Spark your supply chain career brand

The modern business world requires leaders who understand all aspects of the supply chain's value card

October 27, 2017
by Vince Amanyi

Supply chain system is one of the oldest professions, but the potential that comes with opportunity is still in the infant stage. The

Vince Amanyi is the founder of P3 Source Analytics.

current business world order requires business leaders that understand every aspect of the value card the profession has to offer the organization. The current trend with Fortune 500 companies where most supply chain leaders were basically in-house trained supply chain professionals, and have not prepared themselves for the role with future objective in mind.

To be a multi-layer professional that can easily stimulate your team environment in any organization irrespective of your industry requires some robust skills. In-house supply chain training is good—don’t get me wrong—it’s just that most of the information is limited in scope, as divergent views are not mirrored or factored into the program development. The importance of traditional education cannot be over-emphasized, as it sets the foundation for the requisite knowledge of understanding various industries and market landscapes as applied by the profession. Having the basic educational credentials enables your defined career path, as a supply chain career comes with a hybrid technical and functional skillset that you hardly find in a conventional school. This happens to be one of sole reason various supply chain certifications—to help support your career growth. The content of supply chain certification programs is designed to capture relevant subjects that will expand your knowledge of supply management systems.

The emergence of supply chain certification bodies across different part of the world has helped with the evolution of the profession—just like in Canada, were the SCMP designation is the highest and most widely recognized professional certification because of the content of the program. Having SCMP certification is very important, although one can’t simply relax after completing the program. There is a great need to understand what your value proposition is within any organization.

The entry level for a supply chain career transcend beyond the mere responsibilities of just buying and expediting. A good pathway for a new supply chain career should involve having a deep understanding of analytical concepts of all supply chain management at the back end and front end. Such platforms serve as a great enabler of soft skills that ordinarily you can get in any institution. Some of the soft skills are: communication; a team player mentality; contract management; and customer relationship management.

It has become normal for people to align to a supply chain career as one can easily relate to our daily life activities, and through firm re-organization or internal promotion from commercial department to supply chain departmental functions. Your current job title should not be an end unto itself but a means to your authentic career path. The SCMP designation is a critical move to start with, as the program content provides comprehensive information that can help establish a classic foundation that goes beyond your current job function. The path of a successful supply chain career involves understanding were your strengths are, as there are various channels of expertise which can be segmented to titles in today’s job market.

Some of the common job titles are: inventory coordinator; procurement specialist; logistics coordinator; contract administrator; supply chain analyst; buyer; and expeditor are all trending in today’s job market.

Unlike other professions that require simply executing your day-to-day responsibilities (which is somewhat limited), supply chain expands your horizon. You monitor your daily commodity trading, perform market intelligence analysis and so on. These activities transcend the traditional professional scope of work. The emerging business enterprise of searching for value creation is driving the content embedded skill set needed in various industries today.

Executing day-to-day activities in organizations involves understanding the intended long-term goals and objectives. The evolution of best practice industry standards and the utilization of fewer resources is about the dual driver of why supply chain professionals will always be in demand. Apart from your basic first-degree education and supply chain certification, you’re expected to study market behavior, as such knowledge will be always required to increase your capabilities and be an effective supply chain professional.

Conclusively, supply chain professional development is a must to re-invent your brand within the current job market. The demand for organizational deliverables is expanding by the day to create value for the job owner or organizational sponsor. There is no structural pathway to develop your supply chain career without the requisite traditional education to introduce you to the basics of the profession and enroll in accredited institution to pursue the certification program. The absolute key to remain relevant in the profession and spark your brand is continuous education.