Proper business management includes a host of management sub-categories, many of which are far more complicated than you might think. In fact, many of them have their own sub-departments that have to operate in a coordinated manner to get results. Supply Chain Management is one of these. Supply chain management (SCM) overlaps with other business operations like logistics, procurement, inventory, warehousing and even customer relationship management (CRM).
According to Search Manufacturing ERP, supply chain management is a complicated system that is concerned with the procession of materials, information and finances from suppliers to manufacturers to wholesalers to retailers to consumers. The art of coordinating and integrating all of these processes (which is not helped by the fact that many different companies get involved) requires consummate management, delegation and communication skills, not to mention top-notch software that will help you monitor and track everything.
You’ll find this kind of supply chain management software in SAP’s range of Business Process Applications solutions.
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It’s an acronym fest of note, especially when you consider that SAP SCM was designed for SMEs. Its purpose is to help supply chain managers “synchronise planning, distribution, transportation and logistics”.
According to Wikipedia, supply chain management takes place on three levels:
- Strategic level, which includes facilitating communication between various warehouses, forming and maintaining relationships with suppliers, distributors and customers, product lifecycle management, and information chain operations.
- Tactical level, which includes sourcing contracts, decisions regarding contracts and schedules, transportation strategies and benchmarking.
- Operational level, which includes production and distribution planning, demand forecasting and coordination, inbound and outbound operations, tracking damages along the way and ensuring proper compensation for damages incurred.
SAP’s variety of SCM software solutions ensures that all parties concerned meet the requirements on all three levels to increase productivity, lower costs, produce better quality products, reduce damages and improve profit margins.
Supply Chain Management Courses
Now that you know how in-depth SCM can be, you’re probably wondering what qualifications you need to get into the field. Well, it depends on what you want to do and how you want to go about doing it.
Australia offers a number of paths to a successful career in supply chain management, starting with TAFE certificate courses and diplomas.
RMIT University has a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) degree that takes a global view of SCM and includes subjects such as materials management, inventory control, warehousing, transport and distribution and end-user stakeholder expectation management.
RMIT also offers a Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management degree, which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia and includes aspects such as international trade, risk analysis and inbound/outbound movement.
Swinburne University of Technology has a Bachelor of Business degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, which is available online. By the end of the degree, graduates will be able to develop warehousing and transportation plans, determine the impact of internal and external factors on procurement and integrate SCM with other business operations.
Swinburne also offers postgraduate options, starting with the Graduate Certificate of Business Management (Supply Chain Management) and moving up to Graduate Diplomas and Masters of Business Management.
The University of South Australia offers a Masters in Logistics and Supply Chain Management that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Australia and which looks at enterprise resource planning (ERP), project planning, quality management, procurement and purchasing management, international logistics and warehousing and inventory management.
SAP Education Australia & New Zealand offers a number of SCM-related modules that deal specifically with its supply chain management software, including supply network planning, production planning, manufacturing integration, and business processes in sales order management.
Supply Chain Management Jobs in Australia
We’ve established that SCM is massively diverse, so we can expect the number of jobs available to be impressively large in scope. We can’t cover nearly all of them here, but we can give you a fraction of a taste of what is available:
- Customer operations agents, who specialise in customer experience.
- Contracts officers, who are tasked with finding suppliers and negotiating outstanding contract deals – and then monitoring and maintaining supplier relationships.
- Commercial and procurement managers, who deal with contracts, procurements, bids, logistics and projects.
- Procurement consultants.
- Replenishment analysts.
- Logistics officers.
The list goes on …
If you’re not daunted by any of the above, in fact, if the challenge supply chain management excites you, consult our list of SAP SCM courses and start building the ultimate (and ultimately lucrative) management career.