What do Supply Chain Managers do?

Direct or coordinate production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, or financial forecasting services or activities to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer service, or safety. Examine existing procedures or opportunities for streamlining activities to meet product distribution needs. Direct the movement, storage, or processing of inventory.

  • Confer with supply chain planners to forecast demand or create supply plans that ensure availability of materials or products.
  • Monitor forecasts and quotas to identify changes or to determine their effect on supply chain activities.
  • Define performance metrics for measurement, comparison, or evaluation of supply chain factors, such as product cost or quality.
  • Analyze inventories to determine how to increase inventory turns, reduce waste, or optimize customer service.
  • Develop procedures for coordination of supply chain management with other functional areas, such as sales, marketing, finance, production, or quality assurance.
  • Negotiate prices and terms with suppliers, vendors, or freight forwarders.
  • Meet with suppliers to discuss performance metrics, to provide performance feedback, or to discuss production forecasts or changes.
  • Implement new or improved supply chain processes.
  • Design or implement supply chains that support business strategies adapted to changing market conditions, new business opportunities, or cost reduction strategies.
  • Manage activities related to strategic or tactical purchasing, material requirements planning, inventory control, warehousing, or receiving.
  • Monitor supplier performance to assess ability to meet quality and delivery requirements.
  • Participate in the coordination of engineering changes, product line extensions, or new product launches to ensure orderly and timely transitions in material or production flow.
  • Analyze information about supplier performance or procurement program success.
  • Select transportation routes to maximize economy by combining shipments or consolidating warehousing and distribution.
  • Collaborate with other departments, such as procurement, engineering, and quality assurance, to identify or qualify new suppliers.
  • Develop or implement procedures or systems to evaluate or select suppliers.
  • Document physical supply chain processes, such as workflows, cycle times, position responsibilities, or system flows.
  • Develop material costs forecasts or standard cost lists.
  • Assess appropriate material handling equipment needs and staffing levels to load, unload, move, or store materials.
  • Design or implement plant warehousing strategies for production materials or finished products.
  • Appraise vendor manufacturing ability through on-site visits and measurements.
  • Diagram supply chain models to help facilitate discussions with customers.
  • Conduct or oversee the conduct of life cycle analyses to determine the environmental impacts of products, processes, or systems.
  • Design or implement supply chains that support environmental policies.
  • Design, implement, or oversee product take back or reverse logistics programs to ensure products are recycled, reused, or responsibly disposed.
  • Evaluate and select information or other technology solutions to improve tracking and reporting of materials or products distribution, storage, or inventory.
  • Identify opportunities to reuse or recycle materials to minimize consumption of new materials, minimize waste, or to convert wastes to by-products.
  • Investigate or review the carbon footprints and environmental performance records of current or potential storage and distribution service providers.
  • Locate or select biodegradable, non-toxic, or other environmentally friendly raw materials for manufacturing processes.
  • Review or update supply chain practices in accordance with new or changing environmental policies, standards, regulations, or laws.

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Necessary Skills

  • Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Coordination
  • Speaking
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Active Listening