Roles and Responsibilities of Supply Chain ManagerSupply chain management is a relatively new field with lots of opportunity for people who are willing to learn and work hard. However, many people ask questions about supply chain jobs like,
"What does a supply chain manager do?"
"Do I have to be very good at math to become successful in supply chain management?"
"Should I study supply chain management (or something else)?"
To answer these questions, it's better to show them what a typical supply chain manager do so they can determine if this is something they would like to do for a living.
A Day in the Life of Supply Chain Manager
8:30: Check the e-mails from overseas suppliers
Overseas outsourcing is one of the most important cost saving method and it's here to stay. Since suppliers can be located anywhere in the world, time difference can be the problem. We know for the fact that many supply chain managers choose to read and respond to overseas supplier first thing in the morning.
9:00: Review and resolve daily delivery issues
Morning delivery planning can be a cake walk or the war zone. There is nothing special if good internal coordination is in place. However, rush orders, order insertions, order cancellation can happen on regular basis. So a supply chain manager may need to roll up their sleeves and help to negotiate with marketing team and customers so deliveries can be arranged smoothly.
10:00: Attend the cross-functional team meetings
Supply chain management is strategically important in modern business so a supply chain manager has to participate in various cross-functional team meetings. For example, a supply chain manger may attend Sales and Operations meeting to resolve demand/supply imbalance, participate in New Product Development meeting or lead the team meetings for various performance improvement initiatives.
12:00: Have lunch while reading more e-mails
A supply chain manager has to collaborate extensively with all internal stakeholders and suppliers, customers and third party logistics providers. Then, the volume of e-mail can be huge. So a short lunch break or "read while you eat" is quite common.
13:00: Review and approve of documents
Of course, a supply chain manager has to perform some clerical tasks like approval of documents, contracts and so on.
14:00: Have a meeting with key customers and suppliers
To foster the close relationship with key customers and suppliers, many supply chain managers will hold the regular meetings with these strategic partners.
15:00: Discuss with manufacturing/warehouse about next day delivery
Late afternoon is usually the deadline to make changes to tomorrow delivery. So supply chain manager may double-check with manufacturing department or third party warehouse to make sure that important orders will be delivered as planned.
16:00: Got a phone call from customers
You're trying to clear your desk, but, all of the sudden, the phone rings. You have an "Oh No" moment.
17:00: Attend late afternoon meeting to solve urgent issues
You arrange the meeting ASAP to solve the urgent problems.
22:00: Have a sweet dream
Customer needs more cost reduction and faster delivery. You talk in your sleep "Better Cheaper Faster, Better Cheaper Faster, Better Cheaper Faster..."