When ordering something online, you know that the product will be delivered right to your doorstep, but do you take the time to think about how it got there?
Hearing the term supply chain management for the first time can be confusing, until you realize how it has an impact on almost every aspect of your lives. Food, clothing, kitchen appliances and so many other products are all made available by means of a supply chain – a network of activities that creates and distributes products and services to drive value for the end consumer.
Although supply chain is among the fastest growing career fields in the U.S., the functions that make up a supply chain tend to operate behind the scenes. Here are four reasons a career in supply chain management is worth exploring.
Supply chain is a $1.3 trillion industry and continues to grow each year. In November 2015, it was reported that more than 11 million people were working in the supply chain field. However, a shortage of employees still exists within the industry.
Research from the Supply Chain Talent Academic Initiative found that demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by a 6 to 1 ratio, according to Nick Little, Assistant Director of Executive Development Programs at Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. Executives have told MSU researchers as part of the Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon project in partnership with the APICS Supply Chain Council that finding and retaining supply chain professionals is a major concern at their companies.
The U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling and Logistics reports there will be 1.4 million new jobs in the supply chain industry between now and 2018.
Common entry-level positions within this field include procurement and transportation analysts, inventory specialists and production coordinators, according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. However, no one in the supply chain field is limited to any particular position. As you gain more experience through on the job training or advancing your education, you will be able to take on advanced roles within supply chain management. According to the Institute for Supply Management’s 2016 Salary Survey, additional education can potentially lead to higher wages and responsibility in some disciplines, such as supply management.
Career choices within the supply chain field are spread across a large spectrum, leaving you with many different roles to choose. Places of employment may also vary. For example, you could choose to work for a big corporation, small business, local or federal government entity or a nonprofit organization. The possibilities are endless. Here are some of the most common career paths chosen by people in the supply chain field:
The 2016 Peerless Research Group (PRG)/Logistics Management annual salary survey showed supply chain professionals earned an average salary of $105,575. The median pay for someone with a career in the supply chain field was $90,000 per year.