Finding a New Job
Finding a New Job

What Does It Take to Be a Supply Chain Manager?

More than ever, businesses are getting raw materials, manufacturing and labor from around the planet, establishing a global supply chain.

Through proper supply chain management, businesses facilitate sleek operations in their far-flung supply chains and reduce the impact of supply chain crises that pop up from time to time.

Supply chain managers work in a various industries such as food production and industrial manufacturing. They work for businesses big and small, and can expect to make between $50,000 and $135,000. Many experts say the job outlook for this profession is promising as supply chains become increasingly global.

What does a supply chain manager do?

A supply chain manager harmonizes all facets of the supply chain under their purview. Typical duties include developing a supply chain strategy, sourcing raw materials or services, supporting manufacturing productivity, handling logistics and overseeing the system for returning defective or unwanted products.

The supply chain manager provides value to their company by minimizing shortages and trying to keep costs down.

In addition to handling logistics and purchasing inventory, supply chain managers make suggestions to enhance efficiency and quality of operations. Upgrades put in place by a supply chain manager go directly to the bottom line of a business and have a lasting effect.

A good instance of a supply chain manager’s impact might be locating the optimal price and quality for parts for a consumer product like a smartphone. A supply chain manager might also supervise operations by managing operations for shipping and warehousing.

Since corporate offices, raw materials, manufacturing, transport and shoppers can all be in several different countries or even on different continents, management of supply chain often calls for considerable travel and on-call hours to coordinate across different time zones.

What are the job requirements?

Supply chain managers need skills in task management, accounting and various software systems. Also, they ought to have international awareness, great business integrity, and knowledge of legal contracts.

Because supply chain management can include working across different departments and in many different cultures, soft skills like communication, leadership and teamwork are also critical. These skills can be acquired by both formal education and on-the-job training.

Greater than 75 percent of supply chain supervisors have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree according to information from Most businesses mandate some degree of experience, normally between five-to-seven years in a related or comparable field.

Some colleges and universities offer supply chain management degree. Hiring managers also typically accept degrees in economics, business administration and statistics.

Acceptable experience can vary from management, purchasing, logistics, or enterprise resource planning. Job seekers trying to get work as a supply chain manager can improve their chance by getting relevant certifications.

At ZDA, we have a number of open supply chain positions, often including supply chain manager positions. If you are currently looking to take the next step on your career path, please contact us today to work with a top supply chain executive recruiter.


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