How to Become a Supply Chain Specialist. One of the most specialized jobs in the globalized manufacturing economy is that of a supply chain specialist. Your job as a supply chain specialist is to evaluate the output of retail outlets, the quality of subcontracting transportation companies and other issues that dictate product supply. Your desire to become a supply chain specialist requires knowledge gained through years of experience in all of these areas. Read on to learn more.
Learn the Ropes as a Supply Chain Specialist
Develop knowledge about the supply chain by attending a 4-year college. Supply chain professionals who want to become specialists typically pursue Bachelors of Science tracks in business administration or economics. These academic fields provide the basic level of knowledge needed to understand all parts of the supply chain.
Market yourself as a knowledgeable supply chain specialist by pursuing an advanced degree in your field. Specialists who pursue a Masters in Business Administration can focus their studies on the area of improving supply chain functions or studying historical examples of supply chain success. The more education you receive, the more likely that your salary and advancement opportunities in supply chain positions will increase over your career.
Apply for a trainee position with a major corporation that has an expansive supply chain. Companies groom supply chain specialists from the entry level by placing them in long-term training courses with exposure to various stops along the supply chain.
Increase your chances for advancement to the level of specialist by volunteering your services. The supply chain includes production floors, warehouses, design centers and retail outlets. You should show a willingness to work on the production floor or watch retail activity in person to develop an appreciation for the supply chain.
Stay updated on your company's latest products to understand the quick evolution in supply costs. Your model for moving one product from the production line to the store racks will not apply equally for all products. Test out new items and determine qualities that make products expensive to ship or present to the public.
Meet with subcontracting companies and other vendors in person to develop long-term relationships for your company. Your role as supply chain specialist requires you to find transportation companies, storage facilities and producers that can provide inexpensive services. You should keep in touch with companies you have worked with in past jobs to help your current employer's bottom line become robust.
Maintain flexibility when asked to travel extensively as a supply chain specialist. Companies often send specialists on weekly, monthly and quarterly trips to various parts of the supply chain to see firsthand the consequences of corporate decisions. You should expect to travel regularly to regional facilities with occasional trips across country or even to international locations.