If you’re looking for a stable and rewarding career in the supply chain industry, then you’ve come to the right place. As an important part of most organizations, supply chain professionals are responsible for managing materials, goods, and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption. With a wide range of functions and opportunities that are available, you can be sure that there’s a career path in this area for you. In this article, we’ll cover 6 tips to consider when starting or advancing a career in supply chain.
1. Get A Specialty Education
Having an education in business administration or operation is highly desirable for pursuing a career in the supply chain industry. A degree in this specialty can give you a leg up in understanding the different aspects of a job in this area. Depending on the type of job you’re seeking, there may also be specific certifications and training that employers require. If this is the case, make sure to research what qualifications and training are needed for a particular position. You can also take logistics courses online that can help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a supply chain professional. You can stay up to date on the latest trends in supply chain and logistics through industry publications, events, and workshops.
2. Network With Professionals
Networking with industry professionals can be extremely valuable when building a career in supply chain. You should take advantage of professional associations, conferences, and job fairs to build contacts within the field and learn about the latest trends in the industry. The supply chain industry is always evolving with new ideas and technologies and networking can help you keep track of the latest trends. By joining online forums and webinars you can easily access things that are available.
3. Explore Internships and Volunteering Opportunities
Getting hands-on experience is an important step when building a career in supply chain. There are many internships and volunteering opportunities available that you can look into. If you’re just starting out, this is an excellent way to gain experience into various aspects of this field in order to see what is the best fit. This could be focused on purchasing, logistics and transportation, scheduling, operations, distribution and more. There are may companies and organizations that specialize in this field such as Amazon, Walmart, Fedex, UPS, the post office and more.
4. Learn About Supply Chain Applications
A supply chain career will most likely involve management and technical skills. So, one thing that could really help is to become knowledgeable in the applications that are used by different companies. You can easily research the various applications that are used and get training and certification in them so companies can hire you. Training in these applications also will allow you to learn about the functionality used to run the organization. For example, if you learn a purchasing application, you will be able to understand the different steps needed to do a purchasing job. The same for transportation or logistics.
Another aspect of supply chain is to manage a project. There are many project management roles and opportunities that require overseeing and connecting the various functions. There are also project management certification programs that an help you in this area.
5. Consider an Advanced Degree
One of the ways to advance in supply chain management is to go for an advanced degree. You can try to gain knowledge in another area or further your expertise in one area by considering a master’s degree in supply chain. Research the degrees that are available locally if you want to do this part time or while you are working. You can finish a master’s program in one year or take more time if you are doing it part-time.
6. Demonstrate Your Expertise
One of the best ways to make yourself stand out in the supply chain industry is to prove your expertise. You can do this by writing and speaking about topics related to your area of expertise. Giving a presentation at supply chain conferences can be a great way to establish your credibility. Here are the top 5 organizations in this area:
- American Production and Inventory Control Society
- Institute for Supply Chain Management
- The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
- International Warehouse Logistics Association
- Material Handling Association of America
You should also use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to demonstrate your knowledge and build relationships with other industry professionals.
In summary, there are many specialties within supply chain in technology, project management, purchasing, operations and logistics. You can build a successful career in this area by getting a specialty education, networking with professionals, exploring internship opportunities, learning about supply chain applications, considering an advanced degree, and demonstrating your expertise through writing and speaking engagements.