supply chain managementIt’s no secret that the supply chain has become key to enabling commerce and production around the world. But the employees who manage it have been unrecognized and considered as technicians at best. The Institute for Supply Management found that overdue recognition is finally coming to managers who can take control of costs and processes.


According to the ISM report average salaries rose just over 4 percent for supply chain professionals in 2017. That’s above the rate of increase for other managers. But businesses are dealing with increased costs and changes in the way orders are handled, not to mention pressures from consumers for better visibility of orders and quicker delivery. Innovative managers who understand the details of supply chain operations and can navigate the complex paths can put themselves for increases and promotions.

Challenges

Transportation costs -- Fuel costs and driver scarcity have driven up the cost of moving product and while there are some promising opportunities to reduce those costs they are still climbing. Someone who understands the opportunities and the problems and is able to take a wide view of transportation and delivery can make a significant positive impact on transport costs.

International regulations -- International trade skills are top priorities for companies with overseas manufacturing and distribution, and supply chain managers will need even greater abilities as GDPR regulations come into effect, and will also need negotiating skills as far East trade changes in the coming years. Knowing the fine details of the workings of the entire supply chain, transportation logistics, financial dealings, and regulations is and will be a top priority when considering employment compensation.

Technology advances -- Technology is being applied to nearly every phase of the supply chain and executives who understand the application of current tech as well as possible future uses can turn that knowledge to the advantage of their company. Those who don’t get the tech aspects and simply run the business as it has been run in the past are likely to let their company be eclipsed by competitors with better more capable management.

From the inside

Finding savvy supply chain managers has always been difficult, in part because of the niche nature of the supply chain itself and also because of its historically low visibility in the enterprise. The employment outlook for experienced supply chain managers is getting hotter because of the increased importance of the job combined with the relative scarcity of candidates. Companies are offering premium salaries to lure managers, potentially leaving difficult to fill job openings in their wake. Enterprises should be making an effort to get ahead of the demand for these employees by both recognizing their current successful executives and developing their own internal training for current employees they can identify as future candidates to fill the roles.

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