In recent years, the field of supply chain management has witnessed exponential growth. In fact, by the end of the year 2027, it is likely to hit a whopping amount of $45.2 billion. Some of the many reasons that can be attributed to its huge demand are the rapidly changing business landscape and the need for companies to directly provide their services or products to customers. This is what we refer to as the B2C model of business.
To achieve the same, organisations need professionals who can navigate them through these complex supply lines. That is where the role of a supply chain manager comes into play.
In this article, we’ll give you a detailed tour of what are the roles and responsibilities of a supply chain manager, as well as the skillset required to become one.
What Is A Supply Chain Manager?
Simply put, a supply chain manager refers to a professional who is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all operations related to the production, procurement, and distribution of goods and services within a supply chain. Their ultimate goal is to ensure a smooth and efficient flow of information and resources from suppliers to manufacturers and retailers and ultimately to the customers.
The nature of this job requires them to work in an office environment wherein they can supervise the day-to-day operations. Sometimes they might also be required to travel to other locations or meet new vendors to find raw material suppliers. As a supply chain manager, you must possess a combination of technical skills, such as logistics knowledge, as well as leadership qualities, and strong communication skills.
Additionally, you are also required to have a deep understanding of supply chain dynamics so that you can adapt to this changing business environment in an efficient manner. But before we delve into the details of the supply chain manager's skills and qualities, let's take a look at their roles and responsibilities.
Roles And Responsibilities Of A Supply Chain Manager
Supply chain managers play a crucial role in boosting company revenue by enhancing customer satisfaction. Although the actual responsibilities of a supply chain manager might differ from organisation to organisation, some of the most common tasks they are expected to perform include,
- Collaborating with stakeholders to develop strategic plans, forecast demands, and set production targets.
- Connecting with vendors and buyers to find the right materials or products.
- Evaluating potential suppliers, negotiating contracts, and establishing relationships with key suppliers.
- Managing inventory levels so as to minimise costs while simultaneously meeting all the needs and demands of customers.
- Working closely with logistics providers and shipping companies to coordinate the movement of goods and materials throughout the supply chain.
- Identifying any potential risks and taking the necessary course of action to mitigate any form of disruption in the supply chain.
- Identifying inefficiencies and implementing effective strategies to optimise all operations, reduce costs, and increasing the overall supply chain performance.
- Keeping up to date with the latest industry trends and technological innovations.
Skills Required To Be A Supply Chain Manager
In order to emerge as a successful supply chain manager, you must possess an amalgamation of technical, analytical as well as interpersonal skills. Such include,
Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills
Supply chain managers are required to have excellent analytical skills so that they can identify any new trends and make informed decisions accordingly. Additionally, they must also possess problem-solving skills to be able to solve complex issues and make data-driven decisions to improve supply chain efficiency.
Risk management skills are also extremely important for a supply chain manager. It enables them to determine transportation schedules and production goals. This also includes the ability to implement risk assessment checklists, conduct audits, and implement other risk mitigation tools.
Often a time, supply chain managers may be required to handle complex projects such as launching new products or optimising new systems. Therefore, in order to carry out all these tasks efficiently, it is very crucial to have the required project management qualities. This includes planning, organisation, and risk management.
Supply chain managers must be able to think strategically and have a holistic view of the whole supply chain process. In this manner, they can ensure that the implemented supply chain strategies are in sync with the overall business opportunities. Furthermore, it can also prove to be quite beneficial in anticipating market changes and identifying areas for cost savings.
Communication and Collaboration
Last but not least, the role of a supply chain manager is such that it requires you to connect with multiple people at a time. This includes stakeholders, customers, internal teams, and other executives. Therefore, to ensure that the necessary information is disseminated in an efficient manner, you must possess excellent communication abilities.
By developing all these above-mentioned skills, you can not only excel in the field of supply chain management but also drive efficiency and innovation within the supply chain operations of any organisation.
To sum up, a supply chain manager plays a very crucial role in the overall success of a business organisation. Be it managing supplier relationships, meeting customer demands, ensuring efficient operations, or mitigating risks and disruptions; supply chain managers perform a variety of tasks. If you wish to pursue a career in this field, you must possess a Bachelor's degree to help you gain fundamental knowledge of the whole supply chain management process.
Additionally, you can also look for several courses that are available online. Adding the same to your resume will bring you one step closer to landing your dream job as a supply chain manager. One such program includes the Executive Certificate Programme For Global Chief Supply Chain and Operations Officers, brought to you by Imarticus. This 10-month duration course details all the crucial aspects of supply chain management, such as operations management, supply chain drivers and metrics, sustainability in the supply chain, and supply chain design, among others.