Supply chain and logistics are pretty much the heart of every product-selling business. There is a need for shelves to be stocked, and many times the stock will come from a supplier. And then, of course, there is the moving of the products, especially if delivering as a result of every sale. A lot of the responsibilities around this fall on the shoulders of a supply chain manager, who has to ensure that the manufacturing, supply and logistics of a company run smoothly. But is that all there is to it? In this article, we look at how supply chain management is a wise and lucrative career path and the benefits it offers those who choose to pursue this path.
First, A Refresher
Supply chain management has evolved into a complex discipline over the years, especially through the pandemic. This career requires sound logistical and leadership skills, as the overall business success relies heavily on supply chain success. Professionals with a thorough understanding of supply chain and logistics management are valued by companies across sectors, opening up a world of opportunities for growth in the industry.
What Can You Do In Supply Chain & Logistics?
Like every career, there are a few streams you can follow under the supply chain management and logistics path; however, an overall understanding of this career is key to deciding which stream you want to be an expert in. A supply chain and logistics management course can give you an introduction to the world of this career while equipping you with the necessary knowledge and skills to become a supply chain and logistics manager who is sought after. Great management of supply chain and logistics in the company or business you work for will earn you growth opportunities, so you can always take up a course so that you broaden your horizon. Here are some of the potential positions in the supply chain and management industry based on the career website, Indeed:
- Distribution specialist: As a distribution specialist, you manage the warehouse’s ability to obtain, keep and deliver company equipment, supplies and goods.
- Logistical analyst: Logistical analysts focus on the lifespan of a product or service, streamlining processes and assessing the business’s abilities.
- Operational manager: As an operational manager, you oversee daily functions within the supply chain like production, quality control and distribution.
- Purchasing agent: A purchasing agent focuses on obtaining the best materials for producing quality products. To do this, they consider aspects like cost, availability, sustainability and reliability.
As you can tell, this is a growing industry, meaning you can find your speciality once you’ve hit the ground running. Now let’s take a look at some benefits of being in the supply chain and logistics management industry.
Career Advancement And Competitive Salaries
In the supply chain and logistics industry, there is always a demand for more skilled and qualified people. This is because, with technology changing, there is a need for people who can adapt to the new norms and deliver exceptional work at all times. However, the supply chain logistics industry offers upskilling opportunities such as internships, apprenticeships and learnership to hone your skills and add to your qualification and your new capabilities. The more you grow in this industry, the more you advance into higher positions and better-paying jobs. In time, more travelling and even freelance opportunities start presenting themselves too. So, always be up to learn more and gain more skills.
Industry Options And International Connections
If you are a supply chain and logistics manager at a relatively large company, you probably have travelled outside the country due to work or have witnessed it happen. This means there is an opportunity to see the world through the supply chain and logistics management lens, depending on your position. Another benefit is that you can work across different sub-sectors such as wholesaling, postal servicing, and warehousing in any supply chain and logistics position.
While the supply chain and logistics industry offers many opportunities for personal growth, there are also business and company benefits that, with the right planning, can be seen in any company. Let’s take a look at some.
Improved Customer Experience
Every company wants to appear great in the eyes of its customers. Therefore, there is a paramount need for great customer service at all times that includes the logistics or supply side of things. Is the product available? When will the customer receive it? How much will it cost to deliver it? Your supply chain and logistics team have to be able to answer these questions at all times. This will result in your customers either returning or recommending you. And any kind of engagement with a business is beneficial for its growth and profit. And if you are working as a supply chain and logistics manager, you get to benefit from the return on investment.
Beat The Competition
An excellent supply chain and logistics manager will find it easier to help businesses beat their competition and, in turn, also become an easily hireable person. Talk about two birds with one stone.
Pro-tip: As a supply chain and logistics manager, always allow yourself to have unique customer and supplier relationships and build trust with them, retaining them as clients to either you, your company or your business. Great customer and supplier relationships are fueled by little things that can ripple into situations where your customers and suppliers trust you and only you. Here’s how you can add a spark to yours:
- Choose and stick with a reliable transport company if your company does not have transport – When you have reliable modes of transport, you have a better chance of constantly delivering on time and in great condition, and making people trust you.
- Have an emergency contact centre – Let your clients and suppliers know that they can contact you in case of a supply chain and logistics emergency and that you and your team will be ready to cater to it.
- Communicate communicate communicate – A great supply chain and logistics manager does regular check-ins with both the suppliers and clients to keep them informed on the progress of the work being done.
Arm yourself with the right sets of skills, and you will be untouchable. Your future self will thank you for it.
It may seem like the supply chain and logistics industry is difficult to get into; however, it is one of the least demanding career paths. Equip yourself with a qualification in this career path and work your way up to attaining whichever position you feel you can specialise in. And if you own a business, maybe it’s time you invest in a supply chain and logistics manager who is aligned with your brand, but if you have one already, give them a pat on the back.