What is Supply Chain Management and why is it Important?



24 June, 2021

What is Supply Chain Management and why is it Important?

A supply chain is an interconnected network of individuals, organizations, resources, activities, and technologies involved in manufacturing and sales of products and managing the processes of a supply chain is supply chain management. It is one of the important aspects of all business organizations that ensure a smooth flow of goods and services, starting from procurement, production line till it reaches the customer. 

The five key elements of SCM are planning, sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, delivery, and returns. It includes active streamlining of supply chain activities to maximize customer value and gain a competitive edge in the market. Industries are now understanding the relevance and giving more importance to the supply chain which is all the way more important for perishable goods.

Importance of Supply Chain Management

The Supply Chain Management system is the face of business for the consumer because a strong supply chain system protects the business reputation and ensures long-term sustainability. It can help achieve various business objectives but the three main benefits of supply chain management in an organization are lowered costs, increased revenue, and asset utilization.  With effective management techniques, business organizations can anticipate problems in the supply chain through data analysis, optimize price and judiciously allocate the inventory. 

Most industries deal with a variety of suppliers, goods, services, and retailers which creates complicated multi-level supply chain systems. It is not the same as it was a decade ago. Nowadays supply chain management is not only about when and where, but it is also more about the management of data, services, and products along with developing innovative solutions to manage opportunities and challenges in an internationally operated business. Technological advancements along with constructive theories of supply chain management have unlocked huge growth potential for businesses.

MBA in Supply Chain Management

MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management is a two-year post-graduate course that trains professionals in various aspects of supply chain management, procurement, lean and warehouse management, logistics, and inventory management. It is a blend of a general business administration curriculum with specialization courses in management.

The core subjects of the specialized MBA program in supply chain management include statistics, logistics, operations, microeconomics, management, marketing, macroeconomics, finance, business ethics, and accounting. There are further specialized subjects as per the industry requirements such as strategic sourcing, international management, logistics, information systems, sustainable supply chain management, etc.

Many institutes offer supply chain management MBA programs for full-time, executive, and distance programs. But, pursuing a full-time MBA is not a feasible option for all which is why a distance MBA is gaining popularity. One of the major advantages of a distance MBA is its affordable fee structure, industry-relevant curriculum, easy accessibility, digital education, flexible schedule, and effective time management. Moreover, during the Covid-19 pandemic when all classes are going on online even in full-time MBA courses then a distance MBA program is an equally good option for working professionals and MBA aspirants.

NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education, the distance learning platform of SVKM’s NMIMS Deemed-to-be University, is a leader in professional and continuing education. All the programs offered are approved and recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Distance Education Bureau (UGC-DEB) of India. It provides live interactive classes from industry experts and experienced professors of NMIMS along with first-of-its-kind career services and alumni portal for networking.

A career in Supply Chain Management

A career in supply chain management includes various roles and functional areas such as operations, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, and logistics. The job profile will also depend on the type of industry as different products and companies have varied day-to-day responsibilities of a supply chain professional.

Professionals in the field of supply chain management can expect challenging workdays and it is never boring. The supply chain is data-driven, and it is important to develop competencies to quickly analyze data and draw conclusions with effective solutions. The work also requires human resource management with good networking and people skills. A broad knowledge base is also critical for a supply chain management career. Some of the job profiles in the field are:

  • Supply Chain Analyst: The job responsibilities of a supply chain analyst include analyzing and evaluating supply chain data in order to optimize cost to the company and overall company performance
  • Supply Chain Manager: An associate working as a supply chain manager has to supervise and lay out the company’s supply chain strategy in order to maximize efficiency and productivity
  • Logistics Manager: A logistics manager has to effectively manage goods, services, cost incurred, inventory and ensure timely stock transportation and movement
  • Production Planning Manager: The job responsibilities of a production planning manager include effectively planning, organizing goods and services while ensuring their quality and system workflow
  • Manager-Purchase and Procurement: An associate working as a manager in the purchase and procurement department has to source goods and services and manager supply-demand to retail and vendors

Managers in the field use advanced analytics, and coherent strategies, to minimize cost, improve performance and organizational profitability which is why effective supply chain management is a crucial aspect of any business organization. It is an evergreen field and pursuing an MBA degree will give professionals an edge to a successful career in the field.

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