Have you ever wondered how Tim Cook ended up becoming CEO of Apple, the most valuable company in the world? Have you ever wondered how Wal-Mart and Amazon.com became so successful? The answer is supply chain management.
Do you enjoy studying business and do you want to have a hands on, exciting career? Do you enjoy solving problems and making a difference? Consider studying supply chain management!
Supply Chain Management is at the heart of the business world. It is an exciting field with endless possibilities. As companies continue to look at cutting costs and improving efficiencies, they are turning to supply chain professionals and experts for help. By studying supply chain management, you are joining a group of professionals that will transform the business world for years to come.
So….what is a supply chain?
The supply chain — a term now commonly used internationally — encompasses every effort involved in producing and delivering a final product or service, from the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer . Supply chain management includes managing supply and demand, sourcing raw materials and parts, manufacturing and assembly, warehousing and inventory tracking, order entry and order management, distribution across all channels, and delivery to the customer.
Due to its wide scope, supply chain management must address complex interdependencies; in effect creating an “extended enterprise” that reaches far beyond the factory door. Today, material and service suppliers, channel supply partners (wholesalers / distributors, retailers), and customers themselves, as well as supply chain management consultants, software product suppliers and system developers, are all key players in supply-chain management.
Source: Supply Chain Council
What is supply chain management?
Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers, and customers. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.
Boundaries and Relationships: Supply chain management is an integrating function with primary responsibility for linking major business functions and business processes within and across companies into a cohesive and high-performing business model. It includes all of the logistics management activities noted above, as well as manufacturing operations, and it drives coordination of processes and activities with and across marketing, sales, product design, finance, and information technology.Source: Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
What is logistics?
Logistics management is that part of supply chain management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.
Boundaries and Relationships: Logistics management activities typically include inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply/demand planning, and management of third-party logistics services providers. To varying degrees, the logistics function also includes sourcing and procurement, production planning and scheduling, packaging and assembly, and customer service. It is involved in all levels of planning and execution–strategic, operational and tactical. Logistics management is an integrating function, which coordinates and optimizes all logistics activities, as well as integrates logistics activities with other functions including marketing, sales manufacturing, finance, and information technology.
Source: Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
Possible Job Positions
What kinds of jobs (and salaries) are available for SCM graduates?
According to the 2006-07 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are good opportunities for individuals with a college degree in supply chain management. The Utah Department of Workforce Services lists Operations Managers among the eight highest-paid positions with robust job growth through 2014, and lists the average starting wage for a Purchasing Manager at $50,060. There are great opportunities in manufacturing, retail, health care, and other sectors of the economy. Regular recruiters of BYU Supply Chain graduates include Dell, DHL, Smuckers, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, Lands’ End, and Whirlpool.
Source: BYU Marriott School of Management Website
Listed below are brief descriptions of a few of the typical entry level positions:
- Planner or Analyst – Uses analytical and quantitative methods to understand, predict, and enhance supply chain processes. Responsible for assembling data, analyzing performance, identifying problems, and developing recommendations which support the management of a supply chain.
- Buyer – Works with internal customers (marketing, production, operations, etc.) and external suppliers to efficiently and effectively manage the purchasing process for the goods and services needed by the company. Responsible for identifying sources of supply, evaluating and selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing relationships with suppliers.
- Inventory Specialist – Develops and implements plans to optimize inventory cost and customer service goals. Responsible for inventory quality and accuracy, coordinates physical inventory process and cycle counts, monitors inventory flow through the system, and works on stock location and order picking strategies to optimize work flow, space utilization, and labor productivity in distribution facilities.
- Materials Planner, Materials Analyst – Manages raw materials and/or components needed for manufacturing. Responsible for inbound inventory levels. Coordinates with purchasing, manufacturing and supplier to ensure reliable, cost efficient delivery of the raw materials to the production line. May be responsible for receiving, warehousing, scheduling, and inbound transportation.
- Transportation Coordinator, Traffic Analyst – Evaluates, selects, and manages transportation carriers for inbound goods. Manages relationships with carriers and internal customers to ensure the timely delivery of goods.
- Production Coordinator, Scheduler, Operations Planner/ Analyst- Uses scheduling and forecasting abilities, knowledge of statistical process control, and interpersonal skills. Responsible for coordinating daily production schedules and forecasting future production needs.
Source: Arizona State University , W.P. Carey School of Business