Supply chain management, or SCM, oversees how goods and services evolve from idea creation and raw materials into a finished consumer product. According to Indeed.ca, it includes moving and storing the materials used to produce goods, keeping the finished products until they sell, and tracking where sold products go so that companies can use that information to drive future sales.
Why is supply chain management important?
A well-managed supply chain can significantly reduce a company’s operating expenses, driving up profits. This efficiency appears in every aspect of the chain, from idea creation to final product marketing. The supply chain management process involves every part of business operations, including logistics, purchasing, and information technology. It integrates materials, finances, suppliers, manufacturing facilities, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers into a seamless system.
How does supply chain management work?
Supply chain management coordinates procurement, suppliers, manufacturing facilities, retailers, distributors, and customers as they move together through the production, sales and buying cycles. The supply chain requires active management because many factors outside the control of the business affect it, such as gas prices and environmental conditions. When a company is aware of those factors, it can manage them more effectively.
These are the career prospects of supply chain management.
- Supply chain manager
National average salary: $68,967/year
Supply chain managers oversee every stage of production, from purchasing and importing raw materials to creating the final product. They ensure their team has the necessary resources throughout the development process and they work safely and efficiently. Their main priority is maximizing high-quality product creation.
2. Procurement specialist
National average salary: $61,224
Procurement specialists source the raw materials, goods, and services companies may need. They research different suppliers to find the ones offering the best products at an affordable price. Procurement specialists determine the best price by analyzing industry trends and staying up-to-date with what’s on the market. They oversee inventory to ensure they order new materials when necessary.
3. Purchasing manager
National average salary: $84,775
Purchasing managers work closely with suppliers to find the best ones for a company. They may attend trade shows or conferences to meet new suppliers and offer contracts. They then maintain relationships with these suppliers and monitor their contracts for any necessary updates.
4. Retail buyer
National average salary: $59,884
Retail buyers select and purchase products to resell at a retail establishment. For example, a retail buyer at a clothing store may buy clothing from different brands. They typically negotiate a lower price when purchasing items as they buy them in bulk. Then, the company can sell these products at a higher price to make a profit. Retail buyers analyze their target audience and purchase items that meet their customer’s needs. They stay current with market trends and their competitors to determine which products to buy.
5. Warehouse manager
National average salary: $62,808
Warehouse managers oversee the administrative aspects of a warehouse. They ensure employees are working safely and efficiently, receiving and shipping goods. They also provide to store goods safely so customers can receive products in excellent condition.
6. Logistics manager
National average salary: $72,445
A logistics manager works closely with a supply chain manager to oversee a company’s supply chain. Supply chain managers focus on the movement of goods, while logistics managers focus on their maintenance and storage. Logistics managers manage the inventory at storage warehouses and schedule the shipping and receiving of products. They may negotiate shipping rates with carriers to adhere to a company’s budget and increase revenue.