At the core of every business delivering a product or service is an intricate network that manages the logistics of sourcing, buying and supplying in a manner that is profitable. This chain is constructed to respond rapidly to the tides and woes of supply and demand. It organizes the acquisition and distribution of raw materials, supply of manufactured products to retail centers or directly to customers, and generally ensures that a business runs cohesively. The career prospects are outstanding if one considers the amount of businesses out there; the opportunities for employment somewhere along the supply chain are high.
However, as the system is based around performance and timely targets, it is necessary to have received some form of formal education regarding the subject before even considering applying for potential jobs.
Fortunately there exist degrees and educational courses that cover all aspects of purchasing, sourcing and supply chain management.
The content covered is vast and will ensure that the basics of economics are assimilated before providing in depth knowledge of the subject and training as to the economic tools necessary to correctly perform the task. Many courses cover numerous angles; legal aspects of international business, sourcing and storage solutions, financial procedures and how to maximize profit through organized logistics. The modules also train students in managerial practices and skills, especially in regards to cross-border trading, marketing and network building. There is also a strong emphasis on building a business personality based on concise decision making skills and accountability values.
The career prospects;
1. Procurement/Buyer; a position which has you travelling the world securing sourcing deals with resource providers, building relationships with other suppliers and internal departments, managing sales and material contracts, and generally seeking out the most cost-effective logistical options available.
2. Storage/Inventory; a career path that has you managing the day to day stock levels of manufacturing facilities. The job involves streamlining strategies to guarantee that stock is available in various locations, that inventories are accurate and cost-effective.
3. Management; though such a position generally comes later on in a career in purchasing, sourcing and supply chain management, it entails the assertive and intelligent management of the whole supply chain. From coordinating analysts, buyers and operational planners to working with other departments such as sales and marketing to ensure that the supply reflects the company’s commercial identity. Management makes the decisions that affect the chain as whole and truly have the power to turn a business around or lead it to bankruptcy.
Salaries start out at a comfortable level and can rise to extremely rewarding denominations. The job satisfaction is on par with no other career due to the fast paced and ever changing nature of business; new products, market trends, sourcing avenues…A career in supply chain management will be far from boring.