Being a supply chain manager is your best bet if you want to see yourself in the driving seat of global commerce. If you are unsure what certifications you need to become a supply chain manager, the potential of the job, to even what courses and books can help you become a supply chain manager, look no further!
If your aspiration is to stay relevant throughout various stages of the global economy, then look no further, as we’ve got you covered here.
Read this article until the end to learn all the nuances and tricks to land a high-paying job in the domain of supply chain management.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Supply Chain Management may sound complicated to you, but let me break it down for you. It’s all about overseeing the movement of goods, info, and finances in a business.
You’re there to ensure products get from manufacturers to customers quickly, complying with quality policies and at the lowest cost.
Think of it as a well-oiled but invisible machine of suppliers, warehouses, and transportation. Your job? To be the machine operator, optimize the operations, cut costs, and boost quality.
Who is a Supply Chain Manager?
You’re a Supply Chain Manager(SCM) if you’re the one who calls the shots in getting stuff from point A to B. You manage all the pieces: suppliers, warehouses, and shipping.
Your ultimate duty is to make sure everything runs like clockwork. You plan, you organize, and you solve problems. Efficiency’s your game. It’s not just about moving stuff—it’s about saving money and time, too.
Why Become a SCM?
According to a recent study published by Markets and Markets, the global supply chain management market will grow at a CAGR of 9.4% to $45.2 billion in 2027 from $28.9 billion in 2022. Such huge revenue growth won’t be possible if there aren’t enough supply chain managers to take care of the supply chain.
Other major attractions of being an SCM are:
You’ll be the globally responsible person for moving goods from your company to the consumers.
When there are bottlenecks in the supply chain, you’ll get to flaunt your out-of-the-box thinking capability to solve the issue.
You can impress your client or employer by reducing the cost of the supply chain operations and making it a profitable department.
Apart from these, you’ll develop greater strategic thinking skills than managers in other roles.
Being a managerial role, there are responsibilities associated with being an SCM. Below are the duties you can expect as an SCM:
Overseeing transportation, shipping, and distribution processes of goods, data, or services.
Establishing and maintaining relationships with suppliers to ensure timely and cost-effective deliveries.
Monitoring and controlling inventory levels to meet demand while minimizing excess inventory.
Go through historical data during special events or the holiday season to forecast demand accurately.
Optimize the supply chain operations expenses and cut costs wherever possible without compromising the quality.
Continuously improve supply chain operations to make it better than what it is now.
Seek out and mitigate supply chain disruptions at all costs.
The following are the must-have skills to become a successful SCM in any industry:
You must communicate politely and clearly with vendors, delivery partners, suppliers, customers, and business stakeholders.
Also, you must be able to analyze and find valuable insights in supply chain data.
Problem-solving is also a must-have skill for successful supply chain managers.
Leadership goes a long way when working among people. So, you must be able to lead multiple teams and drive results using subordinates and peers.
Your attention-to-detail skill will help you inventory and supply chain processes effectively.
Know the technical concepts of supply chain management, like demand forecasting, supplier relationship management (SRM), logistics management, supply chain visibility, risk management, electronic data interchange (EDI), supply chain simulation, and more.
You’ll probably have multiple supply chain projects on your hands. So, time management skill is also required.
You should clearly understand international logistics and shipping regulations.
Adapt to the changing ecosystem of supply chain management, and newer concepts overpower existing ones.
You know how to operate SCM tools like ERPs, Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Demand Planning and Forecasting Software, Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software, Order Management Systems (OMS), etc.
#5. Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
With CPSM certification, you’ll become a supply management pro. Enhance your skills in procurement, supplier management, and supply chain excellence.
#6. Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD)
You can globally establish yourself as an expert in logistics, transportation, and distribution by successfully passing the CLTD exam. Here, you’ll learn how to optimize the movement of goods, manage inventory, and ensure efficient delivery of goods.
You need to successfully complete the following tollgates to become an SCM:
#1. Get a Diploma or Degree
A dedicated graduate course or diploma is always helpful if you’re entering any professional job role, especially a supply chain manager. In most colleges and universities, you can pursue an MBA in Logistics or MS in supply chain management.
#2. Go for Internships
As soon as you enter the last year or semester of your BS or MS degree course, start applying for internships in reputed supply chain or logistics companies.
You can look for internships on the career pages of global brands like Cisco Systems, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, PepsiCo, Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Home Depot, General Mills, Alibaba, and so on.
#3. Acquire Skills in Hands-On SCM
During the internship, develop skills in inventory management, demand forecasting, logistics, and procurement. Hands-on experience is invaluable in becoming an SCM.
#4. Create a CV and Cover Letter
Create a professional CV highlighting your education, internships, and skills. Write a compelling cover letter showcasing your passion for supply chain management.
This Udemy course is a transformative learning experience of SCM. The course easily explains to you the core concepts of SCM, like Inventory Management, Proficiency in Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Business Process Redesign Skills, and APICS and CPIM certification preparation materials.
Fundamentals of Logistics, Supply Chain & Customer Service: Udemy
This is a three-part course on SCM from Udemy on logistics and customer service. Part 1 talks about Logistics, where you can grasp key concepts, skills, and their critical role in business. In Part 2, you understand Supply Chain concepts like purchasing, manufacturing, and distribution. Finally, in Part 3, you learn Customer Service Skills.
Operations and Supply Chain Management: Udemy
Sign up for this Udemy course to learn about supply chains, their drivers, SCM strategies, and performance metrics. You’ll benefit from 2 hours of video lessons, quizzes, examples, and real-world exercises. It’s Ideal for those in SCM and operations management seeking practical knowledge.
International Supply Chain Education Alliance: edX
This edX course is part of the Certified Supply Chain Analyst (CSCA) program. It prepares you for the CSCA Exam and is a requirement for ISCEA certification. Learn tools to enhance supply chain efficiency and competitiveness. Topics include sales order fulfillment, planning strategies, Lean, Six Sigma, sustainability, and team dynamics.
Supply Chain Management: Great Learning
If you’re looking to get the essence of the SCM profession, you must sign up for this Great Learning course. It’s completely free, so you don’t need to pay any fees. You can complete the course in less than 2 hours. Upon completion, you get a shareable certificate too.
Diploma in Supply Chain Management: Alison
This Alison diploma course begins by explaining supply chains and their management. You’ll also explore networks, best practices, ecosystems, risk analysis, and strategies. Moreover, you’ll gain valuable knowledge for career advancement. You must enroll now for a competitive edge.
Supply Chain Management Specialization: Coursera
This Coursera SCM specialization course introduces supply chain complexities in the global economy. It’s for those starting in SCM, working in it, or intrigued by the global economy’s intricacies. Comprising four courses in logistics, operations, planning, and sourcing, plus a capstone course, you’ll gain essential SCM knowledge and problem-solving skills.
Supply Chain Operations: Coursera
By undertaking this online Coursera course, you discover process improvement tools, Six Sigma methodology, and Lean philosophy for efficiency. No prior SCM operations knowledge is required; just basic business concepts and spreadsheet skills will suffice.
Popular Books to Read
Supply Chain Management For Dummies
Supply Chain Management For Dummies offers a clear understanding of supply chains, post-COVID updates, and advanced strategies. You’ll grasp global trends, coordination, resilience, and diversity. Ideal for beginners and updates in supply chain management.
Principles of Supply Chain Management: A Balanced Approach
This Amazon book on SCM takes you through the latest practices, trends, and processes in supply chain management. The updates covered are from both domestic and global markets. With real-world examples and practical exercises, it hones your supply chain management skills.
The author, through this Amazon book, presents logistics concepts in a clear and practical way. This hardcover edition covers current issues, tech advancements, and global shifts in supply chain management. Not to mention, real-world cases and profiles add depth to your learning.
The Essentials of Supply Chain Management is the must-have guide for all SCM professionals. It covers the profession comprehensively, from basics to advanced level. The fourth edition is up-to-date with technology and real-world cases of supply chain management. Whether you’re new or experienced SCM, it equips you to manage the supply chain effectively.
Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation
Are you taking MBA, engineering, or senior-level undergraduate SCM courses? This Amazon book will equip you with strategic insights and practical tools required to excel in supply chain management. Explore key drivers and real-world cases for a competitive edge in SCM.
Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
Joy R Bhamre
Joy R Bhamre is a Google certified Digital Marketing Specialist, Content Writer & Editor as well as a Cambridge-certified English Language Trainer with over 14 years of corporate experience.
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