According to a report released by McKinsey in 2018, “Organizations that adopt digital supply chains boost annual earnings by 3.2 percent on average.” This represents the largest increase in digitization of any business function. By coupling the right technology with seasoned logistics expertise, retailers are unlocking significant new values from their supply chains and are deriving profitable results.
What is Retail and Supply Chain Management?
Simply put, Supply Chain Management makes sure all the products you use in a day – including those you consume, wear or communicate with – reach you at the right time, condition and at the right price. It consists of the complete network of different parties involved in getting goods from the supplier to the consumer.
Importance of Retail and Supply Chain Management
With the ever-increasing competition in the retail industry, customers are now demanding more services. Therefore retailers offer a variety of products at lower rates and raised levels of services in their supply chain to gain a competitive advantage.
A few of the major advantages of a solid supply chain management are listed below:
- Facilitates the sellers to decrease the inventory lugging costs.
- Helps in enhancing all business processes, like data accuracy, purchasing, warehousing and distribution for the retailers.
- Helps in conserving operational and transportation costs in the retail market.
- The supply chain boosts customer satisfaction if the quality is maintained throughout.
Statistics reflecting growth in the Supply Chain Management
Retailers are the dominant partners in most supply systems. They are the active controllers organizing supply in anticipation of, and reaction to consumer demand.
According to a report released by Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Global Consumer Products and Retail Sector at Capgemini: “The basics of supply and demand are still winning factors. Consumers still consider the variety/range of stock available (34%) and convenience of an outlet’s location (21%) as the primary factors for choosing to shop with one retailer over another (when the price is not a factor).”
Notably, the expenses that fall under the SCM (Supply Chain Management) are receiving strong attention from the top of the organizations, according to a report released on Oct. 6, 2019, by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Auburn University Supply Chain Management Program.
The reports also state, “SCM executives are now finding themselves in the spotlight and must perform their brand of magic to save the show. The role of supply chain management (SCM) within their organizations is to better manage inventory, control costs and maintain first-rate customer service.”
The Ever-Increasing Demand
“The situation is only intensifying. In the fourth quarter, and in 2017 as a whole, U.S. online retail grew faster than it has since 2011. E-commerce now represents 13% of total retail sales in 2017 and 49% of the growth. No longer can retailers view e-commerce as a side gig that may or may not pan out. It is the primary future growth engine that must be mastered to remain competitive and relevant”, says the 8th Annual State of the Retail Supply Chain (SRSC) Report.
As quoted by Mr. Vivekanand, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Greyorange, “The logistics and supply chain management function have been undergoing an unprecedented transformation in the last few years, fueled by innovations in IT and digitization. Government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India are providing thrust towards the logistics and supply chain management function. According to a study by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the logistics market in India is expected to grow to the US $307 billion by the year 2020, recording a CAGR of 16 percent on an average.”
Supply Chain Management as a Career Prospect
As the above statistics reflect, an increase in globalization of businesses and supply network have made Supply Chain Management one of the trending jobs in the market with an impressive salary growth in the future.
A bright future is certain for those with the right attitude and the right degree; someone equipped with comprehensive knowledge of retail and supply chain management is a strong candidate in the job market.
A PGDM in Supply Chain Management will develop certain skills, that are considered essential for supply chain professionals:
- Project management
- Ability to understand financial statements
- Understanding of e-business/e-procurement systems
- Cost accounting skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Handling legal issues
- Ability to logically organize thoughts
- Understanding of cross-cultural/global issues
- Business ethics
- Decision making
- Effective communication
- Time management
- Ability to meet customer’s expectations
- Ability to pass on knowledge and mentoring
What are the possible job opportunities in Supply Chain Management
Under Supply and Chain Management sector, you could see yourself as:
- General Manager
Oversees all administrative functions in the business.
Expeditors are responsible for communicating with vendors and shipping companies to ensure that all critical deliveries arrive at their destinations on time.
- Supply Chain Analyst
Conducting data analysis to improve supply chain operations.
- Business Manager
Supervising the activities of workers; hire, train and evaluate new employees.
- Logistic Manager
Overseeing warehouse, inventory control, material handling, customer service, transportation and workers.
- Retail Store Manager
Running a store successfully, by constantly contacting their customers and staff.
- Purchasing Manager
Seeking reliable vendors or suppliers to provide quality goods at reasonable prices. Negotiating prices and contracts.
- Inventory Control Specialist
These logistics professionals monitor and report item inventory, in the warehouse or retail settings.
8.Warehouse Operation Manager
Responsible for developing warehouse operations systems by directing product handling and storage requirements.
The Final Word
Today, companies are developing global operational networks to meet challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented to them by economic globalization. These companies need professionals with expertise in the field of logistics and operations management. With the growing number of jobs in this field, those with the right skills can be extremely valuable and in demand.