It wouldn’t be overstating things to say that Supply Chain Management (SCM) is full of risks and unprecedented crises. Case on point — Sony’s 2004 PlayStation 2 launch fiasco. Sony shipped its PS2s from China well in advance hoping to make it in time for Christmas. But fate had something else planned.
A cargo ship ended up blocking the consignment indefinitely and Sony had to fly in the consoles long after the damage was done and Christmas had passed.
Granted a supply chain manager’s job is highly rewarding but it is also one of the more challenging positions out there. As global expansion becomes increasingly eminent, the role of a supply chain manager in any company is one of great responsibilities.
There is growing demand for supply chain managers in the world and this reflects in their increasing salaries. No wonder the supply chain manager salary is decent. The logistics fresher salary in India is also decent when you start with basic supply chain management jobs.
Let’s find out more about a supply chain manager’s salary, their roles and responsibilities, and required educational qualification.
Read: Essential management skills for a successful career
What does a Supply Chain Manager Do?
The global supply chain is booming and companies are constantly importing raw materials from different parts of the world. How these raw materials are transported from their source to destination requires efficient handling at both ends.
It is a supply manager’s job to ensure the smooth-running of operations from service to inventory and keep businesses going, while fulfilling all requirements in between.
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They have an active role in almost every aspect of import and export, from sourcing to customer support.
A typical day in a supply chain manager’s job includes:
- Procuring raw materials/services from different parts of the world and managing orders.
- Supervising logistics operations, and deliveries.
- Streamlining packaging and shipping operations.
- Reducing costs in an organisation’s supply chain
- Increasing productivity and efficiency by creating proper schedules and activities, and reviewing performance records.
- Managing orders, returns and optimizing inventory
- Strategizing ways to include new products by forming productive relationships.
- Steering the company clear of lawsuits
- Dealing with end-customers
- Purchasing, development and deployment of products.
Even though the above-mentioned responsibilities are included in the day-to-day tasks of a supply chain manager, on an average he/she does not have to perform every task regularly. It depends on what requires his attention on a particular day.
Also Read: Demand of Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management Salary in India
Supply Chain Manager salaries in India vary depending on the location, experience levels and the companies they are employed in. According to PayScale, the annual compensation for a Supply Chain Manager in India starts from ₹301k and goes upto ₹2m.
Overtime and bonuses are quite common in the field. Supply chain managers also enjoy a wide range of health benefits.
Let’s look at a supply chain manager’s salary based on the level of experience he brings into the job.
- Entry-Level — A newly employed supply chain manager who has less than 1 year’s experience can earn ₹340,334 per year on an average.
- Early-Career — Someone with upto 4 years experience in managing supply chains can earn an average of ₹340,334 annually.
- Mid-Career — With upto 9 years of experience, a supply chain manager stands to earn average compensation of ₹821,516 annually.
- Experienced — An average compensation of ₹1,487,178 per year is given to an experienced supply chain manager with over 10 years of experience.
- Late-Career — This level requires a minimum of 20 years of experience. Here, someone in the SCM position can earn upto ₹1,503,217 annually.
The top careers in supply chain management or supply chain management jobs that are in high demand are as follows-
Logistics need people. Supply chain as an industry would cease to exist in the absence of logisticians. You can handle management or even analyst-related roles if you are qualified in supply chain management. You will need to have an eye for details, clever observation skills, and be active enough to fuel improvements. You do not get a good supply chain manager salary without essential skills.
#2 Purchasing manager
In case you have a higher inclination on the business side of things in supply chain management, a purchasing-related profile might be relevant for you. This is a role similar to that of an industrial shopper. You get to make purchases in large batches for company goods or even equipment relevant to manufacturing and transport operations.
The top skills you need for making it big as a supply chain professional are clear communication, good negotiation, and smart management of client relations.
#3 Data analyst
If managing sales, schedules, and inventory is your thing, then this role is a good fit. Supply chain management works with immense loads of data. In fact, this domain uses analytics and big data other than the typical statistical methods to leverage the best possible outcome with available data.
#4 Supply chain engineers
For this profile, you must have skills in applied mathematics, IT, as well as logistics for optimizing all aspects of supply chain operation. Only then will you be able to meet up with customer demand.
You might be able to tap work in either the manufacturing, the warehousing, or even the transporting niches. You can work on developing the right algorithms to streamline the overall distribution of goods.
Even the logistics fresher salary in India is decent, to begin with when you start in this field. Hence, considering expansive opportunities under supply chain management jobs, candidates must try their hands at the lucrative field.
Educational Background and Skills Required for Supply Chain Management
Most supply chain management positions require a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on SCM. This can get you into the field as a purchasing manager, logistician, and transportation manager, among others.
Supply chain managers are expected to have a combination of some soft and hard skills that include: strong analytical ability, listening skills, effective presentation skills, knowledge of computer systems, accounting and finance, and a basic understanding of multiple cultures, to name a few.
They are also expected to be critical thinkers with a knack in mathematics and data analysis to maximise the productivity and efficiency of the organisation they are a part of. They are required to have basic knowledge of analytical tools, databases and management softwares.
Read: Product manager growth and career options.
Time management and prioritisation are considered to be important skills as a supply chain manager has multiple important tasks in a day. Further, since it is part of his job description to foster productive relationships with new clients and suppliers, communication and listening skills, and persuasive negotiating skills.
Usually, a supply manager acquires most of his soft skills while training on the job.
Most supply chain managers today are trained in artifical intelligence and machine learning, IoT, Big Data, among others.
There are several certification courses a supply chain manager can take up to gain an advantage over his peers. Some of these are: Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), and Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (CSCP).
Read: Boost your product manager career by joining the management program from IMT Ghaziabad.
Careers in Supply Chain Management
A background in supply chain management and respective expertise can land you any one of the following titles:
1. Purchasing Managers
Often referred to as procurement managers, they are responsible for fulfilling purchase orders of products/services. Sometimes, they are also employed as material managers.
Purchase managers directly interact with suppliers to procure materials and are required to have strong communication and negotiation skills.
It is estimated that the requirement of purchasing managers is expected to grow by 9% in the coming years in the food, health and hospitality sectors, among others.
2. Logistics Manager
Logistics managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of warehouses and storage facilities. They are tasked with the transportation and movement of raw materials, goods and services.
They are basically responsible for soliciting coordination and scheduling these duties.
Logistics managers mostly work with supply chain managers and operations managers however, sometimes they take up the responsibilities of both these positions, especially when working in small to medium-size companies.
Logistic managers are employed in almost every industry from manufacturing to retail.
3. Transportation Manager
As the title suggests, transportation managers handle transportation operations. They work closely with the logistics departments and employ trucking companies in their operations.
Any service that requires movement of goods from one place to another has transportation managers working for them.
4. Logistics Analysts
They are mostly employed in manufacturing, hospitality, food and automotive industries, among others. Their primary goal is to analyse data from logistics departments to improve supply chain operations.
It is estimated that the job will experience a 5-9% growth by 2026.
Supply Chain Management Career Path
Supply chain managers have a promising career path ahead of them. Most get promoted to a senior-level position, while others choose to opt for a General/Operations Manager’s position, or become a Supply Chain Specialist. Each role comes with a significant increase in salaries and job responsibilities.
Entry-level supply managers can also move to upper management and director roles.
As per the 2020 Logistics Management Annual Salary Survey, further education in the field, certification courses and training are the best way to make advancements in supply chain management.
A background in management, supply chain, transportation, etc are considered to be valuable while charting a path ahead.
Read: Product management career path and its scope
Supply Chain Management was at the receiving end of major disruption at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the post-COVID world has seen tremendous growth in this sector.
As companies operations have restarted with renewed vigour, the requirement of individuals with experience in SCM is high. There hasn’t been a better time than now to opt for a career in supply chain management. So, go for it!
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.
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