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Become a Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers manage and organise the activities involved in buying, producing and distributing a business’ goods to its customers. We look at the job in more detail.

What do supply chain managers do?

Supply chain managers are responsible for integrating and optimising all the processes and steps to produce a product. A supply manager is involved in every stage of getting a product to a customer from the purchase of raw materials to the delivery on the final product. The role involves producing the correct amount of product, at the right time and also to ensure the order is delivered to customers on time. 

What would be my main priorities?

A supply chain manager is involved at every stage of the product lifecycle. You will purchase the raw materials, organise the processing and arrange storing of the products, moving them from distribution centres to stores, and even offering customer service. A top-tier supply chain manager ensures all these tasks occur smoothly and without problem. You will oversee the distribution process every step of the way, to make sure the products are not only stored correctly but dispatched on time.

What skills do I need to become a supply chain manager?

Relationship management and strong planning skills are fundamental to the role. Supply chain managers now often have a remit that extends across continents and must deal effectively with suppliers and customers worldwide. Supply chain managers must embrace cross-functionality and complexity of company structures and use this knowledge within the planning process.

You must be an expert at building collaborative relationships internal and external to ensure processes run smoothly and efficiently. The role can be very process driven and requires technological ability; you should be comfortable implementing new technology and be alert to trends and next generation technology.

Which qualifications are required?

The most common route into supply chain management is to take a foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or a degree in an area such as logistics, international transport or supply chain management. Having said that, a strong degree in finance or business are accepted in the industry. Postgraduate degrees in transport planning, supply chain management and logistics and qualifications through CIPS or The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK) are also beneficial.

Supply chain managers manage and organise the activities involved in buying, producing and distributing a business’ goods to its customers. 

How much can I earn working as a supply chain manager?

Purchasing managers can expect to earn anything between £50 – 85k in a permanent role and £350 – 500 per day in an interim position, depending on experience, seniority and the industry you work in.


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