Thanks to the continued growth of e-commerce, supply chain management is a rapidly expanding global industry. While many traditional manufacturing and trade jobs are disappearing, supply chain managers who can help satisfy customer needs in the most cost-effective way possible are in high demand.What is supply chain management?
Supply chain management covers every aspect of product distribution from ordering the raw materials to the safe delivery of the item to the customer or store. Its primary objective is to maximise customer service levels while minimising overall distribution costs. In the Amazon age, where customers are used to receiving next-day delivery as a standard level of service, supply chain management professionals are required to develop increasingly innovative shipping and transportation solutions to stay competitive in the industry.
What skills do you need?
Effective supply chain management professionals have strong analytical skills and are able to understand patterns and trends within data. In addition to an understanding of the technical aspects of supply chains, they also require leadership skills typical of managerial positions, for example strong verbal and written communication abilities, being able to work within a team, and reacting effectively to stressful or unexpected situations.
What career options are available?
Career options for those with a qualification in supply chain management are varied and plentiful. Supply chain management professionals work in virtually every industry, including manufacturing, governmental, educational, and retail, and effective supply chain management is important for all organisations, no matter their size.
Some possible career paths include:
• Warehouse management – maintaining a warehouse and its inventory, controlling stock management, and overseeing the packing and shipping of orders.
• Freight transportation – overseeing the transportation of goods between supplier and distributor, including operational strategies, budgeting, insurance, and customs.
• Inventory management and control – optimising inventory control procedures and ensuring inventory is ready for shipment.
• Demand forecasting – using a company’s statistical data to estimate product demands and plan inventory flow.
• Supply chain consultancy – advising companies on how to improve their supply chain processes and networks.
• Purchase management – overseeing a company’s purchasing department, including identifying suppliers of raw materials, negotiating contracts, and managing suppliers once they are under contract.
Interested in a career in logistics and supply chain management?
An MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of Hull Online can equip you with the in-depth knowledge, tools, and techniques you need to master the complexities of global supply chains and provide you with valuable industry connections and networking opportunities.