As an expert in the supply chain industry, I understand its pivotal role as the backbone of a country’s economy. A well-structured supply chain infrastructure minimizes manufacturing costs, enhances business operations, improves customer satisfaction, and accelerates consumption growth.
Reflecting on the past year, the Indian economy faces uncertainty due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second quarter of FY20, India experienced its slowest growth rate in six years, with only 4.5% year-over-year growth. This marks a significant downturn, with economic growth below 5% last seen in 2013.
The situation is further worsened by increasing financial burdens and declining consumer confidence. Since the supply chain sector has a direct or passive bearing on all other functioning sectors within the economy, even minor disruptions or failures in the supply chain can have a negative rippling effect throughout all parallels of the industry. In light of such uncertainties, supply chain stakeholders must identify the biggest challenges before them and create actionable strategies to overcome them.
As India braces itself to get past this downward trajectory, it becomes even more important to strengthen the country’s supply chain infrastructure. For long, infrastructural constraints, high cost of raw materials, labor, and energy, poor risk management, incompetent professionals, and lack of adequate tech support has been some of the major challenges for the Indian supply chain industry.
However, thanks to the growing influx of capital (both domestic and foreign), the government’s active efforts in improving the overall supply chain infrastructure, and increasing awareness among supply chain leaders of the importance of supply chain management, there’s much to look forward to in the coming years.
Supply Chain Management: Why Is It Important In The Present Indian Scenario?
In the present economic scenario and dynamic market, the survival of businesses not only depends on innovative and actionable business strategies but also largely on supply chain management.
With evolving customer expectations, businesses must integrate IT with supply chain and logistics to ensure proper coordination between all tenets of the supply chain, right from sourcing and manufacturing to reaching the endpoint – the customer. Effective supply chain management is key to maintaining a balance between the demand and supply in the economy.
So, What Exactly Is Supply Chain Management?
Supply change management is a detailed and elaborate structure or system used by companies of all sizes across all sectors to handle and manage a host of processes involved between developing and delivering the final product to the consumer.
Resource acquisition, manufacturing, inventory management, demand management, supply management, product portfolio management, and sales & operations planning, are some of the core components of supply chain management.
Essentially, supply chain management focuses on aligning end-to-end business processes strategically to help businesses realize the market value while also giving them the upper hand over competitors.
Apart from cost reduction, supply chain management aims to optimize operational productivity and efficiency within a company for speedy deliveries and improved customer satisfaction.
1. Reduces Operational Costs
A well-designed supply chain management system allows retailers to quickly procure resources and manufacture products timely and release products to the market to avoid the unnecessary stockpiling of items in the inventory. When the system works like a well-oiled machine, it helps companies to avoid both time and monetary losses.
Most important, it ensures that the product reaches the market and ultimately the customer without any delay.
The idea is to meet company goals while maximizing customer satisfaction.
2. Improves Customer Support Services
The end goal is to deliver the right product in the demanded quantity to the customer at the right time and correct location. For instance, if a customer purchased three home decor items from a company but was delivered only two of the originally ordered product and one wrong product was past the allotted delivery date, the customer is bound to be unhappy.
In such a case, customers often reach out to the company/delivery partner for support services. Companies with a competent sales chain management system in place can resolve customer queries/requests/complaints timely to retain customers and win their loyalty.
3. Boosts Financial Performance
Supply chain managers are valuable assets to companies because they use their expertise and knowledge to evaluate performance, optimize processes, reduce supply chain costs, manage inventory, shorten the product life cycle, and identify new opportunities to increase profits.
They also ensure that all capital assets (plants, machinery & equipment, transportation, etc.) are optimally used to balance costs and output.
Not just that, supply chain managers are key in establishing and maintaining good relationships between the parties involved, including vendors, manufacturers, stakeholders, distributors, etc. All of these actions combined help increase productivity and increase company ROI substantially.
4. Creates Job Opportunities
The scope of supply chain management is quite broad. Since the supply chain encompasses multiple aspects such as manufacturing, warehousing, packaging, transportation & delivery, IT, logistics, etc., it creates numerous job positions across different sectors.
Some of the most promising jobs in supply chain management are Production Planner, Logistics Resource Planner, Production Manager, Maintenance Supervisor/Manager, Quality Manager, Purchasing Manager, Warehouse Manager, Purchasing & Inventory Controller, Procurement Specialist, Logistics Administrator/Manager, Transport Administrator/Manager, and Reverse Logistics Manager.
5. Empowers People Working In The Supply Chain Structure
The supply chain infrastructure consists of multiple tiers of different components, including a region’s physical infrastructure (roads, highways, railroad network, commerce corridors, etc.), transportation services, manufacturing, logistics, vendor-buyer relations, and so on. Naturally, there are people (skilled workers) involved at all levels of the supply chain network – their livelihoods depend largely on the effective functioning of the supply chain.
When a country has a well-planned supply chain structure, it not only sustains the people involved in it’s functioning but also enables them to build the right skill set and domain knowledge.
Thus, as the population it employs grows and upskills, the country’s supply chain structure further solidifies and expands.
Why Pursue A Career In Supply Chain Management In India?
Supply chain management is the new rage in the Indian industrial scenario. The increasing proliferation of global players in the Indian market, ever-expanding product variety, fast-paced technological disruption and digitization, and shortened product life cycles are the major driving factors behind the growing scope of supply chain management in India.
Plus, the diverse selection of job roles in the supply chain domain makes it an even more appealing prospect for young aspirants.
Here are five reasons why supply chain management is a lucrative career option for you:
1. It Promises High Job Satisfaction And Growth Opportunities
Considering that the supply chain and logistics industry are fast-expanding, job opportunities in this industry are increasing each year. While conventional roles are getting a digital makeover, new roles demanding unique skills are emerging as well. Rest assured, you can get well-paying jobs that guarantee maximum satisfaction and optimal usage of your knowledge and skills in the supply chain sector. In India, Supply Chain Managers can earn as high as ₹859,249 LPA.
2. It Has Relatively Low Entry Barriers
The best part about building a career in supply chain management is that the supply chain & logistics industry provides ample scope for earning handsome packages to skilled experts even without demanding advanced degrees. You can bag supply chain profiles with undergraduate degrees, professional certifications, and vocational training. A supply chain management certificate can make you eligible for roles like Procurement Analyst, Operations Research Analyst, Logistics Manager, Purchasing Manager, Supply Chain Manager, Senior Consultant, Director of Operations, etc.
3. You Can Choose From A Variety Of Industries
As we said, the supply chain is an integral part of almost every industry. Companies and organizations, irrespective of their size, are now investing in supply chain management to optimize their business operations, expand their market reach, boost revenues, and enhance the overall customer experience. Thus, with a supply chain management degree, you can enter any industry, including manufacturing, eCommerce, retail, automotive, oil & gas, healthcare, etc.
4. You Acquire A Wide Range Of Transferable Skills
When you enter the supply chain industry, you learn and acquire many diverse skills that apply to different supply chain roles and even other industries. These skills include financial planning, research & forecasting, workflow optimization, general business management & administration, national & international business practices, and mechanical skills. Plus, you get the chance to explore different specializations in the supply chain such as management, information systems, warehousing, transportation, inventory management, sales and marketing, and customer service.
5. You Can Avail Jobs Locally Or Overseas
Supply chain jobs spread through a vast canvas, both nationally and overseas. Thus, you can choose job profiles either locally or regionally within the country. And if you love travel-oriented jobs, many supply chain managerial roles require traveling both nationally and internationally from time to time.
As more and more companies realize the true potential of a well-articulated supply chain management system, the demand for skilled and certified supply chain professionals will increase simultaneously. The best way to capitalize on this opportunity is to enroll in a certification program such as upGrad’s Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management. Offered in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), this short-term (6 months) program covers relevant topics to help learners:
- Successfully integrate all fundamental wings of the supply chain, including procurement, operations, and logistics management.
- Implement the ideal supply chain design and standard practices best-suited for a company.
- Streamline logistics operations by focusing on effective market distribution strategy development, execution, and management.
- Boost competitive advantage by integrating IT with logistics.
The course is completely delivered online. Considering that MSU ranks #1 in supply chain management, students get the exclusive opportunity to learn from top mentors and instructors in the field. What’s more is that they enjoy many other perks like live learning & interaction sessions, 360-degree career assistance, interactive quizzes, case studies, interview preparation, resume feedback, and career counseling.
On course completion, candidates can find employment opportunities in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, FMCG, transportation, communication, automotive, logistics, eCommerce, and IT. As for career growth, when equipped with the right skills and domain knowledge, it won’t take long for you climb up to managerial positions in the supply chain ladder.
Learn Supply Chain Analytics Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.
The Future of Demand Planning in the Supply Chain
As someone deeply entrenched in the field, I foresee significant changes in demand planning within supply chain management. The demand for supply chain expertise is rising, particularly in demand forecasting and demand-driven supply chain management.
Demand forecasting is pivotal in logistics and supply chain management, encompassing various forecasting methodologies. Understanding customer demand is crucial, as it drives supply chain decisions.
Supply chain professionals must grasp supply and demand dynamics to optimize demand planning strategies effectively. As the demand for supply chain management expertise grows, acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge becomes paramount for success in this field.
Upon completing a supply chain analytics course, candidates can access various employment opportunities across retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and IT industries. Career progression to managerial positions is achievable with the right skills and domain knowledge.
You should explore online courses offered by top universities worldwide to enhance your skills and advance your career in supply chain management. Whether you pursue a master’s degree, executive program, or advanced certificate, these programs can significantly accelerate your career trajectory.
Are you ready to embark on a rewarding journey in supply chain management?