How to Become a Supply Chain Manager – Job Description

Profession as a supply chain manager – working in business administration

What does a supply chain manager do? As a supply chain manager, you are responsible for ensuring that a company’s value chain runs smoothly. This includes the three dimensions of the flow of goods, the flow of information and the flow of money from the suppliers of the raw materials to the end customer.

EnİyiMeslekler shows you what tasks a supply chain manager has, what skills he should bring and what his salary looks like.

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Definition of “supply chain manager”

What is a supply chain manager?

What is a supply chain manager? A supply chain manager coordinates and organizes the value chain within a company. This includes all activities from the procurement of raw materials and components to production and logistics to transport to the end customer and waste disposal. External partners such as suppliers, customers and service providers are also profitably integrated into the chain along the entire supply chain.

The aim of supply chain management, or SCM for short, is to optimize the flow of materials and information as well as the flow of money so that costs are reduced to a minimum and deliveries to and from the company are met on time. Long-term customer and supplier relationships should also be created through positive results. These are necessary to meet the new challenges of the market. The main focus is on customizing the products or flexible delivery times. This is the only way for the company to remain competitive in a highly competitive market. Continuous optimization along the value chain is a challenge that many companies have to face today, especially due to globalization and the opening of markets.

“You ask yourself: How do I become a Supply Chain Manager?”

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Requirements and skills

What prerequisites and skills are necessary for working as a supply chain manager?

A supply chain manager must not only understand the processes within the flow of goods, but also consciously strive to make the processes as optimal as possible. This not only means that there is a lot of pressure on the supply chain manager, which must be withstood, but also that an analytical mindset is required in order to see through the individual flows. Coordinating the respective actors requires not only organizational skills, but also a forward-looking strategic way of working. A constant improvement process, which a supply chain manager has to introduce in the various departments, can be used to proactively correct errors and possible weak points. All of this would not be possible without an empathic approach and a pronounced talent for communication.

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Leadership skills as a supply chain manager are also often required, as instructions not only have to be given to your own department, but also to those involved in the flow of goods, such as internal departments, external suppliers and related partners or company locations.

In order to maintain an overview of the complex structures, it is essential to use the EDP programs, especially SAP and Excel, safely. Especially in the course of the digitization of companies and international markets, foreign language skills are also a necessary prerequisite for a supply chain manager.

The extensive scope of work is also noticeable in the working hours, so that a work-life balance of an average of 50 hours per week is rarely given.

Training to become a supply chain manager:

In order to carry out the job of supply chain manager, one thing above all else is required: years of professional experience. You start with an academic education, i.e. a degree in economics or industrial engineering with a subsequent master’s degree. Due to the intensive use of EDP software, it is also rare that entry is possible through a degree in computer science. An important prerequisite for starting a career as a supply chain manager is that you take on responsibility for projects at an early stage and thus gain practical experience. A trainee program or similar learning-on-the-job models, such as a dual study program, are well suited for this.

Here these competencies are divided into must and can competencies, i.e. those that companies definitely require (must) and those that are desirable but not mandatory (can).

Competencies Must:

  • Technical skills
  • Strategic competencies
  • Analytical approach
  • Computer skills
  • Global orientation

Competencies Can:

  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Structured way of working
  • Assertiveness
  • Foreign language skills

Tasks for supply chain managers

What are the tasks of a supply chain manager?

What are the daily tasks of a supply chain manager? As a supply chain manager, you are responsible for managing and controlling the flow of goods, information and money in a company. In addition to the company’s internal processes, these also include the upstream and downstream production chain, i.e. also the suppliers and customers. But what does that mean exactly for the area of ​​responsibility?

In order to have the raw materials and vendor parts available in good time for the start of production, the supply chain manager must arrange for a timely and high-quality delivery. For just-in-time delivery, the processes of the supplier and the production company have to be adjusted so intensively that it ranges from on-time delivery to specific packaging and the use of uniform logistics systems. The more intensive the cooperation with the companies involved, the more the supply chain manager can exchange experiences and information with the supplier in order not only to save costs in the long term, but also to adapt the products to the process.

In the next step, the processes and workflows within the company are analyzed in order to ensure an efficient process. Only in this way can delivery dates and flexible customer requests be realized. The analysis of processes and procedures is already taught in the training, during the studies. The supply chain manager communicates with the individual departments of the entire value chain that are involved in the processes and holds discussions with the suppliers of the upstream processes as well as the customers. Particular attention is paid not only to the cost aspect, but also the need-based availability of materials. In the last step, the supply chain manager then has to ensure on-time delivery to the customer.

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Supply Chain Manager Salary

How much does a supply chain manager earn?

In accordance with the area of ​​responsibility, the salary of a supply chain manager is in the upper range and, with professional experience, averages 53,500 $ per year. There are mainly differences depending on the size of the company and the corresponding area of ​​responsibility. Anyone who specializes in a certain industry or area can hope for a better salary here as an expert.

Specialists and executives in the field of supply chain management or related logistics management, who are responsible for planning and controlling the processes along the entire value chain and who work closely with the company’s management, increase their salaries through additional years of professional experience.

Here you can find out more about the starting salary and salary development as a supply chain manager.

Summary > job description supply chain manager:

How do I apply to be a Supply Chain Manager?

Anyone wishing to apply as a Supply Chain Manager must above all have experience in their job. Because it is necessary to capture complex business processes of the entire supply chain and develop appropriate strategies to make them as efficient as possible. An understanding of economic relationships should be shown, as the company works closely with global players along the entire supply chain. Analytical thinking and a precise way of working are just as necessary for supply chain management as a strong organizational talent. Anyone who is also familiar with the industry and has an affinity for the latest trends in process optimization and the use of digital technologies has good cards in the application as a supply chain manager.

Tips for applying to become a Supply Chain Manager after training:

If you have already set priorities in your academic training as a supply chain manager and have concentrated on very specific tasks, then put a special focus on this in your application. In the application, concentrate on what suits you and the training content that you would like to continue to deepen later.


The smooth process in the company’s value chain is one of the tasks of a supply chain manager. We have summarized the most important facts about the profession again:

  • The supply chain manager coordinates activities from procurement through production and logistics to transport to the end customer. He ensures that company expenses are minimized and deadlines are met.
  • You can get into the job through courses such as economics, business mathematics or logistics and, above all, a lot of professional experience.
  • A supply chain manager should bring IT skills, a global orientation, strategic skills and organizational skills with them.
  • There are an average of 30-50 applicants for one position.
  • Supply chain managers earn between $ 37,800 starting salary and $ 240,000 top earnings. That depends a lot on the company and, above all, on professional experience.

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