A Career in Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Sector in Canada Offers Viable Career Prospects for Job Seekers
The term ‘supply chain’ may not be familiar to many people, and if asked to offer their interpretation or understanding of the phrase, many might assume that it refers to the distribution of any product from a supplier to a retailer. Although this description would not be entirely accurate, it is also not entirely incorrect.
In fact, a supply chain encompasses every company that comes in contact with a specific product. For the vast majority of products, this would include every business/enterprise that contributes to the following processes:
- Providing parts/materials
- Distribution and delivery
- Sales to clients/end users
While the definition or public understanding of the supply chain sector may not be widely known, its contribution to the Canadian economy is both significant and substantial. For any supply chain to operate effectively, communication must flow in a timely, accurate, and complete fashion among all parties involved to facilitate the smooth flow of all parts, materials, and finished product along the chain. In such an ideal scenario, the economic benefits of effective supply chain management to an organization would include:
- Maintenance of adequate and appropriate levels of inventory
- Improvements in manufacturing efficiencies (time to market)
- Ability to adapt production plans to changes in market demand
- Better usage/management of resources (time, staff, facilities)
- Reduction in overall operating costs, leading to greater returns
To coordinate the effective flow of communication and goods both along and throughout the supply chain, employers are looking to hire and/or develop competent supply chain management professionals. As a result, the outlook for career prospects in the supply chain workforce in Canada has been and continues to be very positive, as seen in these recently-published data:
- More than 800,000 employed in the supply chain workforce in 2014
- Annual supply chain workforce growth rate of 2.1% from 2006-2014
- Almost 14,000 new supply chain-related jobs per year from 2006-2014
- Ongoing job prospects afforded by anticipated retirements or turnover
In order to take advantage of such career opportunities, interested job seekers will need to acquire and demonstrate proficiency in several skill areas. As a baseline, supply chain management professionals will require expertise in such functions as:
- Inventory management and warehousing
- Production planning and resource allocation
- Transportation, both logistics and execution
Furthermore, due to the scope of supply chain management in dealing with both internal and external contacts, these individuals will also need to exhibit considerable expertise and competence in managing various processes. These include, but are not limited to:
- Project management
- Contract management
- Technological applications
- Cross-functional operations
- Worldwide sourcing and/or sales
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- CRM (customer relationship management)
Looking to the future, there are experts who believe that supply chain management may or will transform into a more demand-driven process. Rather than pushing merchandise into the market through forecasting, as seen with the current supply chain methodology, demand-driven supply will see the production process initiated or activated only after an order has been placed at the customer level.
This in turn will require those individuals in supply chain management roles to exhibit an ability/proficiency to swiftly respond and adapt to short-term change as dictated by the customer or end-user. As an aside, one present-day example of demand-driven supply occurs in the aircraft industry, where production does not begin until an order has been confirmed, yet the plane/aircraft must be delivered as quickly as possible so the service provider may begin to generate a return on their substantial investment.
Employment Agencies Can Be Assets to Job Seekers in the Supply Chain Sector
The supply chain sector within Canada does indeed offer extensive career opportunities, including management-level and executive-level roles, at both the present time and in the foreseeable future. Job seekers intent on pursuing a career within this field would be advised to capitalize on the guidance and networking available through a professional employment agency, like Winters Technical Staffing, in order to launch a focused and targeted search effort.
The placement professionals at Winters Technical Staffing are well versed and well connected relative to supply chain management positions. They can guide job seekers in their efforts to obtain or strengthen the requisite skills for these jobs, as well as assist in obtaining an appropriate role that best suits their respective needs and skill set.
Contact Winters Today
To launch your career within the supply chain sector, call Winters Technical Staffing today at 1-866-932-5248 to join our talent network and to arrange a consultation to discuss your needs and goals.