Working in the supply chain industry is a rewarding career for people who enjoy solving problems and optimizing procedures. You get to streamline operations to satisfy customers and do so by putting your mind to work.
And when career satisfaction for supply chain managers remains strong, it makes the field an attractive choice for people looking for their next career.
The question is, what’s the best way to get a job in the supply chain industry? Read the guide below to learn what it takes to get started with supply chain careers.
What Is a Supply Chain Manager
Knowing about the supply chain manager position isn’t enough to want it as a job. There are a lot of responsibilities in the position, so your first step will be to understand what supply chain professionals do every day. Here are a few tasks you can expect to handle as a supply chain expert.
One of the primary roles of a supply chain manager is to handle logistics. You’ll define how the supply chain operates, set up the operation, and keep everything running smoothly.
You’ll need to learn everything from warehouse management to shipping processes. After that, you’ll need to incorporate feedback from customers and stakeholders to optimize the operation.
Operations management is the process you go through to optimize the supply chain system of a company. You’ll take all the data points you receive from partners and use them to find weak points in your operation.
You’ll then make small changes to see how they work. You’ll continue testing changes to find the best way to handle every part of the supply chain.
In a perfect world, the cost wouldn’t be an issue with the supply chain. But companies want to make as much money as possible. As a result, you’ll need to minimize costs as much as possible.
Your goal is to reduce overhead without sacrificing quality. You’ll do this with intelligent operations management and hiring quality employees.
How Do You Start a Supply Chain Career?
Now that you understand what’s expected of you as a supply chain manager, you need to learn what it takes to get started. Follow the steps below to start your career in the supply chain industry.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to getting started with supply chain management is to get an education. There are a lot of little details that go into this job. If you don’t have the right educational background, it’s hard to get started in the industry.
There are some educational resources that teach you how to manage supply chains directly. These more focused courses will help you learn everything you need for your career.
However, you can go for a more traditional degree and still see success. You can major in things like business, finance, and process engineering. These degrees are also helpful for other careers, so they’re a great choice.
In some cases, you may be able to get an entry job in supply chain management without a degree. But this is much harder and doesn’t have a guarantee of success.
Get Work Experience
You won’t get the exact job you want immediately in the supply chain industry. Even if you learn a ton in your studies and get good grades, there is a lot you can’t learn unless you experience it on the job.
You’ll need to get an entry-level job to gain that experience. Check on job sites for companies that are trying to fill junior positions.
Try to stick with companies known to train people and promote from within. You don’t want to be just another number on a sheet. You want to work for a company that treats workers with respect and gives them the tools to advance their careers.
Look for a Master’s Degree
Even though you can move your way up to a supply chain manager with a Bachelor’s degree, many companies don’t hire for that role without a Master’s degree. They want supply chain workers to go above and beyond to gain the right experience.
Because of that, they expect people to have a Master’s degree when applying for advanced jobs.
Many people stick to an MBA when doing this. It will give you the business experience required to handle the upper-level supply chain manager tasks.
You have another option if you want to stand out in the supply chain management field. For some companies, it’s hard to determine if someone has the knowledge to handle the job with entry-level jobs and degrees. However, there are certifications available that test people on specific parts of the job for more advanced roles.
Here are some certifications to consider:
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
- Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
- Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)
See what it takes to get each of these certifications, and think about getting them before moving to your next job.
Move to the Supply Chain Manager Role
Once you have the right experience and qualifications for a management role, it’s time to start looking for your dream job as a supply chain manager.
To start, check your current employer to see if there are any openings. The company owners already know you have the skill for the job, so you may have an easier time getting a job at your current place of employment.
However, you may need to look for a position at another company. Start your search on job boards for supply chain managers. Be sure to understand what to look for in jobs and tailor your resume and cover letters to what those companies want.
Eventually, you’ll land a job as a supply chain manager.
Start Your Supply Chain Manager Career Today
Supply chain managers perform an essential role in the world. They keep the products companies sell to customers shipping on time and without accidents. Without them, it would be much harder to get the things you need to live your life.
That’s why so many people think of starting a supply chain manager career. Now that you know what working in supply chain management takes, start working towards your goal of finding a job in the industry.
Check out the blog for more tips on choosing a career path.