Professions in Project Management (#3) – The Supply Chain Manager

The supply chain manager is responsible for the entire supply chain of an organization, sometimes even the coordination and cooperation between several companies that form one supply chain together. Accordingly, managers in this profession bear a great deal of responsibility, but also earn quite a lot as a result.

Tasks of a Supply Chain Manager 

The tasks of a supply chain manager are diverse and vary greatly from industry to industry. In general, though, it is a matter of coordinating and optimizing logistics chains. This can either involve the flow of goods or information. The supply chain manager is a consultant and strategic planner who develops and manages all logistical goods flows across companies and must be able to react quickly and flexibly. 

Here are a few examples of what a supply chain manager does: 

  • Process planning and securing the flow of goods along the entire value chain
  • Materials management
  • Optimize process flows (technical solutions, information flow, time aspects, ensuring flexibility, etc.)
  • Manage cash flows - cost reduction
  • Manage suppliers and customers; contract negotiations
  • Analyze markets and customer data
  • Ensure compliance with legal regulations and safety provisions

This is what a Supply Chain Manager needs: 

It is best to start by earning a Bachelor’s degree in either Business, Finance, Engineering, or Logistics and Supply Chain. You can then go on by getting accreditation from the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA), the global leaders in Supply Chain education, or certification in Supply Chain Management.  

Another way is to start out in related fields or at entry-level Supply Chain Management jobs such as Product Supply Basic Management or Product Inventory Basic Management. You can gain experience and work your way up to the top. 

In addition to a college degree, Supply Chain Managers should have the following qualities:

  • Economic, strategic and analytical thinking (good with numbers, process thinking, global understanding, and organization)
  • Leadership skills
  • Flexibility
  • Communication talent and negotiation skills

This is what a Supply Chain Manager earns: 

On average, a rookie Supply Chain Manager will earn about $ 81k. With a few years of experience this can go up to $ 108k. In the best case scenario, a very experienced Supply Chain Manager can earn up to $145k.