7 Reasons Why You Should Pursue a Career in Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management includes every phase of the product life-cycle from purchasing raw materials to delivering the finished product. It includes logistics, customer returns and disposal in many firms as well. It truly impacts every facet of the organization and our lives. Here are seven reasons why you should pursue a career in supply chain management.
The growing complexity of supply chain management, driven as much by outsourcing and international suppliers as customer demands and regulatory requirements, is increasing demand in turn for qualified professionals.
Logistics by itself is likely to see a seven percent job growth over the next ten years. If you’re familiar with areas like international supplier agreement negotiations or regulatory compliance, you’ll be highly sought after. A side benefit of working in supply chain management is that you make everyone else’s job possible. You are essential to the smooth operation of the organization, ensuring that they won’t want to see you leave.
Although supply chain management and logistics is a fast growing and promising field, many might still worry about landing their first job. Luckily, there are many stepping stone opportunities for people who are interested in an entry-level position. Many companies will offer internships, many of them paid, which will give interns a chance to succeed into a permanent position.
Supply chain managers are well compensated. Experts in supply chain and logistics had an average pay rate of $75,000 a year in 2017. The top 10% earned more than $120,000 a year.
We can expect compensation to remain strong, since the number of supply chain jobs is rising twice as fast as the overall number of jobs. Nor are there enough people entering the field to meet demand. One industry study found that demand exceeds supply by a six to one ratio. This suggests wages for supply chain managers will increase faster than the number of jobs for the foreseeable future.
There are some low-end jobs in supply chain management available to those with an associate’s degree. In general, you need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in supply chain management. With an online masters in supply chain management, you’re prepared for the better paying and more challenging roles in supply chain management. An advanced degree paves the way for rapid advancement, since you’ll have the education that eliminates the need for many years of experience.
A side benefit of working in logistics and supply chain is the number of transferable skills you gain. When you learn how to optimize workflows, forecast demand, manage payments and accounts receivable and oversee people, you can move on to management or a purely financial role later. Another option is working with the technology that enables real time data collection on everything from what you have in inventory to where a particular package is at this moment.
The highly structured and tiered nature of supply chain organizations provides many opportunities for advancement. You can start out as a buyer or procurement analyst and become a purchasing manager. Begin by scheduling shipments and deliveries, and you can move up to managing the logistics group. An operations research analyst or business analyst can become the supply chain manager or head of distribution.
Anyone in supply chain management could move up to project management, warehouse operations, or even become director of operations. If you’ve demonstrated your ability to optimize workflows and improve the quality of service, you could become a management consultant.
A job in supply chain management opens up the possibility of international travel paid for by your employer. Perhaps you need to tour the factories overseas where components would be made for your product. Or you’ll be traveling to meet with customers and suppliers abroad to negotiate purchase agreements. This job also opens up the possibility of moving abroad. It is a good way to break into international business, as well. For example, Asian countries are reporting a shortage of experienced supply chain personnel, and an American company would be willing to relocate someone to fill this critical role.
Supply chain management is required by firms large and small around the world. This means you could find a job in supply chain management whether working for a factory in your home town, an eCommerce firm in Silicon Valley and almost anywhere else. For example, you could work in warehousing, wholesaling, and package delivery. In fact, you could work in the nonprofit sector shipping care packages and organizing the delivery of relief supplies.
You could work for any large business overseeing their procurement of parts, shipment of finished products, the outsourcing of work and services, and handling customer returns and the disposal of waste. And you can find employment with governmental agencies, as well. This is, after all, a 1.3 trillion-dollar industry employing around eleven million people.
While good pay and steady employment might be attractive, one of the main reasons why you should consider a career in supply chain management is because of how fulfilling it can be. In one recent report conducted on a group of millennials, most respondents surveyed saw the supply chain management field as a rewarding one.
Furthermore, graduates who enter the field are much less likely to switch jobs and most of them see their chances for advancement as promising. 81 percent also said that they felt they could make a difference in the field and 87 percent said that supply chain management could contribute to their personal development and growth.
While supply chain management tends to operate behind the scenes, businesses know that smooth error-free performance is essential for them to remain in business. There are a number of unique benefits of working in supply chain management, but knowing that customers and bosses all value your work cannot be understated. Have you been inspired? Let us know in the comments.