A day in the life of the typical Supply Chain Manager

Today the job market is saturated. We’re spoiled for choice which makes choosing an occupation, all the more difficult. Armed with a cavalry of career information, many ambitious students gravitate towards business. A smart choice but gone are the glory days that boast booming careers in business, portrayed in films like ‘Wallstreet’. There are a lot of graduates with the same degree and only the best of the best will make the cut. However, there is hope for those potential business boffins out there. There’s a new popular kid on the block and he’s eagerly stretching his skill set into areas of business, long ignored. Enter supply chain management.

With the growing need for strong, innovative leaders in companies, the rise of new business models and positions has seen us into the twenty first century. Technology, the economy and jobs are rapidly expanding to fill new, creative, niche needs. The age of the supply chain manager could well be upon us. As a fairly new field to the business sector, supply chain management jobs are on the rise and in demand. Read on to see if this is the right fit for you.

With new positions comes a flurry of confusion over the job specifics. A day in the life of the average supply chain manager entails being connected, having our finger in every pie, and being well organised.

“Even though quality cannot be defined, you know what quality is” Robert M. Pirsig 1928-, American philosopher

Often a business’s success is fundamentally dependant on the calibre of its supply chain manager(s). A supply manager has responsibilities in every facet of the company. They are required to oversee and plan every step of the products distribution. Demand and supply is a driving force of the job and the typical supply chain manager must ensure that enough product is going to the right consumers. Delivering the goods on times and to the correct location is also part of the process so they’ll need to consider the systems in place and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Although, predominantly a desk job, some supply chain managers will need to travel to oversee operations with new vendors and suppliers. A good feel for handling people diplomatically comes in useful here.

Typically, one will be hired to a position that has the potential for supply chain management promotion. If you’re interested more in working on projects as opposed to with people, this type of job is a great compromise. Some of the qualities you’ll need are as follows: You will need to be able to adapt, to organise and delegate, create innovative solutions and maintain an authoritative tone. Bear in mind, you will be called on to handle certain financial aspects for the company.

The IIE's Varsity College Part-Time, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a Private Higher Education Institution under the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997. The IIE is South Africa’s largest independent provider of tertiary education.

If this is the kind of business you want to make your business then head on over to The IIEs Varsity College Part-Time and look over the programmes available. Whether you’re keen to sharpen up your skills or looking at it as a career choice, a Supply Chain and Logistics Management Programme serves as a great stepping stone, giving you the technical foundation you’ll need to get your foot in the door.

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