Supply Chain Specialist Job Description

A Supply Chain Specialist ensures the performance of a supply chain from order to shipment to billing and customer service. This requires the Supply Chain Specialist to track inventory and orders as well as forecast future supply needs.

The Supply Chain Specialist works in a supervisory capacity, overseeing a variety of different employees and departments within the supply chain to ensure that the overall process runs smoothly. They may work in shipping, manufacturing or supply chain management companies, or they may work on a consulting basis analyzing and coordinating a company’s supply chain. Because the positions are concentrated in manufacturing and government, two declining industries, job growth is expected to see some decline according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Supply Chain Specialist Duties and Responsibilities 

In order to successfully coordinate shipments, a Supply Chain Specialist performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Supply Chain Specialists in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Procure Materials

The Supply Chain Specialist procures materials for manufacturing and shipment of the final product. This includes identifying and ordering the proper quantity, negotiating pricing and shipment terms and overseeing the timely delivery of materials needed to fulfill customer orders.

Maintain Inventory

Supply Chain Specialists maintain adequate inventory, scheduling and receiving shipments of raw materials as well as scheduling manufacturing. They often physically receive and organize inventory shipments.

Respond to Demand

The Supply Chain Specialist must assess current orders and forecast future demand in order to provide adequate supplies. When something significant changes in the supply chain and demand, the Supply Chain Specialist is responsible for responding to these changes in demand and solving any supply chain problems that arise. They communicate regularly with customers in order to avoid unforeseen changes or surprises in orders.

Process Orders

In order to oversee the supply chain, Supply Chain Specialists must input and process all orders. Of particular importance is that they complete and submit all necessary documentation from both suppliers and customers. They also oversee the billing process and paperwork.

 

Supply Chain Specialist Skills

Supply Chain Specialists are highly organized and detail-oriented individuals who know how to manage overlapping projects, keep track of deadlines, and efficiently use their time. They are strong analytical thinkers with problem-solving skills and mathematical abilities, but they are also great communicators who are persuasive and good at negotiating. In order to achieve success, a Supply Chain Specialist must take initiative and be able to identify opportunities for improvement in ways that others cannot.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Supply Chain Specialists with these core skills. If you want to work as a Supply Chain Specialist, focus on the following.

  • Showing proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
  • Demonstrating experience reducing cost or improving efficiency in previous jobs
  • Possessing experience in customer-facing position
  • Having professional planning experience
  • Showing some knowledge of ERP systems

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Supply Chain Specialist toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Experience using SAP
  • Bachelor’s in Logistics, Business, Engineering or Supply Chain Management
  • Supply chain and logistics experience
  • Experience with importation and customs brokerage

 

Supply Chain Specialist Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Supply Chain Specialist. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

Supply Chain Nation – A large blog from a supply chain company

Supply Chain Management Review – A leading supply chain management blog

Cerasis – A blog on the sourcing and manufacturing process

Industry Groups

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – A leading professional organization for supply chain professionals

APICS – The biggest association for operations and supply chain professionals

Institute for Supply Management – An institute for supply management professionals

Supply Chain Specialist Books

Lean Supply Chain and Logistics Management – A book on streamlining sourcing and supply chains

Essentials of Supply Chain Management – A comprehensive supply chain management resource

Operations and Supply Chain Management – A high-rated textbook on operations and supply chain

 

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