Supply Chain Management Careers

Supply chain management (SCM) refers to the coordination and management of a network of businesses involved throughout the entire process of providing a product or service. Supply chain management runs the gamut from creation and transportation of raw materials through to the ultimate phases of procurement, production, distribution, and purchasing of any product or service.

Employment Opportunities

Supply chain management professionals may work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Technology
  • Retail and wholesale
  • Food and grocery
  • Farm products
  • Government agencies

Skills

Supply chain management professionals need a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Computer skills (Word processing and spreadsheet; Internet)
  • Negotiation skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Mathematical and analytical skills
  • Organizational and planning ability
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership

Industry Spotlight

Changing business practices have altered the traditional roles of purchasing or supply management specialists in many industries. For example, manufacturing companies increasingly involve workers in this occupation at most stages of product development because of their ability to forecast a part’s or material’s cost, availability, and suitability for its intended purpose. Furthermore, potential problems with the supply of materials may be avoided by consulting the purchasing department in the early stages of product design.

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008