When I first heard the term Supply Chain Management (SCM), my head immediately conjured an image of warehouse workers moving boxes with those cool forklifts. Actually, SCM does involve moving products in warehouses but this is just one aspect of this field. SCM actually encompasses so much more.
(This video is part of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council’s (CSCSC) Recruitment and Retention Toolkit to invite new workers to the supply chain.)
What is Supply Chain Management?
Some newcomers may be familiar with SCM but a lot of us might not. Ordinarily, we are familiar with small aspects of it (like my idea of forklift operators) but the world of SCM is actually vast.
Supply chain management is defined as the “design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally.” (APICS dictionary as cited from Wikipedia).
A supply chain encompasses three major functions: 1) supply materials to a manufacturer; 2) the manufacturing process; and 3) distribution of goods through a network of distributors and retailers to a final customer. These three functions seem simple, but they involve a whole gamut of processes which require a number of employees working to fulfill each step. Moreover, successful SCM requires integrating and coordinating activities to optimize the flow of goods from supplier to customer. You will encounter the concepts of planning, procuring, logistics management, as well as marketing, sales, product design, finance and information technology in the SCM field.
What is SCM? (W.P. Carey School of Business)
What are the jobs under SCM:
Careers in SCM abound. You can choose from managerial, tactical and operational roles (watch Career Profile videos here: People in Supply Chain). There are about 48 different high-demand supply chain occupations ranging from airport ramp attendant to warehouse operations manager.
Interested to know more about the SCM field?
If you are a newcomer looking for possible avenues for career change or a seasoned SCM professional looking to boost your expertise to practise in Canada, explore the following resources to know more about SCM:
The Connector tool – developed by the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, the Connector is an online assessment tool. You can get an accurate assessment of your supply chain knowledge and your essential skills with respect to the 48 occupations for which the Council has written occupational standards. It can also generate customized learning plans and activities to upgrade your competencies for current and desired roles. The tool can also link you to relevant education and training available across Canada to build skills where gaps exist. You have to register to start using the tool.
Supply Chain Management video series – a 12-part video series that serves as an introduction to the field of SCM. This was developed by Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business.
People in Supply Chain – “A series of videos showing diversity, education, technology and the future of supply chain” developed and shared by the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council.
Brochures and handouts at the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council page offer information for high-school students, job-seekers, and post- secondary students in supply chain programs.
Some educational institutions in MB offering degrees in SCM:
University of Manitoba Asper School of Business – Supply Chain Management
Robertson College – Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Herzing College – Supply Chain Management and Logistics
Sources: Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council; Supply chain management video series, Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business; and Supply Chain Management Association of Manitoba site. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
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