Guide to Supply Chain Manager: Climb the Corporate Chain



17 August, 2023

Guide to Supply Chain Manager: Climb the Corporate Chain

According to William Rothwell, “An efficient supply chain is a must-have for any company that wants to remain competitive and successful.”

In the Indian context, supply chain management involves overseeing the procurement of raw materials, distribution, inventory management, meeting clients’ demands, and ensuring the timely delivery of goods and services.

Who is a Supply Chain Manager?

A Supply Chain Manager is a professional who looks after the entire supply chain process in an organisation. They strive to increase productivity and reduce costs by using their project management and problem-solving skills.

Supply Chain Managers track items from the start of production to the end of distribution which includes, production handling, warehousing, distribution, and delivery of goods to customers or retailers. They are responsible for organising the efficient movement of items through the distribution network to ensure that there are enough supplies available.

What is Supply Chain Management?

According to H.O. Fung, “Supply chain management is all about creating value for the customer while minimising cost for the company.”

Supply chain management, in layman’s terms, means centralised management of various stages in an organisation from product planning to customer service, which can improve coordination and effectiveness. Managing the movement of goods and services is a vital part of supply chain management which helps to improve their quality and boost profitability. According to a report, the size of the Indian logistics market is expected to grow to about $380 billion by 2025.

Effective supply chain management involves various steps which are:

    • Planning
    • Sourcing
    • Manufacturing
    • Assembling
    • Packaging
    • Sales
    • Delivery and
    • Customer service

These processes ensure efficient operations which ultimately leads to an increase in revenue and sales, giving the company a competitive advantage.

Responsibilities of a Supply Chain Manager

There are a few responsibilities that you will have to fulfil as a Supply Chain Manager. These are:

  • Purchasing – As a Supply Chain Manager, your duties will include procuring raw materials for production so as to ensure a seamless operational process and make sure that all the customer needs are met. You will have to work closely with suppliers and delivery partners to ensure timely delivery of goods and services.
  • Operations – You will also be responsible for strategising, planning and forecasting. The process will help you determine the number of units that need to be produced and the material required for manufacturing. By enhancing performance and overseeing these key responsibilities, you will contribute greatly to the success of the department.
  • Logistics – Most important responsibility of a Supply Chain Manager is to look after logistics and keep inventory up to date. It involves connecting with transportation companies, warehouse managers, freight, and other logistics-related functions to ensure the successful delivery of goods to the end consumers.

Qualifications Required to Become a Supply Chain Manager

To qualify for a Supply Chain Manager’s position, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in any related field like business administration or supply chain management. A master’s degree will prove to be an add-on for more advanced roles. Furthermore, 5-7 years of work experience in the relevant field will prove advantageous.

There are a few courses which can help you build a career as a Supply Chain Manager, they are:

Education Level  Type of Course
Undergraduate 1. BCom in Operations
2. BBA in Supply Chain Management
Postgraduate MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Diploma Diploma in Supply Chain and Operations
Certifications 1. Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
2. Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (CSCP)

Skills Required to Become a Supply Chain Manager

To become a Supply Chain Manager, you will need to acquire some industry-relevant skills like:

  • Communication Skills

Effective communication is an in-demand skill which is sought after by every recruiter. As a Supply Chain Manager, communication skills are essential for you as it requires daily communication with suppliers, warehouse dealers, transporters, and customers.

Effective workplace communication is crucial as it enables you to work efficiently. Your responsibility would be to communicate effectively with clients and customers, to improve performance, engagement, and competitiveness. As a Supply Chain Manager, you need to identify and address the needs of clients, which requires excellent communication skills.

  • Leadership Qualities

As a Supply Chain Manager, you need to have exceptional leadership skills, as your responsibility will be to manage a team and look after the overall operational function of the organisation.

Being a skilled leader, you will be able to effectively manage various production processes and distribution to ensure seamless operation within the organisation. This is particularly important in supply chain management, where you will be responsible to look after multiple departments.

  • Organisational Skills

As a Supply Chain Manager, organisational skills are important for you to effectively carry out your duties and responsibilities. You need to maintain a conducive workplace environment to facilitate career growth and promote efficient teamwork.

As a Supply Chain Manager, you will also evaluate and understand the company’s manufacturing process and its needs for various resources. Your responsibility will also include looking after design requirements for multiple projects.

  • Problem-Solving Abilities

Problem-solving is one of the important professional skills which will help you to maintain control in the workplace. It involves managing unexpected situations and complex financial issues.

Companies rely on professionals who can assess a range of problems and provide appropriate solutions. If you are pursuing a career in supply chain management, you are required to perform various tasks including research planning, design, construction, operation analysis, and problem-solving.

Salary of a Supply Chain Manager in India

Supply Chain Manager’s annual salary in India ranges between ₹ 4.5 Lakhs to ₹ 26.0 Lakhs.

  • Average annual salary: ₹ 13.2 Lakhs
  • Highest annual salary: ₹ 26.0 Lakhs

Source: Ambition Box

Career Prospects

As a Supply Chain Manager, there are various career opportunities available for you, a few of the famous ones have been listed below.

Purchasing Manager Logistics and Distribution Manager
Operations Manager Sourcing Manager
Logistics Manager Materials Manage
Warehouse Manager Contract Manager

Thus, Dave Waters rightly said, “Supply Chain is like nature, it is all around us.”


As with any profession, working in supply chain management comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.  Supply chain management is severely affected by shifting political, demographic, legal, and economic conditions. Despite all these challenges, it provides one of the most promising careers in the business sector.

When you are considering a career in this field, it’s important to keep in mind time management, financial investment, and resources required for career growth. This field of study requires dedication, hard work, patience, and intelligence. Meeting these criteria can help you build a prosperous and satisfying career for yourself.

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