Working in the supply chain industry is dynamic, challenging and rewarding. It offers a broad number of career opportunities and the transferable skills allow you to experience working in different areas of the supply chain throughout your career.
Career opportunities in supply chain management are plentiful with roles available in procurement, planning, operations management and logistics and category management, to name a few. As both local and global commerce continues to grow, so too will the career opportunities.
What is the supply chain?
Simply put, the supply chain is the flow of goods or services from procurement to operations management to sourcing and logistics and delivery. The supply chain is a vital part of every business. A career in this industry offers you the freedom of choice to work in the sector that interests you most – whether that be construction, retail or anything in between.
What is operations management?
Operations management is very closely linked to the supply chain. It oversees the entire operations of a business or process, including the supply chain. The main goal of successful operations management is to increase efficiency. Examples of this are lowering costs, reducing resources, speeding up processes or outsourcing.
Working in operations management means you’re managing not only the whole supply chain, but the people and processes involved in it, too.
Procurement to operations management
The transferable skills in supply chain management allow you to work in many different areas – from procurement to operations management. Operations management deals with the bigger or ‘whole’ picture of your industry and includes elements both inside and outside the supply chain.
Many people begin their careers by working in procurement or purchasing. This is a logical first step as it’s also the beginning of the supply chain. This start allows you to gain well-rounded knowledge before moving into a management role such as operations management.
How can I get qualified in procurement and operations management?
The best way to get qualified is to complete a relevant diploma qualification. Both the Diploma of Logistics (TLI50221) and the Diploma of Business (Procurement) (BSB50120) are great options.
Other double diploma options include studying a double diploma by coupling a Diploma of Logistics (TLI50221) with a Diploma of Leadership and Management (BSB50420). This pairing is an excellent choice for those seeking a career in operations management or a leadership role within the supply chain industry.
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Procurement career path into management
Working in the area of procurement usually starts with a Diploma of Business (Procurement) (BSB50120). You’ll complete units such as ‘Supply Chain, Risk and Facility and Inventory Requirements’. This comprehensive qualification features handpicked units to give you a solid understanding of the procurement industry, with a focus on practical, job-ready applications.
Upon graduation, most people will find themselves working in an analyst role. This may involve sourcing new inventory or analysing past data. From there, you may move onto a purchasing manager role. Purchasing managers are responsible for the purchasing of inputs and suppliers.
In terms of leadership or management roles in procurement, there is plenty of scope for experienced purchasing managers to move into senior positions such as Director of Procurement as their career progresses.
As with all industries, a solid foundation of education, networking and hands-on work experience are your best bets for moving up the career ladder in procurement.
Supply chain career path into management
If you’re looking to work in the supply chain industry, completing a Diploma of Logistics (TLI50219) will give you a complete understanding of the critical areas of supply chain management.
You’ll complete a variety of handpicked units such as ‘Develop a Transport and Logistics Business Plan’, ‘Ensure a Safe Workplace for a Work Area’, ‘Manage Operational Plan’ and ‘Lead and Effective Workplace Relationships’.
While studying, it’s a great idea to gain work experience if you haven’t already. You can explore opportunities to do this within your current place of employment. At the very least, you can begin researching the type of careers that interest you most and what industries or businesses you may want to work for once you’ve graduated.
A career progression in supply chain management may look like:
- Beginning your career in planning, purchasing or buying as a junior officer
- Moving into a senior role in your niche with more responsibility
- Promotion into a senior management or leadership role, such as operations management
Lateral transition to a supply chain career path
It’s worth noting that while moving up the supply chain career ladder is achievable and rewarding, so is moving sideways from different roles or industries. Supply chain management is a dynamic industry with lots of transferable skillsets so you can easily transition into supply chain management from another industry and continue shifting into different areas of interest as your career progresses.
Start your supply chain career
Whether you’re looking to work in procurement, planning, logistics or operations management, following a supply chain career path is an excellent choice. The continued growth in this sector will provide more job opportunities in the future. Thanks to the broad skills learned, and the crossover between all segments of the supply chain such as procurement to operations management, you will also experience a wide variety of roles where no two days are the same.
Explore our supply chain courses
Supply chain management is a critical part of operations in any business. It connects business processes throughout the entire chain – from resources to suppliers to the end customer.
Explore the College for Adult Learning's range of supply chain management courses, including the Diploma of Logistics and Diploma of Business (Procurement).
EXPLORE SUPPLY CHAIN COURSES