Working in supply chain function

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After excelling in the same job for a couple of years, there might come a time where you wish to explore a role that is vastly different from what you have been doing in the past. You might have considered moving over to a position in the supply chain department within your company, but the question is this: can it be done? Well, of course it can.

 

 

 

In fact, Dr John Gattorna, an international supply chain expert and the author of several supply chain publications, feels that one “can start a supply chain career from almost anywhere because it is not a purist field like accounting or finance”. While he admits the duality of this attribute – a plausible reason why it is challenging to build a good supply chain career – those who do manage to climb up the ladder of the supply chain career can sometimes end up becoming Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In China, there is a high demand for supply chain talents, so this may be your chance to take that leap of faith.

The key to building a truly sustainable supply chain career would be to avoid staying stagnant in a single job position for an extended period of time as it would lock a person into a narrowly defined role that lacks exposure. You are reduced to a mundane role where you're simply the “doer”, instead of becoming an innovative thinker who generates progressive solutions for the company and its shareholders. This will not only limit your career choices, but also results in you having much less to offer your employer in terms of skills and diversity.

In a world where companies are working harder than ever to position themselves as globalised brands, it has become far more important for workers to have an employable set of skills that has both depth and breadth. Although rising to a senior position indicates specialisation in a single area of expertise, this will come at the expense of you challenging your limits and moving out of your comfort zone. Ultimately, whether you are in sales or finance, moving into the supply chain circuit could broaden your horizons by a wide margin and teach you a new set of working skills.

As a supply chain professional, your job is to be the driving force behind securing opportunities that could improve your company's bottom line. It's not just a matter of moving goods or taking care of your customers' logistics needs. You would need to be vigilant to identify the potential in lucrative customers. After which, you must gently guide them in the right direction so as to create a mutually beneficial relationship for both the client and your company. In this respect, your past experience across other disciplines will definitely come in handy as it gives you a sharper perspective to judge individual situations and tailor your approach accordingly.

Even if you are not from the sales or finance department and feel that you may not have the requisite skill sets, there is a lot of information available out there that you can make use of to upgrade your existing skills and acquire the needed skill sets to tackle a supply chain position.

 

If you are looking for supply chain jobs, please contact:

Rachel Wang, Director (Suzhou Office)
rachel.wang@robertwalters.com.cn
+86 512 6873 5861
 

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