Supply chain management (SCM) is involved in every aspect of moving products to customers, from raw materials to super market shelves. They attempt to integrate and optimize all the steps required to produce the right quantity of the correct product and deliver it to the customer within particular time parameters.
Logistics, another aspect of supply chain management, was born in World War II as a necessity, meeting the demands of the front line. Transporting the adequate amount of munitions and supplies to the troops when and where they were needed, took a vast, organized structure of military tacticians and logistic analysts.
Supply chain management took a novel approach to what was going on at the time at home. It looked at the product life span, from the idea, design, procurement of the materials, manufacture, and the sale. Supply chain management draws upon two concepts thought to be unrelated disciplines: marketing and customer service.
Supply chain managers are not looking for generalists, even at the entry level. Because today’s market is focused on soft skills, firms are looking for industry and functional experience, even for entry-level personnel.
Even though it seems like a demanding field, studying for an advanced degree in supply chain management prepares students to enter into a highly-developed industry that is expected to grow 22% between 2012 and 2022, according to the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs in the industry of logistics and supply chain management include, but are not limited to industry analyst, project manager, global logistics manager, operations director, transportation director, supply chain sales, supply chain consultant, and procurement analyst/purchasing manager.
What Can I do with a Supply Chain Management Degree?
Logistics and Supply Chain Management Job Titles and Descriptions
- Industry Analyst | Analysts interview individuals in manufacturing, inventory, logistics, warehousing, and procurement roles to establish a company’s business processes and supply chain requirements.
- Project Manager | Accountable for leading consultant teams in day-to-day management of client relations. Project managers typically supervise analysts and work with consultants to safeguard that a project is executed according to agreed-on time and cost metrics.
- Global Logistics Manager | These individuals oversee a wide range of functions, including warehouse and distribution operations, forecasting, planning, logistics information systems, customer service, and purchasing. Managers negotiate and contract with suppliers and carriers, develop supply chain metrics and strategy, and oversee day-to-day management of logistic functions.
- Transportation Director | Responsible for overseeing both the inbound and outbound transportation of materials and finished products from the distribution center. Transportation managers often manage carriers, transportation costs and budgeting, third-party transport providers and freight bill representation. They also negotiate contracts and ensure freight transgresses borders smoothly and effectively.
- Supply Chain Sales | Supply chain account managers normally sell supply services, outsourcing work to third-party vendors offering logistic solutions to customers in certain elected industries. The function of this role is both sales and account management.
- Supply Chain Consultant | In today’s globalized world, many logistics companies work with foreign distribution centers. In this field, you can work as a consultant, managing a variety of companies, providing tips and strategies on how to best coordinate certain processes.
- Procurement Analyst/Purchasing Manager | Purchasing managers, as the title implies, oversee the company’s purchasing department. A procurement analyst or manager might work on analyzing historical data, past purchasing cost for materials, forecasting future costs and finding prospective vendors. This is a complex role from identifying suppliers of raw goods, negotiating contracts, and managing suppliers once they are in place.
How to Start a Career in Supply Chain Management
Having a relevant education is essential for anyone attracted to a career in logistics and supply chain management. Many employers today actually prefer a master in supply chain management degree or higher education in this industry. Those interested in vying for an upper level management position need to consider their academic options. Programs that offer internship opportunities, is a great way to get real-life experience in the field. This can be a key component identifying how you differentiate yourself from your peers.
The GBSB Global Business School Master of Science in Operations and Supply Chain Management degree courses aim for a high level of integration between management techniques and the technologies that they control, with an emphasis on the strategic decision-making and international supply chain management across international borders.
The curriculum covers such topics as:
- global supply chain design and management
- global project management
- quality management
- financial management
Students who chose the Master of Science in Operations and Supply Chain Management degree are often pursuing management or consulting positions in Europe and around the world in supply chain management, operations management, manufacturing, purchasing, or related fields. If you are interested in pursuing any one of the listed careers, don’t hesitate to contact our admissions department to find out more.
Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager