What Is Supply Chain Management?


What is supply chain management? In a nutshell, it's the business of getting materials around the globe.

It’s easy to get bogged down by the plethora of job responsibilities and career choices that fall under the umbrella of supply chain management. But, at its core, it is about making connections.

From the germ of an idea to its execution, from raw materials to finished products, from planning to sourcing to managing inventory, a supply chain manager fixes any frayed edges and ties each piece together.

Supply chain managers understand their businesses from one end to the other, making these professionals an indispensable part of any company. SCMTalentGroup, a national recruiting organization, answers the question “What is supply chain management?” by breaking it down into its most basic components:

  • Buying and sourcing
  • Delivery

Are you a big-picture person who also has an eye for detail? Do you look at complex projects and immediately try to make them more efficient and effective? Are you always seeking a challenge? Do you love flow charts?

Answering “yes” to these questions may mean you’re a fit to become a supply chain manager.

How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

“But what’s next?” you may be thinking. You’ve answered the question “What is Supply Chain Management?” But how does a supply chain management degree translate into a career?

Overall hiring in the field is on the rise, according to Forbes. Employers are actually struggling to find qualified applicants, not the other way around. The business magazine predicts that by 2025, the ongoing digital revolution will create more cloud-based planning systems, an expansion of jobs in analytics, and increased demand for “smart” automation systems in fulfillment centers.

Career possibilities run the gamut from industrial engineers to operations research analysts and production managers to quality control inspectors. Supply chain managers are:

  • Troubleshooters
  • Leaders
  • Collaborators
  • Independent Thinkers

They know a little bit about everything and are well-versed in how to make a company—whether it be a private firm, a government organization, a nonprofit, a small startup or a global behemoth—operate more efficiently and effectively.

Supply chain management touches nearly every type of industry in every type of company, leaving the doors wide open as you embark on a new career or accelerate your pace in your current field.

M.S. in Supply Chain Management

At Elmhurst College, we understand that a degree is not just a piece of paper—it needs to add value to your life and to your employer. It needs to be worth your time and financial investment. That’s why we have designed a master’s degree in supply chain management that fits the needs of busy professionals.

When you enroll in the Supply Chain Management master’s program, you will join a cohort that meets on campus one evening a week with faculty members who are experts in their field. You’ll increase your aptitude for today’s—and tomorrow’s—business environment by taking a deep dive into sourcing and purchasing, logistics, operation management, IT, e-commerce and customer relations.

In addition, you will make connections in the field and gain hands-on experience. You and your classmates will join a built-in network of Elmhurst alumni and professors who can connect you to employers in the Chicago area and across the United States.

Interested in Getting Started?

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Posted November 1, 2018

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