What Are Some Career Options in Supply Chain Management?

Because supply chain management covers every component of the business cycle, from production to customer service, those interested in a career in the field have many job roles to choose from. Read on for a description of a few career options. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers within Supply Chain Management

There are a variety of career options available in the industry of supply chain management. Outlined below are a few of the most common career paths, and some specifics about each.

Important Facts About Supply Chain Management Careers

Supply Chain Analyst Customer Service Manager Warehouse Operations Manager Supply Chain Software Manager
Required Education Bachelor's degree High school diploma, or equivalent; associate's or bachelor's degree typically preferred High school diploma, or equivalent Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Organization; critical thinking; problem solving; clear communication Customer focused; social nuance; keen observation; critical thinking Problem solving; good judgment and decision making; close listening; time management Reading comprehension; critical thinking; negotiation; problem solving
Work Environment Typically in-office with some travel involved Typically in-office with some travel to other stores involved (if applicable) Typically in-office with some work done within the warehouse Typically in-office
Similar Occupations Cost estimators; industrial engineers; operations research analysts Front office managers; retail store managers; general managers Purchasing managers; logistics managers; transportation managers Auditors; logisticians; risk management specialists

Supply Chain Analyst

Many begin a career in the supply chain management field by obtaining a position as a supply chain analyst. These professionals use quantitative and analytical skills to gather and interpret data about demands, productivity and costs. They use analysis to help improve and predict supply chain management processes. Working for supply chain members such as manufacturers, logistics service providers and retailers, supply chain analysts also:

  • Investigate problems and find causes and solutions
  • Create performance reports
  • Monitor the compliance of logistics service providers

Customer Service Manager

Customer service managers help meet the needs of customers by directing the actions of customer service employees. They make sure that order entries are accurate and products are delivered to customers quickly and efficiently. Customer service managers also:

  • Create processes to identify and resolve customers' problems
  • Create and evaluate standards for customer service
  • Work with transportation, logistics and marketing and sales departments to fulfill customers' orders while controlling costs

Warehouse Operations Manager

Warehouse operations managers control and direct the operations of warehousing or distribution centers. They manage the inbound activities of receiving of goods and managing inventory; they also manage the outbound activities of fulfilling and shipping orders. Warehouse operations managers also:

  • Create procedures for housekeeping, safety and security
  • Hire, train and supervise warehouse employees
  • Manage productivity

Supply Chain Software Manager

Supply chain software managers design software tools that measure and help increase productivity. They manage distribution technology such as warehouse operations systems, order taking systems and electronic communication systems. Supply chain software managers also:

  • Develop software solutions for business areas such as transportation, customer service, warehousing and production planning
  • Incorporate supply chain information into a company's databases
  • Provide general computer support

Salary and Career Outlook

Data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2014 reflects a median annual salary of $73,870 for supply chain analysts at that time. Also referred to as logistics analysts or logisticians, supply chain analysts are projected to see a job growth rate of 2% between 2014 and 2024, the BLS reports, which is slower than average.

PayScale.com listed a median annual salary of $51,248 for customer service managers in September 2015. Most of these workers earned within the range of $27,818-$76,291 per year, the site indicated.

The BLS reported in 2014 that the median wage for warehouse managers at that time was $85,400 per year. The BLS predicts a slower-than-average 3%-7% employment increase for the profession from 2012-2022.

While the BLS does not report specifically on supply chain software managers, it does provide statistics about supply chain managers, whose job responsibilities include the understanding and use of professional software. According to BLS data, supply chain managers earned a median yearly wage of $105,060 in 2014. The predicted job growth rate for these professionals was 3%-7% between 2012 and 2022, which is slower than the national average for all occupations.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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