Supply Chain Managers
Overview | Specific
Work Activities | Common Work Activities | Related
Occupations | Skills and Abilities | Working
Conditions | Physical Demands | Knowledge
| Interests | Wages | Current
Employment | Outlook |
Helpful High School Courses | Preparation
| Related Educational Programs | Hiring Practices
| Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration |
Advancement Opportunities | Additional
Sources of Information
- Seek ways to improve efficiency in the manufacturing world
- Manage the manufacturing process from
beginning to end
- Work with supervisors, line workers, engineers,
- Sit for long periods of time.
- Have a bachelor's degree
- About 56 percent of all managers are self-employed
- Earn $84,890 per year (Hawaii median)
Supply chain managers coordinate and plan the steps necessary to make and sell a product.
Supply chain managers control the supply needs of companies and organizations. They analyze inventory, storage, and transportation needs to make sure they have enough stock on hand. Supply chain managers also handle new product launches. This means they design, test, and adjust supply chains to prepare for new products.
Managers look at the flow of business processes to make sure they work efficiently. Product tracking computer systems let them do this more efficiently. They talk with various workers, from drivers to purchasers to budget analysts, to see what their needs are and how to improve work processes.
Managers forecast future trends for their company to predict changes. For example, if raw material prices go up, they may create plans to keep costs down by using alternative materials.
Some products pollute when people dispose of them. Managers may find less toxic materials to make these products. Or, they may find ways for stores to take products back and recycle them. They may also work with storage and transportation companies to help reduce the environmental impact of storing and shipping products and supplies.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to supply chain managers.
- Create and use supply chains that help businesses with changing market conditions, environmental impacts, or cost reduction.
- Manage supply chain sales, marketing, costs, production, and quality.
- Manage purchasing, material needs, inventory control, warehousing, or receiving.
- Help manage product changes or new product launches. Make sure product supply meets demand for the product.
- Pick suppliers based on factors such as performance and environmental impact.
- Use new technology to analyze inventory. Use data to check inventory use, reduce waste, or improve customer service.
- Ensure access to materials and products. Talk with supply chain planners to predict demand, create supply plans or recycle waste.
- Make rules for testing supply chain factors such as product cost and impact on the environment.
- Create and use plans for tracking and storing materials or products that produce less pollution.
- Find new methods to test and choose suppliers.
- Test products to check the environmental impact of every part of their creation, use, and disposal.
- Create programs to reduce waste connected with product disposal such as computers.
Supply chain managers perform the following list
of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Use computers.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Develop and build teams.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Analyze data or information.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Guide, direct, and motivate others.
- Process information.
- Develop goals and strategies.
- Coordinate the work and activities of others.
- Coach others.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Resolve conflicts and negotiate with others.
- Recruit, interview, or hire others.
- Monitor and control resources.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Provide advice and consultation to others.
- Business, Management and Administration
- Administrative Services Managers
- Budget Analysts
- General and Operations Managers
- Management Analysts
- Purchasing Managers
- Storage and Transportation Managers
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Business, Management & Technology
Related O*NET Specialties:
Supply chain managers need
- Listen to others, understand, and ask questions.
- Read and understand work-related materials.
- Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing.
Reason and Problem Solve
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely
to go wrong.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their
strengths and weaknesses.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw
- Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.
- Determine how a system should work. Study how
changes in conditions affect outcomes.
- Identify ways to measure and improve system
- Develop rules or follow guidelines for arranging
- Make sense of information by studying it.
- Think of new ideas or original and creative
ways to solve problems.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing
Use Math and Science
People, Time, and Things
- Use math skills to solve problems.
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly
Work with People
- Check how
well one is learning or doing something.
the time of self and others.
needed equipment, facilities, and materials and oversee their use.
develop, and direct people as they work.
- Go back
and forth between two or more activities or sources of information without
- Be aware
of others' reactions and change behavior in relation to them.
others to approach things differently.
- Solve problems
by bringing others together to discuss differences.
- Teach others
how to do something.
for ways to help people.
Perceive and Visualize
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word,
or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
In a typical work setting, supply chain managers:
- Have a medium to high level of social interaction with others.
- Communicate mostly by telephone, e-mail, and in-person conversations.
They also write letters and memos, but less frequently.
- Are responsible for work outcomes and the work done by others.
- Are sometimes placed in conflict situations in which others
may be rude or angry.
- Are somewhat responsible for the health and safety of others.
Physical Work Conditions
- Always work indoors.
- May share office space with others.
- Must be exact and accurate when performing the
job. Errors can cost the company time and money.
- Rarely consult a supervisor before making a
decision or setting tasks and goals.
- Meet strict weekly and monthly deadlines. This
makes the work atmosphere somewhat competitive.
- Regularly make decisions that greatly impact
coworkers and their company.
- Sometimes repeat the same physical and mental
Hours / Travel
- Generally have a set schedule each week.
- Usually work 40 hours a week. However, overtime
is common during project deadlines.
Supply chain managers frequently:
- Sit for long periods of time.
It is important for supply chain managers to
be able to:
- See details of objects that are less than a
few feet away.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Understand the speech of another person.
It is not as important, but still necessary, for supply chain managers to be able to:
- See details of objects that are more than a
few feet away.
- See differences between colors, shades, and
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between
Supply chain managers need
knowledge in the following areas:
- Production and Processing: Knowledge of how
products are made and supplied.
- Administration and Management: Knowledge of
managing the operations of a business, company, or group.
- Transportation: Knowledge of ways to move people,
goods, or materials. This may be by air, rail, sea, or road.
- English Language: Knowledge of the meaning,
spelling, and use of the English language.
- Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of
providing special services to customers based on their needs.
- Mathematics: Knowledge of the rules and uses
of numbers. Areas of knowledge include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and
- Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of computer
hardware and software.
- Economics and Accounting: Knowledge of producing,
supplying, and using goods and services. Also includes knowledge of the methods
for keeping business records.
- Personnel and Human Resources: Knowledge of
the department that is in charge of the relationship between a company and
its employees. In particular, includes knowledge of the activities performed
by the department.
Supply chain managers are people who tend
- Consider independence important. They like to make decisions and try out ideas on their own. They prefer jobs where they can plan their work with little supervision.
- Consider good working conditions important. They like jobs offering steady employment and good pay. They want employment that fits their individual work style. They may prefer doing a variety of tasks, working alone, or being busy all the time.
- Consider support from their employer important. They like to be treated fairly and have supervisors who will back them up. They prefer jobs where they are trained well.
- Consider achievement important. They like to see the results of their work and to use their strongest abilities. They like to get a feeling of accomplishment from their work.
- Consider recognition important. They like to work in jobs which have opportunities for them to advance, be recognized for their work, and direct and instruct others. They usually prefer jobs in which they are looked up to by others.
- Have enterprising interests. They like work activities that involve starting up and carrying out projects, especially in business. They like to lead and persuade others, make decisions, and take risks for profit.
- Have conventional interests. They like work activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards. They like to work with data and detail. They prefer working where there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Occupational Interest Codes:
Wages for supply chain managers vary depending on their responsibilities and level of education. Their company size and area of the country can also affect wages.
Full-time managers usually receive benefits such as sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance.
Self-employed supply chain managers must provide their own insurance.
Managers, all other
The number of supply chain managers employed in Hawaii and nationally is not available.
About 56 percent of all managers are self-employed.
- Business management companies
- State and local government agencies
In Hawaii, outlook information is not specifically available for supply chain managers. However, they are included in a larger group of "managers, all other." Slower than average employment growth is expected for workers in this group through the year 2020.
Nationally, employment of workers in this group is expected to grow slower than average through the year 2020.
The table below provides information about the number of workers in this occupation in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.
Much of the job growth for supply chain managers will be due to the growing green sector of the economy. Supply chain managers will be needed to help businesses use less energy as they manufacture products. They will be needed to help manufacturers develop green products and technologies. They will also be needed in transportation, to help reduce the environmental impact of trucking and shipping products and supplies.
Because this is a large occupation, many openings will occur each year as managers transfer to other positions, start their own businesses, or retire. However, many who leave their jobs transfer to other management positions. This tends to limit the number of job openings for new entrants.
Managers, all other
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from our state's graduation requirements. Click here for public school graduation requirements for the Class of 2014 and 2015. Click here for the graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 and beyond.
If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation
You should also consider
taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement
(AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your
school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for
them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this
- Computer Applications
- Introduction to Business
The courses listed above
are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already
done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering
You should also check with
a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available
in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing,
internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to
help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some
hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating
in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself.
Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Click here for examples
and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a supply chain manager, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- have at least a bachelor's degree.
Most supply chain managers have at least a bachelor's degree. Several fields of study provide good preparation for this occupation. These include manufacturing engineering, business, economics, math, and statistics. Common areas of graduate study are operations research, logistics, business administration, computer and information science, and industrial engineering.
Consider participating in an internship while in college. An internship offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.
New graduates work under the guidance of experienced supply chain managers. In large companies, you may also receive formal classroom training. You work on more difficult tasks and get more independence in your work as you gain knowledge and experience. The length of training varies by employer. In general, you receive up to one year of additional training.
- Business Management and Administration
- Computer and Information Sciences
Most employers require that supply chain managers have at least a bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering, business administration, or a related field. Some employers prefer people who have a master's degree in engineering management or business administration. Employers also look for people with strong communication skills and experience working in a manufacturing setting.
Experienced managers may advance by moving to larger departments where they manage larger runs or more complicated products. This would also entail working with and supervising additional employees.
Supply chain managers can advance into higher positions or earn higher pay through certification and continuing education.
Sources of Information
Available on the Internet
© Copyright Hawaii Green Jobs Initiative,
LMI Innovation Grant, Research and Statistics Office, Department of Labor &
Industrial Relations, State of Hawaii. All Rights Reserved.