Career Profiles: Supply Chain

Spectre

Ace Killer OG
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
3,472
Reputation
1,181
Daps
14,983
I always thought about Supply Chain. Most big companies have that department

But stuck in Pharma as an Engineer. Feel like it's too late to pivot and I don't even know if it's something I'd want to do for the rest of my career.

But great thread OP
 

Charles Foster Breh

Waxing Intellectual
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
17,727
Reputation
4,178
Daps
59,954
Reppin
Phi Chi Connection
Career Profile: Supply Chain

Current Role: Entrepreneur (own my own business in food manufacturing)

Previous Role: Supply chain manager / commodity manager

Salary Range: $70 - 120k

My years of experience: 15

Location: Philadelphia, PA (but worked in Upstate NY as well)

Hot Markets: Just about everywhere; supply chain is needed by everyone but each industry is different. Philly/NJ lots of Pharma supply chain, Midwest lots of food commodity or manufacturing supply chain (especially auto), TX/LA - petrochem supply chain or petrochem supporting industries, Cali - IT supply chain, Atlanta & Indy, lots of distribution supply chain

Job Summary: In the commodity management side of supply chain you typically manage a "commodity" which is a group of similar suppliers be it electronics, motors, food products, chemicals, packaging, etc. You are responsible for making sure the current supply base performs as well as making sure you vet new suppliers, come up with cost savings initiatives, and other ways to improve supply chain.

Education: Undergrad, BS in business admin, MBA focusing on supply chain; also in supply chain certs are important. To get in the door get your CPIM from APICS (no work experience required). Later get a CPSM from ISM or CSCP from APICS.

Work Specifics: Commodity management requires an extensive knowledge about many areas of business: procurement (negotiations and contracts), finance (payment terms and calculating inventory and other costs), international business (sourcing with global suppliers and calculating landed costs), and logistics/transportation to start.

Typically you have a group of suppliers you manage and you are responsible for 1) on-time performance and quality performance, 2) annual cost savings goals, 3) developing new suppliers, 4) working with other operations (sales and operations) to forecast and plan any supply chain changes needed to support goals

Why choose this career path/Backstory: I wanted a change of careers and was interested in manufacturing. I discovered supply chain studying for my MBA at a school known for supply chain. I liked it so much I joined APICS and ISM with the cheap student membership and then got my CPIM. Soon thereafter I got a job with a manufacturer in Upstate NY and worked with them. Great job and I lived in China & Brazil among other places and traveled all over the world to vet and develop suppliers.

Related Jobs: Supply chain management is the key job you want to get but there are many supporting roles which fall in or near "supply chain". Purchasing (like with buyers), logistics managers (transportation), import/export work, trade finance, and of course supplier quality management.

How to get your foot in the door: if you don't have experience or a degree, get a certification. The most accessible is the CPIM from APICS which requires not prior experience. Get the books from interlibrary loan to save hundreds of dollars since the test fees can be expensive. Then put this on your resume and start going to local chapter meetings of ISM, APICS, or CSCMP to network. Even better if you can go to one of their national or regional conferences. Lots of people get jobs there.

Notable Companies: Breh, there are way too many to mention. Every company has purchasing or supply chain but you want to find a firm that VALUES the supply chain function and supports it both with staffing and visibility. A company that has only a few people managing billions in spend and banging on them for cost savings is not where you want to be.

Entry Level Jobs: Easiest to get into is a buyer role but you can get stuck there. Aim for commodity manager or supply chain manager if you can

Entry Level Pay: Typically $70k+ but it may be $50-60k if you are recently out of college with no experience

Top End Jobs: VP of Supply Chain in the executive level. You may report to the CEO or COO or CFO

Top End Pay: $250k or so for high level VPs

Work/Life Balance: Expect at least 25% travel to visit and deal with suppliers. For hard core supply chain gigs with large overseas supply chains (like Apple, etc.) expect 50% travel. Luckily hours typically don't go beyond 60 per week unless things are going nuts

Any Other Interesting Information: ISM has a minority interest group you can reach out to and network with. They have a meetup at national conferences. Join the supply chain organizations and read the monthly magazines, you will learn a lot. Supply chain is really big on experience so if you can't get a certification and don't have the years of experience, start in a buyer or logistics role but make it clear you want to grow into a more supply chain position. If you can't do so at your current company look around to move to another. Often smaller companies are more open to people with less experience as are companies is less 'hot' areas (second tier cities, non-sexy industries, etc.)
My guy, I didn't know you were in the Philly area. Born and raised in Philly area...I just move to Chicago 6 years ago...and you're in food. I used to work at Campbell's and Kraft foods.

Thank you for contributing!!!!
 

skyrunner1

All Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
833
Reputation
345
Daps
4,364
I teased this last week to see how much interest there was in doing it, and a number of y'all responded.

I noticed a number of folks on this board ask about various jobs, how to get into certain career paths. Over the 9 or so years I’ve been posting on the board, there’s a lot of us on here that are pretty accomplished, but most of us aren’t wearing it on our sleeve. Likewise, there’s a number of us that are just searching for information on what’s possible.

As a black man, in my years I’ve come to realize we have a number of things working against us societally, but the biggest issue bar-none is we simply don’t know what’s available to us; what we personally would be a good fit for and how to get your foot in the door. I personally floundered around for about 6 years after I graduated college before I got into this career path and hit my stride. I was 29 when I finally said this is my career and I started to make some decent money from it. Had I known what was available, I could’ve been doing the same work straight out of college or the military at 21-22 making the same money.

There are literally thousands of different career profiles we could do, but I don’t have the time, bandwidth, and I’m sure no one is trying to read all of that anyway. So, I’ve narrowed it down to 19 different sectors:

· Advertising and marketing
· Aerospace/Automotive
· Agriculture
· Computers and technology
· Construction
· Education
· Energy and Mining
· Entertainment
· Fashion
· Finance
· Food and beverage
· Health care
· Hospitality
· Law and security
· Manufacturing
· Media and news
· Pharmaceutical
· Telecommunication
· Transportation

This series will be broken down into 19 different industry sectors. Each with a thread of their own. I will add a new thread once I have enough respondents for that respective industry. If this is your career path, please contribute; the more the merrier. If you do contribute, remember to be anonymous and vague enough that no one can trace you back your company, but try to be detailed enough that the information is purposeful. Please @ me, or DM me with your industry and job if you want to contribute. If I miss you in the original post, please feel free to copy the template from the "Career Profile" down and add a post in that respective thread.

I’ll add a brief summary of the industry, and just let the posters here do their thing. We’ll be starting with Supply Chain, because that’s my home base and what I know the most about.

Career Profile:
Supply Chain

Current Role: Business Integration Manager

Previous Role: Logistics Manager

Salary Range: $140-175K (Will vary more depending on the metro area/market)

My years of experience: 13

Location: Chicago

Hot Markets: Chicago, NJ/NYC/PA, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Denver, SoCal, NorCal, NW Ohio, Seattle, Portland.

Job Summary: I work end to end with raw material suppliers, buyers, manufacturing plants, warehousing, transportation customer fulfillment, sales, and the end customer to fill order requirements.

Education: Bachelor’s or 4 Years of military service. However, you don’t really need a degree for many of the jobs, even corporate roles.

Work Specifics: I work with multiple departments internally and externally, in meetings, reading and submitting reports, creating project decks, project management, financial management, vendor approvals, operation change-overs.

Why choose this career path/Backstory: I honestly wanted and tried to get into the music industry. I worked in radio for 4 years. Radio didn’t pay me shyt, so I was working 3 jobs to make ends meet. I worked 80 hours a week and probably slept in my car or an office chair as much as I slept in my own bed at that time. 1 of those jobs I worked to make ends meet was UPS. Because I had my degree, UPS would automatically consider and promote you to be a supervisor. I bounced around multiple companies and kept upping my experience, connections, and pay until I made where I am now.

Related Jobs: Logistics manager, planning manager, warehouse manager, transportation manager, materials manager, plant manager

How to get your foot in the door: Every company has a supply chain…EVERY COMPANY. You can get your foot in the door doing hourly warehouse work, driving a truck, being a receiving clerk, being an accounts payable clerk, data entry work

Notable Companies: Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Unilever, Apple, Pepsi, Exxon Mobil Coca-Cola, CVS, Wal-Greens, LVMH, Toyota, Volkswagen, BP, Shell, Zara

Entry Level Jobs: Logistics Analyst, Warehouse Worker, Truck Driver

Entry Level Pay: $30-$50K (depending on the metro area/market)

Top End Jobs: CEO, COO, VP Supply Chain, Plant Manager (If it’s a really big plant; think food or automotive),

Top End Pay: $500K+ with long-term incentives, stock options, etc.

Work/Life Balance: The work/life balance from company to company will vary, but generally you will work longer hours in this line of work. 45-50 hours a week. More if you are executive or it is a just poorly run company. My balance is actually great…I work 7-4 and still have enough time to do an MBA part-time.

Any Other Interesting Information: Connections and experience are everything in this business. The only thing that makes money is making money. Doesn’t matter how hard you work, how important your job is…the only thing in this line of work (and any line of work) that will make you money is making money. When you are trying to climb the ladder, take on more responsibility, join that meeting, ask the dumb questions, be personable but stern, lastly…be open growth and change, but NEVER lose the core of who you are. You’ll never have any respect from your peers and you’ll feel like a sellout if you do. I’ve met MAD dumbasses that are executives. Some that are actually in the media eye.
Love this :salute:
 

DLo

All Star
Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
3,112
Reputation
490
Daps
9,385
I'm in Supply Chain on the Purchasing side. The job market is hot right now due to all of the supply chain issues. It is great career field and it isnt difficult to jump industries for opportunities.
 

Charles Foster Breh

Waxing Intellectual
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
17,727
Reputation
4,178
Daps
59,954
Reppin
Phi Chi Connection
I'm in Supply Chain, and moving towards Supply Chain finance

I'm in Supply Chain on the Purchasing side. The job market is hot right now due to all of the supply chain issues. It is great career field and it isnt difficult to jump industries for opportunities.
Contribute brehs...share the knowledge...
 

Spectre

Ace Killer OG
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
3,472
Reputation
1,181
Daps
14,983
What do you do in pharma and why do you want to pivot
Studied ChemEng. Work as a quality engineer in QA. Look at validation protocols and reports for pretty much everything

Feels like a job for people with much more experience in the industry who’ve been in many different roles and now looking to settle down. The pay is good especially considering how good the hours are, low stress, and work hybrid remotely.

Only considering pivot because I don’t really have the feeling of this is it. Feel like I took the first gig that paid out of college and just moved around in similar roles from there. Applied for other roles but only quality stood out in terms of pay and work life balance. Maybe when I get more certs I’ll feel more solid
 
Top