Preparing for Employment in Supply Chain Management: What skills employers are looking for
Whether you are just starting your career or looking for a change, you might be considering supply chain employment. The field has plenty of potential for career growth, and it may be just what you’re looking for. To help you decide if a career in supply chain management (SCM) might be the right fit for you, here are some of the skills employers are looking for in candidates.
There are a number of skills that are common among those who have built successful careers in supply chain management. Analytical skills are frequently used, including the ability to gather a large quantity of data and break it down into useful information using financial, statistical, and quantitative analysis. Many SCM professionals use spreadsheets and databases to compile and interpret information and transform it into reports and presentations. Both verbal and written communication skills are also very important, since you could be called on to prepare reports and memos, as well as present information to colleagues and management.
A major component of SCM is logistics, including the ability to oversee a variety of departments and processes. You would be working frequently with both external customers and other departments within your organization, which means that interpersonal skills are important, including conflict management and negotiation. You will need to excel in project management, which may include production planning, developing timelines, and working in a deadline-oriented environment. Strong attention to detail is crucial, as is the ability to multi-task and track components of different projects at the same time. SCM professionals are typically self-directed and self-motivated. If your company has an international focus or its supply chain utilizes overseas suppliers, an understanding of other cultures and business practices will be an advantage, as will knowledge of a foreign language.
As you can see, employers look for a number of skills when seeking a candidate for a position in the SCM field. Focus on developing these skills and emphasize them on your resume, and you will be on your way to a supply chain management career.