Making a career change to get a job in supply chain management might be easier than you think. You’ll find a profession with variety, challenge and guaranteed progression. Here’s how to get started.
First, Pick an Industry
In choosing an entry point, start by considering an industry that interests you. As quality management becomes important, many businesses want to control their supply chain, all the way from the floor to the client. Businesses are expected to control processes in-house, therefore creating strong job opportunities.
Key industries that have a growing need for supply chain professionals are Mining, Defence, Retail/Online, Manufacturing, Construction, Import/Export and Rural/Agribusiness.
The Right Experience
Advice from supply chain professionals suggests candidates benefit from building their experience and skillsets by starting where they can – warehousing, administration, buying, customer service, IT are all traditional areas to consider. Sometimes working in smaller businesses will give you generalised and direct end-to-end knowledge and skill sets you can then apply in larger companies.
What Suits your Strengths?
An unexpected advantage of the supply chain profession is you can capitalise on existing skills and strengths.
- Networking, building relationships and a talent for numbers: These can become the building blocks for a career in procurement and purchasing. A role in procurement would mean buying goods for the business or company at the most competitive prices. Roles include materials scheduler, materials analyst, production analyst and procurement analyst with a long-term goal as a Procurement Manager. The role would make you crucial to vendor relationships, the sourcing of suppliers, negotiating prices and setting contracts while overseeing all orders and purchases.
- Born communicators, excellent customer service and team skills, detail oriented, and problem-solvers: You will benefit from a role in Distribution. In this role, you’ll be involved in the full process from receiving and storing goods to shipping the goods to customers. The big picture for your skills is Distribution Centre Manager, where your team skills will be essential for the supervision of the centre. This includes the daily running of stock levels, customer service and analysing quality control of all stock and its movement.
- Leadership, attention to detail, problem-solving and strong IT skills: You’ll find Operations will be a very satisfying career direction. Ultimately as Operations Manager, you’ll be overseeing staff, projects and clients which will include workforce planning, cost controls, customer service and developing, and implementing business plans.
- Organisation, numbers and analysis, strong IT skills: You’ll excel in Logistics where you get to work in an area that oversees the entire logistics supply chain including purchasing, movement, storage, scheduling and delivery. When you progress to Logistics Manager, you will be reporting directly to the CEO and ultimately be responsible for the smooth operation of the complete supply chain.
- Written and verbal communications, records management, excellent attention to detail, fast-paced environment, working in a hands-on role: You’re likely to thrive in Transportation. The long-term aim for you can be Transport Scheduler, a hands-on operational role dealing directly with staff and drivers, troubleshooting problems and ensuring all stakeholders are getting value.
While gaining experience that channels your skills and strengths, studying for the appropriate qualification such as a Diploma in either Logistics (TLI50219) or Purchasing (BSB51518) will accelerate your progress.
Why gain a Diploma of Business (Procurement)?
The attraction of purchasing is that it offers choice in the variety of sectors and roles. Areas from finance to manufacturing and charity, to local government, all have procurement requirement. The range of industries means that a purchaser can be buying anything from manufacturing components to helicopters, to travel and TV advertising space, and is an ideal career if you value variety and challenge.
Why gain a Diploma in Logistics?
There is currently a regional logistics boom that shows no signs of slowing down and your logistics skills will be in hot demand. Stability, challenge and job satisfaction along with salary growth are attractive rewards in this ever-growing profession.
With experience and relevant qualification, you are well on your way to being in a dynamic, fulfilling, and expansive career with a job in supply chain management that suits both your strengths and your ambitions.