Skills in supply chain management
Skills in supply chain management
Are there essential skills that you must have or develop to be a supply chain leader of tomorrow? Do you need to have business experience and a degree in supply chain management? Or do you need to work hard to develop the skills necessary to be a supply chain leader?
It’s likely to be a combination of both. Many elements of supply chain leadership cannot be effectively learned by only going to school. It is a good place to begin, knowing the essential skills of supply chain leaders and why they are important.
This is what you will find in this article. You can see which skills you have and which you may wish to improve with supply chain education.
1. Information Technology and Automation Knowledge
Before I get into the first section, let me make a point that I will expand on later. Leadership in supply chain is about people using technology to their advantage. If you want to become a supply chain leader, it is essential that you improve your people skills.
Automation technology is becoming more popular as more companies use it in their warehouses and distribution centers.
2. A Grasp of Economics and Market Dynamics
The supply chain industry is rapidly changing, sometimes unpredictably, according to market dynamics across many industries. These changes are influenced by rapid shifts of consumer and customer buying behavior.
Many markets, once confined to a single region or locality, have gone global. So have the supply chains that support them. You will be a supply chain leader and need to look ahead to anticipate what is coming. This can only be achieved if you have a deep understanding of the market dynamics in your industry and for your company.
You will need to be able to see the future and manage a supply chain team efficiently. These forces have an impact on many supply chain management elements such as the cost of goods and how much it costs to serve customers.
3. Understanding Cost-to-serve
The profitability of their companies is directly affected by supply chain leaders. Your decisions can have a significant impact on the cost of supplying customers to your company’s supply chain operations.
If you are able to quantify the impact of your supply chain leadership decisions on your bottom line, you will be able to have a significant advantage and shine as a leader. Too few companies pay attention to the true costs of serving customers.
This inattention often leads to a one-size fits all approach to service. It can lead to over-servicing some customers and under-servicing others. One service offering can lead to a loss of profitability and possibly even cause logistics costs to make some sales less profitable.
While every company needs supply chain leaders that can have a direct and positive impact on the bottom line, not all companies have such leaders. Being familiar with cost-to serve is an important skill to have as a supply chain professional.
4. The Skill of Flexibility
Innovation is the only thing that you won’t see on this list. While you don’t need to be an innovator in order to be a great supply chain leader, it is important to foster and drive innovation. Flexibility is the key skill to help you do this.
Flexibility allows you to allow others to innovate. Flexibility will allow creative thinkers to feel confident in their ideas. They know you will accept them if they are worthwhile.
Flexibility will prevent you from getting too comfortable with the status quo and make it easier to change. Flexibility will help you to accept change, which is often called the only constant in supply-chain management. Your team will then be encouraged to embrace change rather than resist it.
5. Project Management Skills
As a supply chain leader, you will need flexibility as well as many other skills in project management. It all depends on your leadership role, but you will likely hold multiple management positions as you move up the ranks, many of which will involve you managing projects.
6. The ability to get the best out of people
Self-criticism is okay as long as you are willing to learn and have the motivation to improve your life. Passionate about working with others and being passionate about teamwork is key to success as a supply chain leader.
Avoid falling for this trap. As a leader, work on your flexibility. You must accept that plans should always remain in progress and be flexible when necessary. It is impossible to plan for all eventualities. Flexibility is an essential part of project management.