Supply Chain Management, the process of managing the network of interconnected entities involved in provision of end product to customer, is one of the high growth functions across the sectors. It is being considered as the most coveted specialization in Developed Nations while Companies in Developing Nations have started giving it due importance. And with this increasing demand of Supply Chain Managers, B-Schools have started to strengthen their base in the specialization. Student fraternity in India and other developing nations has started to explore more about the domain. They want to know more about the profiles being offered, about the work-life balance and many more details of this domain. In order to facilitate our friends who are spending their grey matter on research before diving into the deep ocean of opportunities in Supply Chain area, here we come with the analysis of few major job profiles after MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Industry.
Job Profiles After MBA in Operations / Supply Chain
1. Procurement / Purchasing
This is one of the most coveted profiles in Supply Chain domain. Procurement/Purchasing manager is responsible to buy/approve acquisition of goods and services needed by the company. This can either be raw material needed for production, facilities and equipments for manufacturing, general supplies needed for the company and even the marketing services. In simple words, you have to spend TONS of money wisely.
Scope of the role would be defined by the policies of the company you are employed with, for example: Procurement Manager in Proctor and Gamble might be having a different scope of work when compared to his counterpart in Hindustan Lever Limited.
It is an important role as almost all the leading companies spend two-third of their revenue on buying goods and services, making this role a vital one for the organization. Profile needs a good mix of hard and soft skills as you need to interact with plethora of people, suppliers and other organizations.
Few key responsibilities include:
- Getting goods and services for the best price and value
- Cutting any waste and unnecessary costs to create a streamlined process and fast production times
- Working with suppliers to ensure that key processes are running efficiently and cost-effectively
- Building strong working relationships both internally and with key suppliers
- Liaising between suppliers, manufacturers, relevant internal departments and customers
- Contract management and negotiation
- Understanding and keeping up with new trends and regulations in the business
- Dealing with international suppliers
- Understanding technology and managing online systems such as e-auctions and e-tendering
However, remember that if you screw up the deliverables in this role, entire supply chain of the company gets disrupted, goods are not delivered, and company loses revenue as well as the brand image. So, if you are ready to take up the challenge, this is the role in Supply Chain that deserves you!
2. Plant/Facility Manager
This is another important role and generally people with work experience in Core Engineering branches like Mechanical, Electrical, Production and Civil are preferred for these roles.
Plant manager oversees all daily operations of a plant. He often is in charge of everything from production and manufacturing (including physical operations) to making sure policies and procedures are followed in all departments. Supervising and motivating staff members also form the important part of the responsibilities of manager. He is even required to maintain a clean plant free of safety or health concerns.
Key responsibilities also include ensuring that the production equipment and machinery should be meticulously cared for to avoid lapses in the manufacturing process and to ensure quality control standards are upheld.
In addition, the manager may be responsible for creating and following a budget and preparing profit and loss projections. This requires proficiency in math and skills in creating reports and spreadsheets utilizing commercially produced and in-house software programs. The ability to interpret reports and statistics from outside agencies is also an important skill needed by a plant manager.
Depending on the company one is working for, there may be sub-divisions of all the responsibilities into different roles like: Plant General Manager, Plant Manager- Manufacturing, Plant Operations Manager and Line Manager to name the few.
Before we move on to the next role, we would want to mention that traditionally, manufacturers have relied on plant managers to ensure the production process moves forward as smoothly and efficiently as possible. But increasing competitive pressures have changed the way many manufacturers view the role of the plant manager.
The modern plant manager needs to be more than a “traffic cop” but someone who is involved in critical decision-making activities that impact profits.
3. Logistics / Distribution Manager
This is another coveted profile for Supply Chain enthusiasts.
Key responsibility is to organize the storage and distribution of goods. Essentially, manager needs to ensure that the right products are delivered to the right location on time and at an optimized cost. They may be involved in transportation, stock control, warehousing and monitoring the flow of goods.Logistics Manager job
Managers needs to have an understanding of the whole supply chain so they can co-ordinate it effectively and liaise with suppliers of raw materials, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Even IT plays a big part in the role as IT systems are used to keep track of stock levels, delivery times, transport costs and performance evaluation.
Managers must also be aware of external influences such as legislation, fuel costs and environmental pressures. They will always need to be considering how business development can fit with sustainability.
Responsibilities vary according to the specific job role and whether the employing company is a manufacturer, retailer or specialist service provider (e.g. in third party logistics (3PL)).
Few common work activities include:
- Monitoring the quality, quantity, cost and efficiency of the movement and storage of goods
- Coordinating and controlling the order cycle and associated information systems
- Analyzing data to monitor performance and plan improvements and demand
- Allocating and managing staff resources according to changing needs
- Liaising and negotiating with customers and suppliers
- Developing business by gaining new contracts, analyzing logistical problems and producing new solutions.
Once the person moves up the ladder in role and starts playing role at higher management, responsibilities enhance and include:
Working on new supply strategies
Planning vehicle routes
Using specialist knowledge, such as mechanical-handling systems, to provide consultancy services
4. Warehouse Manager
Role of Logistics/Distribution Manager may be sub-categorized into the role of Warehouse Manager.
As a warehouse manager, your responsibilities will specifically include:
Continuously optimizing Warehouse operational processes
Ensuring all the processes are conducted smoothly and no bottleneck is present
Implementing health and safety procedures in warehouse
Managing staff training issues
Motivating other members of the team
Setting objectives for all the employees as warehouse to achieve better efficiency on yearly basis
5. Supply Chain Manager
There are few companies which prefer to have the role name as Supply Chain Manager rather than sub-dividing it on the basis of different functional entities. Generally, one may expect to be dealing with much wider scope of responsibilities in this role.
Supply chain managers have a tremendous impact on the success of an organization. These managers are engaged in every facet of the business process, right from planning and purchasing to distribution and customer service. A supply chain manager can either work in one of the following areas of supply chain, or can be managing all of them. These include planning of entire Supply Chain or of any of the functional entities, production supervision, inventory management, product delivery and Customer Service.
Competencies and Skills Required
You might be thinking that what are the competencies and skills that I should be possessing to leave my mark in these coveted Supply Chain profiles.
Here we list few of the major ones for you:
Domain Knowledge- a clear understanding of various concepts of SCM
Decision Making Skills- Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems
Analytical Skills- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources, analyzing it to arrive at logical conclusions
Communication Skills- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person
Team Building- Developing and working in small and large teams. Resolving conflict, providing motivation
Negotiation- Negotiating with different vendors, suppliers, logistic providers etc.
At the end, we would just like to say that do not go by the scenario of today while deciding about Supply Chain as a specialization, reason being India is still developing. Think about the industry requirements in long run and then decide whether Supply Chain profiles are the ones in which you would like to build your career and contribute to your organization.
We hope this article provided you ample information on the basis of which you may evaluate Supply Chain Management as a career in a better way.