When I started my career the term “Supply Chain” had just been coined. As such it was many years before I heard of the term “Supply Chain Management”.

Given the phenomenal opportunities that Supply Chain offers for personal and professional growth it is a career path which I highly recommend to anyone.

What is it about Supply Chain that makes it such an appealing career path?

Something for Everyone!

Every person has different interests, motivators, goals and objectives in selecting their jobs and careers.

Some people want physical activity, some want something more intellectual or analytical, and still others want some combination of both.

Some people want a very structured job while others want something with variation. Some want to do work that is more transactional while others want work that is more project based.

The fantastic thing about working in Supply Chain is that there is literally something for everyone. Supply Chain is so broad based and extensive that anyone choosing this career path can find something to fulfil their goals and objectives.

What Makes Supply Chain Special?

A core reason why Supply Chain is so appealing is because of the tremendous breadth of what it is and what it encompasses.

“Supply chain management (SCM) is the broad range of activities required to plan, control and execute a product’s flow, from acquiring raw materials and production through distribution to the final customer, in the most streamlined and cost-effective way possible.

SCM encompasses the integrated planning and execution of processes required to optimize the flow of materials, information and financial capital in the areas that broadly include demand planning, sourcing, production, inventory management and storage, transportation — or logistics — and return for excess or defective products. Both business strategy and specialized software are used in these endeavors to create a competitive advantage.”

This definition gives a great overview. Supply Chain involves planning, execution, physical flows of goods, the flow of information, processes, financial management, sourcing, logistics, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, repair and recycling, business management and much, much more.

No matter what your interests are there is likely something very attractive to you about some, many or all aspects of Supply Chain.

Job Diversity

Given the tremendous breadth of what Supply Chain is it follows that the number of jobs is equally diverse.

In most companies Supply Chain jobs include planning, strategic procurement, logistics management, fork truck operation, dispatching, scheduling, inventory control, assembly, processing, maintenance, planning, buying, sourcing, packaging, quality control, inventory management, space planning, supplier management, capacity management, lean, process design and transformation, I/T systems development and management, repair and recycling, expense management and financial controls, resource planning, analytics, cash flow management, training and education, and much more.

These jobs could involve working in a Warehouse, Distribution Centre, Manufacturing operation, or in an Office environment, or all of the above.

Supply Chain also spans virtually every industry. Manufacturing and Distribution based industries are obviously built on Supply Chain. But even industries such as Banking require Supply Chain skills for planning, supplier sourcing and management, process design, information flow management, procurement, and cash management. And obviously Supply Chain Consulting is a huge and growing business.

Reasons Why to Choose a Supply Chain Management Career

There could be several reasons to choose a Career Path, but Supply Chain Careers offer exciting opportunities locally and globally, some of the reasons Why you can consider Supply Chain as a Career Option:

1. Supply Chain Management Career Variety

Supply Chain Management is a broad umbrella term that includes many roles and functional areas, including operations, purchasing, warehousing, distribution and logistics. 

Common job titles include:

  • Purchasing Agent
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Logistics Analyst
  • Logistics Manager
  • Distribution Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager

2. Supply Chain Management Job Growth

While the growth of digital business holds the promise of innovation, optimization, and new products and services, physical goods can’t reach their destination without physical assets to get them there…logistics has become a strategic differentiator.”

3. Supply Chain Management Salaries

As these new opportunities are created and the role of supply chain and logistics becomes ever more critical, the demand and competition for top talent to serve as strategic leaders is likely to increase, resulting in competitive salaries, especially in roles at the manager-and-higher levels. 

4. Supply Chain Management Career Advancement

Within the supply chain, there are ample opportunities to move from entry level roles, to management, to director-level positions. At larger organizations, there may also be opportunities for VP or Director level roles or specific product line ownership.

Author: Sandeep Jagota, Procurement Manager,
Kiewit Supply Network, Canada

1 comment on “Career Path in Supply Chain

  1. Great insights Sandeep. The span of SC’s reach is so much that it is now a major influencer on any business’ revenue. If any one is up for taking challenges, go the Supply Chain route, no doubt!

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