What Does a Supply Chain Manager Do?

An In-depth Look at Supply Chain Management as a Career

What Is a Supply Chain Manager?

If you are looking for a career that is demanding but rewarding, fast-paced, and never boring, then supply chain management is for you. Supply chain managers are the key to an efficient business and are necessary in every industry. They analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there is more to it than you might think.
Supply chain managers must be detail-oriented and true leaders because they are involved in every stage of the production process. They manage all the steps that go into purchasing raw materials, delivering the materials, and ensuring the company is reaching customer demand. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the average salary for a supply chain manager was $76,270 per year.
At a quick glance, you might think supply chain management is all about the product. While delivering the best quality product in the most efficient way is the goal, supply chain managers manage not only production but also people and clients. No supply chain can exist without the clients who want the product and the teams who carry out the production process.

Supply Chain Manager Responsibilities

The supply chain manager coordinates, organizes and manages all logistics involved in the production and distribution process of a company’s goods. According to the BLS, supply chain managers oversee the entire life cycle of a product. The following are their main responsibilities:

• Create business relationships with suppliers and clients. Supply chain managers must be excellent networkers and understand the demands of the client in order to meet their needs.
• Direct allocation of materials, supplies, and products. Supply chain managers must be successful leaders to lead teams, manage a financial budget, and develop a product that meets the needs of current and future clients.
• Develop high-quality products. Supply chain managers need to develop and deliver high-quality products as efficiently as possible. They are required to continuously review logistical functions and identify areas of improvement. It is their responsibility to propose strategies to minimize the cost of time required to deliver goods.

Qualifications for Supply Chain Managers

Now that you have learned what a supply chain manager does, how do you become one? Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for most positions related to supply chain management. To go even further in the career, some industries require concentrations or certificates. At Excelsior College, you can advance your career with a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in logistics management. This program includes coursework in operations and database management as well as in project management, inventory management, and quality control. The ideal candidate for a supply chain position would have education in these areas as well as strong problem-solving and communication skills to handle unforeseen issues and build rapport with clients and colleagues.

How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

Are you interested in becoming a supply chain manager? Follow the steps below to get started:
1. Bachelor’s Degree
Aspiring supply chain managers should earn at least a bachelor’s degree. Ideally, finding a degree that focuses on supply chain management and operations will set you up for success. Contact an Excelsior admissions representative today to learn more.
2. Gain work experience
Maybe you already have this, and if so, you are ahead of the game! Any work or internship experience in supply chain analysis, product distribution, inventory management, operations, or project management will prepare you for a management-level position.
3. Stay detailed oriented
It’s important to be detailed oriented and take on leadership roles and network constantly.

Organization is key to any successful supply chain management position. Take all leadership opportunities as they arise to gain experience in managing people. Networking is essential for building relationships, establishing sources, and continuing to learn. Knowledge of current industry standards is needed in this profession.
Follow these simple steps and you will find yourself in a supply chain management position in no time!