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Heading higher

The 2017 Annual Purchasing and Supply Chain Professional Survey sees salaries tick upwards


November 6, 2017
by Michael Power

From the October 2017 print edition

Supply chain professionals have gotten a healthy salary increase over past year and—not surprising—are quite satisfied overall with their lot. This year, the average salary for supply chain professionals who responded to our survey hit $92,689—a 10-percent increase from the 2016 average of $84,078.

What’s more, 85 percent of respondents have said that they are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their salary, which is up from 77 percent last year.
Those are some of the results of the 2017 Annual Purchasing & Supply Chain Professional survey, conducted by PurchasingB2B magazine over the summer. The survey highlights what supply chain professionals make in every region and industry across Canada.

At 59 percent, the majority of respondents this year have seen an increase since 2016. A total of 46 percent saw an increase of two percent of less, while 35 percent saw increases of between 2.1 and four percent. Next year looks bright for the 62 percent of respondents expecting a salary increase next year, with 52 percent expecting two percent or less. Another 34 percent are looking forward to increases of 2.1 to four percent.

Similar to last year, we fielded the survey to PurchasingB2B readers over the summer months, from June 5 to July 30. With just over 300 readers responding, the results of the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus
5.6 percent, 19 times out of 20.

Respondent profile
Based on the survey’s results, the average respondent supervises 4.7 people and has 20.9 years of experience in supply chain. A total of 12.5 of those years have been spent with the current company while 8.4 years have been spent in their current jobs. They have a personal estimated annual sourcing volume of $22.2 million—up from $20.4 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the average sourcing volume of their department is $53 million and the estimated average percentage of organizational spend under their control is 52 percent. As well, the average supply chain budget for their department for 2017 was $138 million.

Among Canada’s provinces, Alberta continues to have the highest paid supply chain professionals, with the average salary at $107,879. Not only is that a 16.5-percent increase from the province’s average salary last year, but also 16-percent above the national average.

British Columbia boasts the second-highest average salary at $96,615, while Manitoba/Saskatchewan is next at $93,097. Ontario’s average supply chain salary is $91,845 followed by Quebec at $87,793. Atlantic Canada supply chain professionals see an average salary of $73,825, up considerably (24 percent) from the $59,365 reported in 2016.

Compared to last year, executives have reported a drop in their salaries. The 2016 executive salary was $124,050—a number that now stands at $116,241 representing a six-percent drop. The only other type of position we asked about that saw a decrease was the engineering/professional category. Those job titles went from $86,043 in 2016 to $72,906 this year.

Managerial positions earned $98,970, up from $90,878 last year. Consultants have also seen a salary boost from $87,873 to $93,241. There was a smaller increase at the operations/tactical level, up from $73,330 to $75,930. Meanwhile, supervisors are also getting paid more at $87,849—up 10 percent from last year.

Gender gap remains
Each year, PurchasingB2B looks at what male and female procurement and supply chain professionals earn. Once again, men in the field earn more than women with the average salary at $98,796. Women earn an average of $80,474. Both sexes saw an increase this year over 2016, with men seeing a rise of 11 percent and women getting five percent more.

Other factors affect salary, for example age. Those 56 to 65 years old earned the most, at $102,671. Workers over 65 had the next-highest salaries, at $94,485. The 46-to-55 bracket earned $91,816, while those 36 to 45 took home $87,620. For those 26 to 35, the average salary was $76,894.

Perhaps not surprisingly, more education tends to mean more money. Those with a master’s degree earned the most, at $124,938. Interestingly, respondents with an MBA earned a bit less on average, at $116,316. A bachelor’s degree meant an average salary of $94,157 and those with a college diploma got $90,925 on average. The average salary for respondents with a technical diploma took home $87,651, while high school or less netted respondents $68,953, on average.

The type of organization—along with the size of the company—also affects the amount that supply chain professionals are taking home. As in the past few years, the natural resources sector continues to offer the highest salaries, with an average of $98,124. Close behind that is educational services at $97,121. Those in the service sector took home $93,843, while public administration earned $86,479. Wholesale trade has an average salary of $84,000 and manufacturing salaries average $83,948.

At the same time, those working for the largest companies earned the most money. The average supply chain salary for employees in organizations with revenue greater than $1 billion saw a salary of $109,181, on average. For companies with revenue between $51 million and $1 billion, the salary was $101,033. Meanwhile, companies smaller than that had an average supply chain salary of $80,738. Regarding the number of company employees, organizations with 500 or more on staff had an average supply chain salary of $101,048. The salary at organizations with 100 to 499 employees averaged $90,760, while companies smaller than that offered an average salary of $80,344.

Experience counts
Looking for a great supply chain salary? Stick around for a few years—those with longer tenures earned the most, with 26 to 30 years of experience netting supply chain professionals $107,484. Interestingly, those with 31 or more years of experience saw a dip in salary, with an average of $106,186. Those with 21 to 25 years of experience took home $93,194, while those with 16 to 20 years on the job earned $83,953. Again an interesting anomaly: those with between 11 and 15 years’ experience earned more than that, at $88,638. Moving down the experience ladder, supply chain professionals with between six and 10 years of experience under their belts earned $81,986. For anyone with five years or less experience, the average salary fell by a fair bit, to $65,501.

Overall, salary remains important to supply chain professionals, with 99 percent of respondents saying that they considered a competitive salary important. Along with that, 85 percent said that they were satisfied with their current salaries. We asked about their satisfaction with other areas of their employment, and 99 percent noted they

considered a healthy work/life balance important, while 76 percent responded that they were happy with that balance.

Also important were: support for professional development (96 percent); benefits package (97 percent); vacation time (100 percent); job security (97 percent) and performance recognition (94 percent).

A total of 26 percent of respondents report to the procurement department, while 20 percent report into finance. Another 15 percent report up to the C-suite. And a strong majority—87 percent overall—agree that the move towards finance and procurement working together has benefited their organizations. What’s more, 85 percent believe that the involvement with their organization’s finance department will increase in the coming years, while 14 percent believe it will decrease.

Similar to last year, cost control was a big issue among supply chain professionals; 53 percent of respondents said it was the top supply chain issue they faced during the last 12 months, followed by supplier relationship management (24 percent) and forecasting (22 percent). Cost control was also the top issue anticipated over the next 12 months (56 percent), while forecasting and supplier relationship management (28 and 23 percent, respectively).

With salaries higher than last year and satisfaction levels also relatively high, procurement and supply chain professionals appear to be in a good position this year. Hopefully, strong Canadian and global economies will help to bolster the apparent success of the field for some time to come.