Get the Right Industry Skills with a Supply Chain Management Degree

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If you’re thinking of taking your supply chain management degree to the next level and studying towards an honours degree, you probably have a lot of questions about whether it’s a good career move? Fortunately, MANCOSA has the answers you’re looking for with our insightful guide.

This article will cover everything you need to know about supply chain management, including the type of jobs you can get, common industry challenges, and the skills you’ll learn with honours in supply chain management to handle all these challenges effectively. Discover more from MANCOSA’s team of experts.

What kind of work is supply chain management?

As a supply chain manager (SCM), you’ll be responsible for overseeing and coordinating key parts of the franchise’s supply chain. You’ll be involved in every aspect of moving products to customers — all the way from procurement of raw materials to shipment of finished goods.

You’ll also be required to analyse data and processes to improve the standard and efficiency of the supply chain.

Your job will mainly consist of:

  • Communicating with contracted suppliers and vendors over the phone, via email, or face-to-face.
  • Negotiating with contracted transportation service providers about their rates while also ensuring that appropriate export and import procedures are followed.
  • Developing and maintaining supply chain strategies. This includes overseeing and coordinating manufacturing operations and conducting monthly performance analyses.
  • Developing concise metrics and reporting functions for proper inventory control and risk assessment.
  • Managing labour costs, stocking strategies, personnel productivity, safety and operation procedures, and more.

As a supply chain manager, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week. Depending on the company you work for, you’ll likely transition between working in an office environment, overseeing operations on a manufacturing floor, and travelling to meet with suppliers and vendors.

Learn more about what supply chain management is.

What kind of job can you get with a supply chain degree?

If you have a Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management or an Honours in Supply Chain Management, you’ll be eligible to work in several other positions in addition to a supply chain manager.

These positions include:

  • Industry analyst
  • Project manager
  • Global logistics manager
  • Transportation director
  • Purchasing manager
  • Operations director
  • upply chain sales
  • Supply chain consultant

Is SCM a good career?

Supply chain management is an excellent career choice when compared to other management positions. Considering that supply chain managers in South Africa earn R491,026 per year on average, this is one of the highest-paying management jobs.

Additionally, there is massive room for growth as many supply managers grow into senior or even director roles and they also get paid more based on their years of experience.

Students with a supply chain management degree, generally become eligible for senior and director positions a lot earlier in their careers.

Challenges facing the supply chain & logistics industry

Problems and challenges occur in all industries. In the supply chain industry, the most common challenges include the following.

  1. Scarcity of materials
    Due to a big rise in consumer demand as a result of the pandemic, there’s been a shortage of many parts and materials. This includes various raw materials in numerous industries such as microchips, bed foam, bike parts, steel, and many more.

  2. Increase in freight prices
    The costs and timelines for importing goods have also increased drastically. In fact, according to BusinessTech, the cost of importing a 12-meter container by sea from China to South Africa increased by 500%.

  3. Change in customer behaviours and attitudes
    With eCommerce demand being at an all-time high due to the pandemic, customers’ expectations regarding delivery time and order fulfilment have increased drastically. Companies are now forced to automate many of their processes and raise their requirements to handle the accelerated demand while also providing customers with a positive experience.

There are many more challenges that supply chain managers face, including port congestion, difficulty in demand forecasting, digital transformation, and more.

Having the proper formal education and training to handle these types of challenges will help develop your problem-solving abilities and enable you to come up with unique solutions for every challenge that’s thrown your way.

What skills are needed for logistics & supply chain management workers?

Here are some of the main skills needed for logistics and supply chain managers.

  1. Project management (PM)
    Depending on the leadership role you’re in, you’re going to need different project management skills. The most common PM skills for a supply chain manager are personal organisation skills, risk management skills, and negotiation skills to guarantee that budgets and schedules are met.

  2. Technical and digital understanding
    The world is more digital than ever. Therefore, you must know how certain technologies and digital programmes work so that you can stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, you’ll also need to learn about automation so that your business processes can run faster to keep up with customer demand.

  3. Financial acumen
    As a supply chain manager, a huge part of your job is to ensure that budgets aren’t exceeded and profit is made. As such, you need to be able to make well-informed decisions to maximise profits and decrease losses. You need to understand accounting and be able to create financial reports.

  4. Business ethics
    To maintain a positive work environment, the staff members working under your management need to be able to look at you as an example. By showing professionalism, respect, discipline, and timeliness, you’ll be an inspiration to other staff members — and, in so doing, encourage them to deliver better results.

Where to study for a degree in logistics & supply chain management?

Several different universities and colleges are offering both bachelors and honours degrees in supply chain management.

At MANCOSA, our SCM qualification provides excellent skills through a cutting-edge curriculum and highly-knowledgeable course instructors who’ll give you all the tools and expertise you need to be a successful supply chain manager. We also offer a Higher Certificate in Supply Chain Management, which can be completed in one year.

Get an accredited Honours Degree BCom Supply Chain Management

Having a postgraduate supply chain management degree will open a lot of doors for you and give you the necessary skills to handle tough situations.

Have a look at our Honours Degree in Supply Chain Management to see if it’s the right fit for you and register your interest online