Being a supply chain manager in today’s world can be something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, there is a wealth of technology and software out there to make your job much easier than it would previously have been. On the other hand, there will always be challenges to overcome as technology continues to evolve and outpace old systems.
Being successful as a supply chain manager requires no small amount of forward-thinking, but plenty of other qualities will make achieving success an attainable goal. To that end, we’ve put five of the most important traits to cultivate in this post.
As a supply chain manager, you will have a vision and a direction for your supply chain, and it likely involves getting many moving parts to work in sync. You will need to communicate your ideas in straightforward ways, using the tools at your disposal. But in addition to personal communication, you should consider how the rest of your supply chain talks to each other. Are you creating unnecessary bottlenecks by juggling too many partners separately, when they benefit more from being on the same page? Look into software that helps your supply chain connect and communicate, and ensure everyone is singing the same tune.
Something that goes hand-in-hand with communication is the ability to see those ideas through and keep the metaphorical train on the tracks. A good leader will be able to inspire and motivate and should possess a healthy amount of empathy. Seeing things from someone else’s point of view will help you understand the bigger picture better. Moreover, if you understand your team and business on a deep level, you can identify what tools will benefit them most and determine what areas could use extra support.
Technology has advanced in ways that would have seemed impossible as recently as a century ago, though the business world has not always been the quickest to keep up. Fortunately, for a supply chain manager, the supply chain is one area of business where technology can help make vast improvements all around.
Supply chain management (SCM) software allows you to keep a better handle on your operation, streamlining workflows and highlighting inefficiencies. As a leader, you need to be prepared to implement those technologies or risk falling behind to the more forward-thinking competition.
Having the foresight to implement revolutionary technologies like supply chain management software is only part of the battle; your biggest struggles will likely be in-house as some people will undoubtedly be resistant to change. They will need convincing based on your previous experiences to accept new systems you propose. Do your research, and even look into requesting a software demo for any new platform you’re considering.
Also, there will likely be some technologies you aren’t willing to give up. So when evaluating new technology options, look into what systems SCM software integrates with and choose what will work best for your existing setup.
You can’t be a supply chain manager without exceptional management skills. This is no small task in an operation as complex as a supply chain, which is a large part of why being innovative and tech-savvy is so crucial to being a modern supply manager. You will need to have a firm grasp of the finances across your whole chain, be on top of schedules, make decisions that involve working from predictions, and much more. Perhaps most importantly, you have to be agile and able to adapt in the face of problems. Seek out project management tools designed to clarify this process and put the tools you need at your fingertips.