Supply chains exist in a world that is constantly changing and evolving – from rapid advancements in technology and communication systems to managing disruptions, it can be seen that the key to not just remaining competitive, but indeed, surviving, is to develop resilient supply chains. This article explores the current Supply Chain Management (SCM) trends and discusses the benefit of completing a Supply Chain Management short course to ensure that employees are able to display agility and fluidity in dealing with supply chain challenges. MANCOSA’s Higher Certificate in Supply Chain Management has been designed to maximise personal development, grow management and leadership skills and contribute to positive economic change through successful supply chain management.
Supply chain management trends shaping the industry
Supply Chain Management has evolved through an adventurous journey from a simple product need to a more complex desire. The concept of Supply Chain Management has undergone various transformations through the advancement of technology. Supply chain excellence is widely acknowledged as an important part of overall business growth strategy. The following are current trends that are shaping the industry.
1. Digitalisation/digital transformation
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0 has seen rapid advances in technology and has forced the digitalisation of supply chains and logistics in general. Businesses in industries that do not adapt to these market advancements will become obsolete in market share. The transformation of a supply chain from an old model to a digital one requires effective organisation and planning. The traditional supply chain consists of a series of isolated steps that often lack integration. A digital supply chain converts isolated systems into an integrated system and many organisations from different industries are seriously investing in digitalising their business operations and supply chains.
2. The link between SCM and sustainability
The sustainability industry, in recent years, has evolved to include almost all areas of business processes. Due to the dramatic strides sustainability has made and its holistic nature, it is understandable that the two most apparent areas, the environment and society, would receive much attention. There has been a lack of concern for the area of the economy and alignment with business needs. Moreover, it has not been used enough as a mechanism to enhance the supply chain or product value. Sustainability contributes towards consumers’ access to information and their ability to visually see problems. However, research shows that organisations can enhance their performance and mitigate problems by improving the sustainability of their supply chains and for companies to then be able to solve a problem for consumers.
3. The move from linear to circular supply chains
The linear chain has been sufficient to keep economies rolling, but a new, more profitable supply chain methodology is gaining in popularity known as the circular supply chain. The circular supply chain is a model that encourages manufacturers and sellers of products to take discarded materials and remake them for resale. Instead of producing one-time-use products, companies are refurbishing used parts or melting down products to turn back into their raw material form. Therefore, the trending methodology for businesses is to loop their supply chains to cut down on costs and create less waste and as a result, ensuring sustainable business practice.
4. COVID/border restrictions
Border restrictions have significantly reduced retail trade activities. Manufacturers and distributors have found it difficult to replace or replenish their inventory and equipment or machinery, due to COVID supply-chain disruptions globally. Importers and exporters have also found it challenging to deliver or bring in goods across international borders. As a result, the ports have been impacted by these restrictions and have contributed to the slowdown of industrial activities of major trading partners. To soften the impact on business activities from COVID-19, all parties from logistics, transport and supply chain industries must deploy innovative measures in inventory management, distribution and engage in strategic partnerships across the value-chain.
5. Supply Chain Risk Management
Increasing global risk that organisations are facing is creating a greater need for Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM). Supply chain strategies driven primarily by cost and delivery are no longer comprehensive enough to manage today’s supply chain risks, some of which are strategic. The financial impact of supply chain disruptions can be devastating, but not fully understood until after a risk event takes place, therefore, SCRM is a current trend that is an evolving discipline and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Supply Chain Management short courses: stay relevant
Supply chain talent management is being recognised by employers as an area for improvement in current organisations. In a constantly changing world, it is important for individuals at all levels to focus on upskilling. Whether you are looking to start a career in Supply Chain Management or whether you are looking to stay up to date with current trends in SCM, a supply chain management short course will enable you to stay relevant, increase your employability, empower you to take risks, effectively manage change and help you think of creative, innovative and out of the box solutions.
How to use Supply Chain Management short courses to build your career
A supply chain is a network of manufacturers and service providers that work together to convert and move goods from the raw materials stage to the end user. Every organisation has a supply chain or is part of a larger supply chain. Therefore, the knowledge and skills that are developed in a supply chain management short course can be used in every organisation and at every level in an organisation.
Online learning has become a necessity, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and has proven to be a successful tool used to develop certified skills from the comfort of your home, even while in full time employment. Below are some reasons you should consider registering for a supply chain management short course:
- Boost your employability
- Get a promotion
- Ensure your job security
- Learn to network
- Become a greater asset to your company
- Effectively manage change
- Learn to manage disruption
- Develop critical problem solving skills
The top benefits of short courses
Supply Chain Management short courses are a great way to plug the gaps in your professional knowledge without the extensive investment required for full-time study programmes. Below are some reasons why you need to boost your chances in fulfilling the knowledge gaps:
- Better chance at promotion prospects
- Increased specialised and/or transferable skills
- A huge networking potential
- Turn your hobby and visions into a prospect business
- Simultaneously making the most of your time and money
Where to study supply chain management in South Africa?If you are looking to start a career in Supply Chain Management or grow within the field, MANCOSA offers the Higher Certificate in Supply Chain Management and the Higher certificate in Public Sector Procurement. Among the many benefits mentioned in the article above, these programmes will provide you access to our career community which allows you to network with alumni, students and industry specialists.