Supply Chain Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Supply chain managers need good business management skills and the ability to communicate clearly with a variety of people. Classes in math, business, English, and computers are helpful in this type of work.

Postsecondary Education

Many companies prefer to hire supply chain managers with a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business, or systems engineering. Courses in operations and database management, as well as logistics, accounting, English, and computers are essential. Classes in marketing and product development may also be useful.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Some companies prefer to hire supply chain managers who have certification in certain specialties. Supply chain managers who meet certification program requirements and pass an exam can improve their chances of securing work. APICS is among the organizations that provides certification programs, with designations that include Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP); Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD); and Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional (SCOR-P). Find information at http://www.apics.org/credentials-education/credentials.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Supply chain managers must be excellent communicators, multitaskers, and managers. The job requires the ability to analyze operations and determine ways to improve production processes while cutting costs and not affecting product quality. Companies often seek supply chain managers with experience in manufacturing settings and success in creating lean manufacturing processes. The job requires strong leadership, problem-solving, critical-thinking, time-management, organizational, and interpersonal skills. Knowledge of logistics and supply chain management software is essential.