If you’re an organised leader with an eye for detail and an interest in managing the flow of goods and services, a career as a Supply Chain Manager could be for you.
Supply Chain Management is responsible for coordinating all parts of the Supply Chain, from supplying raw materials to delivering and/or production of products. Supply Chain Managers create a smoothly flowing system that saves the company time and money in the long run. Workers in the Supply Chain Management field make sure that goods and services get into the hands of consumers on time and up-to-standard.
If you would like to pursue a career as a Supply Chain Manager then you will need the following High School subjects in order to study related courses at a tertiary institution:
- English (Home Language or First Additional Language)
- Pure Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
- Pure Mathematics
There are a number of tertiary institutions in South Africa that offer courses in Supply Chain Management, but we recommend the following:
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology – APS of 28
- Rosebank College – No specific APS required
You do not technically need a degree for this career, but any opportunities to gain knowledge about the industry and this job should be taken to better your chances of being hired. In order to gain hard skills as a Supply Chain Manager, or be introduced into the field of logistics, you will need to complete a short course, longer diploma or Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management. Once you have chosen an area of the supply chain you would like to become specialised in, you can then take an additional course to become a specialist in that field.
The following skills are needed in order to be a Supply Chain Manager:
● Be an excellent communicator; must have both good verbal and written communication skills
● Fully understand the management functional areas such as marketing, HR, operations, finance etc.
● Having strong coaching skills is also very helpful for motivating regional and store managers
● Be organised and have an eye for detail
● Have good leadership skills to control all aspects of the supply chain
● Have a forward-planning mindset and be able to handle many tasks at one time
All large, goods companies require logistical leadership to make sure that production and transport is running smoothly. Supply Chain Managers are in high demand in both large and small businesses in South Africa. You can be employed all over the country, particularly in large cities and can expect to work in an office style environment, with occasional trips to storage facilities.
Days can have long, irregular hours, and the job often requires frequent travel to various stores in the supply chain. In a typical work week as a Supply Chain Manager, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.
As a Supply Chain Manager, you can expect to earn anywhere around the South African average yearly salary of R500 000, varying with the company you work for.
As a Supply Chain Manager, you should expect a very high-pace, intellectually-stimulating career. You will like this career if you are someone who likes carrying out projects and leading people by making many decisions. It may require risk taking and often deal with business and finances.
If you haven’t considered logistics and supply chain management as a career path, you aren’t alone. Read here to find out why you should be considering it.