Career Preparation for Supply Chain Students!

Students need professional preparation and start looking for a job early. They are still studying at university, but a part-time job would give them more financial freedom and they would not be dependent on their parents.

A career in supply chain management is very attractive, precisely because more and more supply chains are now being established. The global pandemic has made people more conscious of their choices and many of them have decided to start their own startups or businesses.

The supply chain industry needs project managers. Because their process is very complex and they need competent employees to tackle these challenges. And challenges are always on the road. A supply chain manager is responsible for handling the services or goods produced by a manufacturer until they reach the customer or end user.

So, a few practical and social skills are the ones that students who want to pursue a career in this field should develop and improve in their professional preparation.

But first think about what you want to do

Well, you need a range of skills to be successful in a field like supply chain management. But first, think about what exactly you want to do. And that depends a lot on what you like and where you get your energy from. For example, if you enjoy working with people, you might want a career in human resources or customer service.

There you will always work with people. If you like numbers, you can prepare yourself for a career in supply chain financial management. If you love engineering, you could work with an outside logistics company on solution design. There are many opportunities in supply chain management, but you need to decide which niche to choose. Depending on the niche you choose, you can look for courses that will help you learn more and gain more knowledge.

The steps you need to take

If you are a student looking to prepare for a supply chain management position, you need to know that there are a few steps you can take. This job preparation process will also help you get to know yourself and your dreams better and work towards achieving something you really want.

  • Decide on the desired niche – this makes the next steps clearer; Ask yourself what you enjoy doing and where you get your energy from. Do you draw your energy from the people around you and do you like to manage them? Do you like working with numbers and planning expenses? Do you love technology or design?
  • Search for available positions – after you have decided on your niche, you can search for available positions that match your requirements. For example, if you want to work with people, positions would be available in human resources and customer service departments.
  • Get to know the qualifications and courses you need – even as a student you can take part in many courses that take a closer look at the topic of supply chain management. In addition, they are valuable things to add to your resume, which can make a difference. You can get certifications for purchasing manager, production and inventory management, and more.
  • Look for internship positions – if you think you have enough time to work part-time in this field, an internship position would be just what you need to get started and learn more.
  • Keep improving – new technologies are always being invented, there is always something new to learn. Stay curious to continuously improve your skills and knowledge; Stay current with updates in the Supply Chain Management space.

There are always challenges along the way in a supply chain management career, so you will need some skills to face those challenges.

Knowledge of logistics and transport

Transportation and logistics are a crucial part of the whole supply chain management process. Because they represent an essential step in the entire process. A supply chain manager is responsible, among other things, for the transport of goods from the manufacturer to the supplier. It depends on the size and weight of the goods, which in turn depends on the profile of the supply chain business.

Logistics and transportation are essential for the smooth functioning of the company or business and when done and planned wisely, they can be very efficient and cost-effective. However, logistics and transportation are two of the main functional areas of supply chain management, and they are closely related even though they work separately. Traditionally, transportation management is a sub-division of the logistics department, but this varies from company to company.

While the logistics part involves handling goods and services, storing them and making sure they are there for the customer, the transportation part is another essential part. This is because you may have the best products stocked in the largest warehouse and customers demanding it. But if you don’t manage the transport part appropriately, they might not even reach the end user.

If you are a student who is passionate about supply chain management and has sparked your interest in the fields of logistics and transportation, you can start studying for certifications. There is a Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) certification that you can obtain.

Inventory management and demand planning

The supply chain management domain has many functional areas, including inventory management and demand planning. In some companies they can be organized separately.

However, they are connected. Inventory management is essential for a supply chain company as it must ensure that all products are ready for delivery and that optimal numbers are in stock at any one time. The primary goal of an inventory manager is to ensure there are uninterrupted sales. Delays and problems can always occur, especially because this area is also closely related to transportation.

Well, based on the submitted orders, the demand planning can be forecast. This means that at some times, e.g. B. during winter holidays, can be higher, so you need to make sure you have the products in stock.

Well, to be part of the demand planning field, you must be familiar with quantitative methods for forecasting demand, computer models and have good analytical skills. Planning and anticipating consumer demand requires collecting and good analysis of data, so you also need to know data analysis. There are many roles you can fill in this space and you can choose from Inventory Analyst/Manager, Deployment Planner, Demand Planner and many more.

financial planning

Another part that is important not only for supply chain management companies but for all companies is financial planning. If you want to work in supply chain management, you need to have good financial skills. Along with logistics and transportation, these are other skills that will help you succeed in this industry. Planning the entire operation from a financial point of view may sound simple, but it is very complex.

There are incomes, expenses and investments that you need to take care of and measure. At the same time, don’t forget about employees, suppliers and customers. Therefore, creating a financial plan and setting financial goals is imperative and in order to do so, you must have a good understanding of finance.

Customer service

Even though the customer service department may appear to be at the bottom of supply chain management, it is an essential and crucial department that ensures customer satisfaction. Being a customer service representative or manager comes with responsibilities, and while it sounds simple, it is a very challenging job.

Students who study at a university and wish to work in this functional part of the supply chain need to be aware of the skills required. It is also important to know that you will handle both difficult and simple customer cases, help and support the customer in their acquisition and be able to find solutions to their problems.

And for that you need not only specialist knowledge of supply chain management processes, but also important social skills. Writix: Cheap Service professionals suggest that the most important social skills to work on are: conflict resolution/resolution, communicating confidently and effectively, empathy, active listening, relationship management, and more.

Work preparation in conclusion

If you’ve been wondering how to prepare for a supply chain management role, we hope this article has met your expectations and answered your questions. The supply chain management profession is beautiful and rewarding, but also challenging and complex. Therefore, some job preparation skills are essential to ensure success in this profession.

Knowledge of logistics and transportation, financial planning, and inventory management and demand planning are among the practical skills required. But alongside this, social skills should not be missing, as they will help you to connect with employees and communicate better with suppliers and customers. Also, you will likely be subjected to a background check.

Organic Lines: Alisia Stren is an essay and content writer. She writes on topics such as supply chain management, social skills and dropshipping. Alisia loves watching SF movies.

Article for work preparation and permission for publication here provided by Alisia Stren. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on July 28th, 2021.

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