Skills required for a successful career in Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the management of the flow of materials, information and finances as they are moved in a process from wholesaler to retailer and finally, the consumer. SCM includes product development, sourcing, production and logistics. It is involved in every step of getting the product from the manufacturer to the consumer.

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In this field where there are endless opportunities, you need to have certain skills and abilities that could help you have a successful career. The necessary skills required for Supply Chain Management are the following:
  • Data analytics - read and interpret information  
  • Good technology skills - know how to use applications that deal with operations  
  • Soft skills - it is important to be able to communicate effectively, work well in teams and manage people

In order to have a career in Supply Chain Management, you need to get a qualification. Do some research on what interests you and find a qualification that is relevant. This can be a BA Degree in Procurement, Supply Chain, or anything equivalent as it will assist you in having a successful career in Supply Chain Management. These qualifications can easily be obtained from Universities, Technikons or colleges.

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Students that major in Supply Chain Management are trained for entry-level jobs. These can fall under any sector including education, healthcare, manufacturing and retail. These entry-level jobs are a great starting point for your career. Once you have gained experience you can start applying for more senior level positions. Some of the jobs are:

  • Planner/Analyst - identify problems and formulate solutions using data
  • Buyer - manage purchasing process for goods and services and building relationships with consumers and suppliers   
  • Inventory Specialist - coordinates physical inventory process and monitors inventory flow
  • Materials Planner/Analyst – manages all the raw materials used for manufacturing
  • Transport Coordinator or Traffic Analyst - manages transport carriers for goods and relationships with consumers to ensure their goods are delivered on time
  • Production Coordinator - coordinates daily production schedules and future production needs

If you can't get a job in your preferred field, try to find work that will build your skills and capabilities that are relevant in your line of work. Always take initiative and be motivated!

Already qualified in this field? Apply for the latest supply chain jobs here!