A career in supply chain management (SCM) is becoming more lucrative than ever. One of the best moves to get a decent job in this field is by earning a logistics or supply chain management degree. Individuals with formal SCM education gain a greater advantage over others who hold other disciplines when applying to supply chain related positions, simply because the former provides a comprehensive understanding of the complex end-to-end supply chain operations. In the Philippines, however, universities fall short of producing SCM graduates to fill the increasing demand for qualified, well-equipped individuals, due to education system constraints.
The demand growth is attributed to business expansion and the need to respond to the varying customer requirements quickly at less cost. It is no wonder individuals who possess a strong knowledge in supply chain operations, analysis, and technology – critical areas covered in supply chain management degree – are the most sought-after in the industry today.
Here are five reasons why a supply chain career is rewarding and fulfilling:
Supply chain management is gaining attention
While it is not a very popular topic in the Philippines, companies are beginning to adopt world-class supply chain management practices. More supply chain practitioners are engaged in forums, seminars, training, and education to learn new perspectives and approaches. It is obvious the resources today are more abundant than before, with industry experts, online courses, and professional organizations providing training. Companies are trying to fill the knowledge gap by relying on these resources.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that supply chain or logistics jobs will grow by 26% from 2010 to 2020 globally. This correlates to the fact that the supply chain is becoming more complex due to globalization, technology trends, and increased digitization. Therefore, new positions will be generated. One is the creation of the Supply Chain Analytics Specialist position, responsible for using big data to help management make better decisions. Another is the Process Innovation Analyst role, responsible for redesigning processes and integrating technologies to streamline the entire process. Job creation is also attributed to strong economic gains. Companies are likely to add more jobs as they expand their operations. SCM graduates are positioned to get hired sooner since there is much less competition in this field.
Supply chain talent gap
DHL has warned that the demand-to-supply ratio in the supply chain is six to one: there are six jobs available for every qualified SCM graduate. It could go as high as nine-to-one if higher education and companies do not take initiatives to close the gap. There are several reasons causing the talent crisis. First, the industry’s job growth rate is outpacing individuals with supply chain management and logistics degrees. Second, it is not as attractive to the public compared to other occupations such as engineering and finance. Third, most of the academic institutions in the Philippines do not offer an SCM degree. As a result, millennials have no clear understanding of the variety of career options with this degree.
“The task of finding people with the right skillsets required to run these highly complex operations is increasingly difficult especially at the middle and upper management levels. Unless companies solve their problem, it could threaten their viability to compete on the global stage,” says Lisa Harrington of LHarrington Group LLC.
According to the Robert Walters 2017 Global Salary Survey, there is an average of salary increase of 25% – 30% for moving and logistics companies. This indicates that Philippine companies are trying to attract Filipino professionals who are working overseas to go back home. However, even without the data, the apparent talent shortage in the industry would compel many companies to increase salaries offered to attract SCM graduates. In addition, they are more likely to increase resource allocation for supply chain talent due to the impact of the supply chain on financial performance.
It is not a boring job
You get to travel domestically or internationally. Since many organizations choose to purchase rather than produce their own raw materials, travel is often necessary. In most cases, suppliers are located outside the company’s geographical location. It is typical for people in the procurement to visit the supplier’s facility for a product or process inspection, capacity and manufacturing environments assessment, relationship development, and other purposes. In addition to procurement, employees within SCM are also required to travel, as all functions directly influence the product movement from its source to production to customer delivery.
Consider pursuing a degree in supply chain management or logistics. There has never been a better time to start taking a step toward earning an SCM degree. A recent report published by APICS shows that millennials are more engaged, focused, and committed to pursuing a career in supply chain management. It is encouraging to see that this generation is beginning to make a difference in this industry.