In part 1 of this series of posts, we looked at business trends in the manufacturing of transport equipment and parts in Missouri. In the past five years, the Missouri transportation industry saw an increase of 3,834 jobs, which was a result of growth in sixteen areas including freight trucking, warehousing and storage and support activities for air, rail, water and road transportation among many others.
Employment growth and the desire of manufacturing companies to stay ahead of the competition through various means, often by undertaking effective cost-cutting strategies, has led to a boom in the area of supply chain management and logistics at a national level, as well as in Missouri.
Essentially, supply chain professionals aim to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations by finding ways to optimize business profitability and at the same time minimize costs, eliminate waste and discontinue activities that don’t add value to the final product. They usually begin by analyzing and evaluating each part of the process or activity associated with delivery of the final product: vendor selection, planning, purchasing, inventory, warehousing, production and logistics. Supply Chain professionals may specialize in any of these areas, and are expected to possess excellent negotiation, research, analysis and problem-solving skills.
Certain supply chain jobs may also require expertise in software and technology tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), SAP and Oracle. Students thinking of specializing in a particular area are offered training support from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Further information can also be sought from local bodies, such as the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals St. Louis Roundtable.
William Woods University Bachelor of Science in Management students interested in pursuing careers in Supply Chain Management can apply concepts from courses like BMT 321 Managerial Communications, BMT 423 Risk Management and BMT 468 Managerial Statistics. Students can also stay up to date with the supply chain industry by following the Supply chain Management Review (SCMR) which publishes columns and features contributed by business school professors, supply chain professionals and industry analysts.