Supply Chain Management

What is the role of a supply chain manager?

A supply manager helps to transfer products from the manufacturers and suppliers right to the retail door, this vital role makes sure that businesses stay fully stocked.

There are a number of jobs titles available in supply chains, when starting the job duties may include:

  • Planning a dilivery timetable
  • Ensuring stores have enough stock and that they are meeting the demand
  • Overseeing the ordering and packing processes
  • Tracking and over seeing products through depots to make use they arrive at their destination

The supply chain includes:

Suppliers -> Manufactures -> warehouses/distribution centres -> customers.

This is also a costly process as the materials cot, transport, manufacturing, transport again, inventory and transport again.

MIT Supply Chain Management Program - Lemonade Video

Why supply chain management?

In the 1980's companies discovered new manufacturing technologies and strategies that allowed them to reduce costs and better compete in different markets. Strategies such as just-in-time manufacturing, kanban, lean manufacturing, total quality management, and others... And vast quantities of resources were invested in implementing these strategies. In the last few year it has become clear that many companies have reduced manufacturing costs as much as is possible. Many companies are discovering that an effective supply chain management is the next step to increasing profit and market share.

Work activities

  • Work with managers and buyers to select products that are in demand and will sell
  • Negotiate and manage contracts with suppliers
  • Plan best ways to get goods from suppliers to distribution centres then on to retailers (most efficient)
  • Track shipment and stock levels using computer software
  • Making sure retailers receive their goods on time and in the right condition.
  • Looks at ways to improve the supply chain network
  • Monitor overall performance to make sure targets are being met
  • Prepare forecasts and company's management team
  • Recuit, train and manage a team of supply chain staff

Hours and salary


30-40 per week


- starting at £20,000 per year

- Experienced managers earn between £25,000 and £45,000 per year

- Senior supply chain manager £60,000 per year

An example of a supply chain management job

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- Planning and organisation skills

- Motivational and team leadership

- Well-spoken and written communication

- Problem solving and math skills

- Attention to detail

- Ability to use computer packages; such as spreadsheets and databases

- Work well under-pressure and meet deadlines

- Good geographical knowledge

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to qualify. These hard skills are often listed in a cover letter and on your curriculum vitae, and are easy for an employer or recruiter to recognise.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are subjective skills that area much harder to quantify, also known as "people skills" or "interpersonal skills" soft skills pertain to the way you relate to and interact with other people.


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Marketing Statistics:

  • Gender; Female: 70 percent, Male: 30 percent
  • Working pattern; Self employed: 9 percent, Full times: 81 percent, Part time: 10 percent

Employment is predicted that by 2020, 230,0000 people will be employed as a supply chain manager. As it stands at the moment in 2016 210,0000 people working in the industry.

Entry requirements

Most likely routes:

  • Foundation degree
  • Relevant degrees, such as logistics, international transport, supply chain management, transport management...

This is how products are composed
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