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OPA at Your Service for Career Guidance,Careers in Supply Chain Management Industry

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the broad range of activities required to plan, control and execute a product’s flow from materials to production to distribution in the most economical way possible.
In other words, the supply chain refers to the resources needed to deliver goods and services to a consumer. The supply chain management is very important and an integral part of most businesses and is essential to company success and customer satisfaction, according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. The supply chain starts with us. Let’s imagine, for instance, that you love dresses. Your desire to acquire dresses sets off a chain reaction. You either go to the shop or shop online to get the dresses you want. The retailer obtains the dresses from the distributor. The distributor gets the dresses from the manufacturer. The manufacturer gets the raw material from someone else. So all these people, businesses, and processes are linked together. They are part of a supply chain that begins with you.
Supply chain management helps lower the cost of doing business. It provides a way for a business to form a competitive advantage without needing to lower its prices while allowing it to deliver orders more quickly to customers. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals says that supply chain management is important for a number of specific reasons because it:
Ø Boosts customer service: Customers expect products to be delivered quickly and on time. The importance of supply chain strategy is that this process increases customer satisfaction.
Ø Reduces operating costs: Supply chain management allows a business to decrease the cost of purchasing and production.
Ø Improves financial position: “Firms value supply chain managers because they help control and reduce supply chain costs,” says the council, adding that this can result in dramatic increases in a firm’s profits.
Hearing the term supply chain management for the first time can be confusing for students and the job seekers until you realise how it has an impact on almost every aspect of your lives. Food, clothing, kitchen appliances, and so many other products are all made available by means of a supply chain – a network of activities that creates and distributes products and services to drive value for the end consumer. Although supply chain is among the fastest growing career fields in Sri Lanka, yet the functions that make up a supply chain tend to operate behind the scenes.
“A supply chain career can run the gamut from a basic purchasing function, to operating the end-to-end supply stream for a large corporation,” says Steve Lykken, Senior Vice President of supply chain management for Jennie-O Turkey Store. He explains that every company has a slightly different definition of what a supply chain management role entails, which means the day-to-day work can vary substantially between employers.
The few things you should know about supply chain management careers before you select the profession:
Ø Understanding the industry is essential
Ø Supply chain management is data driven
Ø Supply chain management is competitive
Ø The job is never boring
Ø Networking should be a priority
Ø There are a variety of career opportunities
For students who wish to pursue studies and career in Supply Chain Management, there are many avenues in Sri Lanka. They can study in public and private universities or professional institutions. The details of the universities and institutions are as follows:
Ø University of Moratuwa – BSc. (Hons) in Transport & Logistic Management Degree
Ø Ocean University – BSc. in Maritime Transport Management and Logistics Degree
Ø Kotelawala Defence University – BSc in Logistics Management Degree – payment basis and selection is done based on the G.C.E (A/L) results with Z Score
Ø National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) – BSc (Hons) in Global Logistics Management – payment basis and selection is done based on the G.C.E (A/L) or O/L results. Check the website for further details –
Ø CINEC Campus
· BMgt. (Hons.) in Supply Chain Management Degree
· BSc. in International Transportation Management and Logistics Degree
· BSc. (Hons.) in Logistics & Transportation Degree – payment basis and selection is done based on the G.C.E (A/L) and any streams with 3S passes
Ø Institute of Supply and Materials Management (ISMM) :
· 3 months Certificate Courses in Procurement and Stores Management
· 3 years Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (GDPSCM) – payment basis and selection is done based on the G.C.E (A/L) and any streams with 3 passes, aptitude test and viva
Ø Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers – Sri Lanka (ICS)
· 6 months Diploma in Shipping – payment basis and G.C.E (A/L) with 2 passes or G.C.E (O/L) with one year Shipping, Logistics, Freight Forwarding or Import/Export/Trading/Banking.
· 6 months Advance Diploma in Shipping – payment basis and G.C.E (A/L) with 2 passes or G.C.E (O/L) with one year Shipping, Logistics, Freight Forwarding or Import/Export/Trading/Banking
Students and professionals who are interested in further learning on supply chain management can study online free of charge. A few online websites are as follows:
Students who possess the certificates, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate qualifications and working experience will be able to obtain professional memberships from institutions, such as Supply and Material(ISMM), Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Sri Lanka (ICS).
The employment opportunities and salary options in SCM profession private and public sector in Sri Lanka as follows:
Ø Store Keeper
Ø Stores Officer
Ø Store Supervisor
Ø Purchasing/Procurement Officer
Ø Purchasing/Procurement Supervisor
Ø Stores/Purchasing/Procurement Executive
Ø Assistant Manager/Manager –
Ø Stores/Warehousing/Transportation/Purchasing/Procurement
Ø Demand Planner
Ø Logistics Manager/Logistics & Operational Manager
Ø Transport & Logistics Manager
Ø Supply Chain Manager
Ø Director Operation
Ø Director – Logistics/Transport/Procurement
Ø Director – Supply Chain Management
Ø General Manager/CEO/Assistant General Manager – Logistics/ Transport/Procurement/Supply Chain Management
The salaries start with Rs. 30,000/- and above for first line management level (store keepers, stores officer) depending on the experience. Middle level (executives, assistant managers, managers) and top level management (CEO/General Managers) salaries are negotiable with perks/benefits depending on the years of industry experience.
It can vary from Rs. 75,000/ to Rs. 400,000/- and above for middle management and top management categories.
Note :This is a fortnightly publication for the benefit of the students and school leavers. Forward your questions in brief relating to Supply Chain Management or any Career Guidance related matter to The Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) by email – [email protected] within FIVE (05) days. The professionals belonging to different professions at the OPA will answer your questions.

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