What is supply chain management?
Supply chain management (SCM) is the centralized management of the flow of goods and services that includes all processes that transform raw materials into final products. According to Investopedia, supply chain management involves the active streamlining of a business’s supply-side activities to maximize customer value and gain a competitive advantage. By managing the logistics and supply chain, companies can cut excess costs and deliver products to the consumer faster. Excellent supply chain management process keeps companies out of the headlines and away from expensive recalls and lawsuits.
The five most critical elements of SCM
A supply chain manager coordinates the logistics of all aspects of the supply chain, still according to Investopedia below:
- Plan or strategy
- Source (of raw materials or services)
- Manufacturing (focused on productivity and efficiency)
- Delivery and logistics
- Return system (for defective or unwanted products)
The role of a supply chain manager is to minimize shortages and keep costs down. The supply chain and logistics job is not only about logistics and purchasing inventory. According to Salary.com, supply chain logistics managers also oversee and manage the overall supply chain and logistic operations to maximize efficiency and minimize the organization’s supply chain cost.
Another role that every global supply chain manager needs is to craft sourcing and supply management strategies in all phases of their product’s lifecycle, from introduction to the end of life. According to Supply Chain Dive, active participation in lifecycle management planning and decision-making provides a window into the company’s marketing, operational, and financial performance. Properly aligned supplier selection and management also help address and manage logistics and supply chain management risk.
How to become a supply chain management professional?
The prospects for supply chain jobs in Canada remain in high demand. Several essential skills are required to become a successful supply chain manager, including computer skills, project management, knowledge and expertise in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, leadership, and analytical thinking. As for education and certification requirements, it is uncommon to land a supply chain management position without an academic background and experience; therefore, a diploma program in supply chain and logistics, as well as supply chain management certification in Canada or a Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation granted from the Supply Chain Management Association, is required. You can enroll to supply chain management online courses, which gives you the flexibility to work while upgrading your skills.