Becoming a director of supply chain operations can be a promising career for individuals who are interested in planning, logistics, manufacturing and distribution, in a wide range of industries.
This career guide provides a look into the director of supply chain operations position, including typical education and training requirements. No two jobs are alike in this growing field, where employment is projected to increase steadily through 2018, according to national data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2011.
While director of supply chain operations can be a rewarding career choice, it is reasonable to expect competition for the most desirable positions. Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research regarding actual job growth rates, which can vary according to location, education and experience.
Supply chain operations consist of all the steps required to bring a product to market. The director of supply chain operations is often required to manage wide-ranging aspects of the manufacturing process, such as procurement, delivery and warehousing of materials, inventory control, and distribution of finished goods. These professionals also forecast demand, analyze inventory and troubleshoot issues that can affect supplies. The director of supply chain operations applies practices to respond to business challenges and help to advance organizational goals.
Everything you wear, eat and use each day comes through a vast, physically interconnected web, or supply chain. Directors of supply chain operations ensure that it functions properly and is as efficient and cost-effective as possible. The global nature of today’s business environment, along with the increasing use of lean manufacturing principles, means this field is growing in complexity and level of responsibility.
The director of supply chain operations often provides both strategic direction and daily tactical support for an organization’s supply chain function. Typical job duties include creating supply plans, monitoring sales forecasts to identify any effect on the supply chain, implementing waste reducing strategies, and developing supply chain management procedures. These professionals may also be required to develop vendor relationships, negotiate with suppliers to minimize raw materials and transportation costs, and develop processes to track performance.
Jobs in supply chain operation exist in nearly every industry, across the globe – includingFortune500 companies. The field offers positions ranging from entry level, such as supply chain analyst, to executive level, such as vice president of supply chain management. The qualifications required to break into this field often transfer across industries. Here are several sectors that routinely employ directors of supply chain operations:
The qualifications required to enter and advance in this field will vary according to the specific industry and employer. Directors of supply chain operations come from a variety of educational backgrounds.
In addition to the appropriate educational background, employers hiring for the director of supply chain operations position may also be looking at candidates’ interpersonal and business skills, personal attributes and industry knowledge.
Potential Salary for Director of Supply Chain Operations Positions
According to a 2010 national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual salary for supply chain directors was $96,450. Because salary potential may vary depending on location, education and experience, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research to determine actual earning potential.
To achieve success as a director of supply chain operations, it’s important to have a good grasp on the following areas of business:
Most director of supply chain operations positions will require industry-specific knowledge, whether you’re competing for a position with a food and beverage manufacturer or a healthcare organization. In addition, prospective employers will typically seek out individuals with the following personal attributes and business-related abilities:
Advancement in this field usually comes after gaining the necessary work experience or obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Some employers offer tuition assistance programs that could enable working professionals to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
If you enjoy planning, analyzing and organizing multiple tasks and have an interest in manufacturing and logistics, you could be a great fit for a director of supply chain operations career. Now that you know the requirements, why not start planning your path in this exciting and fast-moving field?