Supply Chain Manager Job Profile

A supply chain manager job is a challenging and fulfilling one. A supply chain manager helps to integrate one or more business networks for efficient supply chain management. Supply chain management involves integration of functions of various units involved in the procurement of raw material, its storage and in the production and distribution of finished goods. The effective control and management of the supply chain is necessary for the cost reduction and timely delivery of goods to the end consumer.

Basic Duties

Actual duties of a supply chain manager vary with the type of industry and the supply chain process setup in use. But there are some tasks in common for all supply chain managers. These are:

  • Plan the raw material requirement.
  • Schedule the production.
  • Manage the inventory.
  • Manage logistics and distribution.

These four steps are crucial for the effectiveness of supply chain management, as the supply chain manager has to ensure that a sufficient supply of the correct materials are in the right place at the right time.

  • Coordinate with the line managers of production, warehouse, logistics and distribution for the smooth flow of the supply chain.
  • Devise plans or improvise the current methods to reduce the procurement, production and transportation costs without compromising the quality specifications.
  • Plan for increase in the productivity to garner higher profits.
  • Liaise with the suppliers or vendors for smooth flow of the essentials without any time delays.
  • Negotiate and bargain for quality, quick delivery and purchase price with the suppliers.
  • Hire and train the junior staff in the supply chain department.
  • Delegate the tasks to various subordinates to get the work done effectively without any delays.
  • Integrate the information technology systems with the supply chain processes.
  • Manage the reverse logistics (for the return of reusable packaging materials or damaged goods).
  • Study the market trends and sales of the products produced and also of the competitors’ products.
  • Prepare annual or quarterly budgets of operation and financial targets in compliance with the firm’s policies, strategies and objectives.

Work Schedule

Supply chain managers usually work 40 hours a week. However, they must have the willingness to work unusual hours because many of the supply chain activities occur at odd hours. If you are the manager, if something goes wrong, you will be the one standing by until the circumstance is resolved.


The median salary of a supply chain manager in the United States of America is $95,116, as of November 2009. There are supply chains managers with more than 20 years of experience earning well over $110,000.

Advancement Opportunities

With increase in experience and competencies, a supply chain manger can be promoted to higher positions like supply chain analyst, supply chain program team manager, head of supply chain management, procurement specialist, director of supply chains, vice president of supply chains and supply chains consultant.

Final Aspect

This career is one that consistently requires a manager to improvise methodologies to reduce the cost and increase profits. Hence you have to always be looking for ways to adapt and make the necessary changes so that there is a always a cost effective method in process.