How to Become a Supply Chain Manager and Drive Growth in Businesses


The global supply chain management market is growing at a tremendous speed. It will likely reach $45.2 billion by 2027 from $28.9 billion in 2022. One of the most favorable outcomes of the growth of the supply chain management sector is the increase in demand for supply chain managers. The reasons are the rapidly changing dynamics of the business environment and more companies wanting to cater products and services directly to customers (B2C services) to reduce costs. Therefore, companies need experienced professionals to help them navigate through complex supply lines. Let’s take you through a step-by-step process of how to become a supply chain manager.

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What is the Role of Supply Chain Managers?

Supply chain managers play a vital role in boosting company revenue by improving customer satisfaction. They also facilitate agility in organizations by streamlining the supply chain process. Their key responsibilities are to frame supply chain management policies for a company and find bottlenecks in supply processes.

10 Steps to Become a Supply Chain Manager

Here is a brief career roadmap on how to become a supply chain manager

supply-chain-management-coursesStep 1: Get a Degree in Supply Chain Management

According to the Supply Chain Salary and Career Report published by the Association for Supply Chain Management in 2021, nearly 85 percent of supply chain professionals have a bachelor’s degree in business studies. Therefore, you must get a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or Logistics. A Master’s degree in Business Administration is not necessary but can be beneficial to become a supply chain manager.

Step 2: Learn Relevant Skills

To become a supply chain manager, it is essential to learn the technical and interpersonal skills mentioned in the Requirements section below.

Step 3: Apply for an Internship

One of the best ways to gain practical experience in supply chain management is to do internships in various companies’ supply chain or logistics departments.

Step 4: Build a Resume and Cover Letter

Next, you must create an impressive resume by adding relevant skills and experience. Finally, send your resume and cover letter to apply for supply chain management jobs at various companies.

Step 5: Network With Others

One of the essential steps of how to become a supply chain manager is networking. Connecting with professionals in the industry can help you secure better opportunities. You must also create a network among vendors and logistics partners. 

Step 6: Apply for Supply Chain Management Job

As a fresher, you will have to start with entry-level supply chain management jobs like warehouse assistant, inventory associate, or logistics planner. Within two years, you can become a supply chain analyst or consultant. After five years of experience, you can apply to supply chain manager jobs.

Step 7: Choose a Specialization

There are four subcategories in the supply chain management field: logistics, operations, planning, and production. You can gain experience in any particular category or work with different departments to gain overall experience.

Step 8: Gain Experience

You can apply to supply chain manager jobs after four or five years of experience as a supply chain analyst or consultant.

Step 9: Get Certifications and Licenses

In addition to the relevant skills and experience, professional certifications and licenses in supply chain management can also boost your career. Some of the most popular international certifications in supply chain management are:

  • Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)
  • Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
  • SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

Step 10: Pursue Online Courses

You can also pursue online courses to accelerate your career in supply chain management. Online Emeritus courses in strategy and innovation can help you learn relevant supply chain and business management skills.

Supply Chain Manager Requirements

Here are the top technical skills required for this role:

  • Inventory Management
  • Project Management 
  • Risk Management
  • Cost Accounting
  • IT and Automation
  • Market Research
  • Procurement
  • Customer Service
  • Logistics

You also need soft skills like critical thinking, negotiation, problem-solving, leadership, strategic thinking, data analysis, and technical skills.

Supply Chain Manager Career Path

Supply chain managers perform a wide range of responsibilities, often overlapping with operation managers. After 10 years of experience as a supply chain manager, you can jump to leadership roles like the head of operations or supply chain management. Once you gain over 15 years of experience, you can become an organization’s vice president of the supply chain management department.

How to Find Supply Chain Manager Jobs?

The best way to find supply manager jobs is to send cold emails or apply through the career pages of top eCommerce companies globally. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Dell, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, and Deloitte are the top recruiters in supply chain management. You can also find supply chain manager jobs on LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and other job search portals. If you want to do remote freelance consultant or manager jobs, you can apply on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. 

Boost your Supply Chain Career with Emeritus

Supply chain management, commonly called logistics management, is one of the fastest-growing careers today. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in logistics or supply chain management will grow by 28 per cent by 2031. This growth rate is much faster as compared to other industries. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are Supply Chain Manager Education Requirements?

Supply chain managers should have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In addition, an educational background in sales, logistics, or supply chain management is beneficial.

2. How Long Does it Take to Become a Supply Chain Manager?

According to Indeed, professionals need at least five years of experience to be promoted to this position.

3. Where to Find a Supply Chain Management Job?

You can find supply chain management jobs on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. 

If you still need clarification about how to become a supply chain manager, Emeritus online courses on strategy and innovation can guide you. These courses offer the necessary skills and practical experience to make you eligible for the supply chain manager role.

By Sneha Chugh

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