Excelling as a supply chain manager usually requires specific capabilities. The job is far more nuanced and involved than many professionals realize, particularly if they’re new to the position. Fortunately, if you have the right abilities and traits, you can thrive in the role. Here are five skills supply chain managers need to succeed.
Skills That Can Help Supply Chain Managers Succeed!
Supply chain managers are responsible for a variety of operational areas. From inventory management to materials ordering to serving as a team leader, they’re often tasked with a range of complex duties. As a result, organization is paramount.
As a supply chain manager, organizational skills provide value in several areas. They make planning and scheduling easier, as well as ensure critical documentation is tracked. Organization may also simplify reporting, as crucial data is kept in logical locations.
2. Strategic Planning
In many cases, strategic planning is a vital part of managing a supply chain. Supply chain managers can’t simply order materials when they run out. Instead, they need to anticipate ongoing needs, account for travel times, factor in economic conditions that influence availability, and much more.
Analytical supply chain managers who are able to see how different factors impact the broader picture are typically more successful. As a result, strategic planning skills make a significant difference.
While strategic planning usually helps operations run smoothly, hiccups occur with some regularity in the world of supply chains. Since that’s the case, supply chain managers need ample agility, allowing them to adjust their approach on the fly to meet organizational goals.
Essentially, rigidity has no plan in the world of supply chain management. By developing a willingness to remain flexible and to adapt to the unexpected, supply chain managers are far more likely to succeed.
4. Relationship Building
The ability to effectively build relationships makes a significant difference for a supply chain manager. By developing a rapport with suppliers, it’s possible to leverage the connection to support an employer’s goals. Whether securing more favorable rates or ensuring a materials delivery will arrive by a particular date, effective relationship building substantially impacts a supply chain manager’s odds of success.
Additionally, relationship building ensures there’s a sound team dynamic and high morale. When employees have a connection with and respect for their manager, they’re typically more productive and engaged. Plus, workers are more willing to go the extra mile during times of need, which makes a difference.
Supply chain managers don’t just oversee materials coming into the company or products leaving the facility; they also play a critical role in managing production. As a result, a thorough understanding of production technologies, manufacturing timelines within the organization, and production optimization is a must. That ensures they can streamline processes and reduce bottlenecks as needed, leading to a better overall flow.
Looking for an Opportunity in Supply Chain? Alpha Can Help!
Ultimately, all of the skills above are essential for supply chain managers. If you’d like to find out more or are seeking out a new role in supply chain management, Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.