will be more work than sightseeing, supply chain jobs can offer an array of international opportunities.

  1. Potential low barriers to entry

While you need post-graduate or industry-specific qualifications for many high-paying fields, for supply chain roles, having a bachelor’s degree is enough to get started. Some companies may not ask for any qualifications. Employers often provide practical training, which can make you an expert in your field.

  1. Supply chain and logistics management is increasingly tech-driven

If you’re a young person starting to work, you probably value how tech helps your career and self-development. Logistics and supply chain management is increasingly technology-based as well as having the need for skilled individuals. Automation will play a role, but there will always be a need for experts in the field, so it’s a good combination of tech and self-development. •