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Business value chain and sustainability. LCA, Life cycle assessment . Positive environmental impact to value chain product. Carbon footprint reduction. ISO LCA standard aims to limit climate change

How do I choose a master’s in supply chain management?

Supply chain management (SCM) and procurement is critical to our growing global economy. Statista report that, during the upcoming decade, the global supply chain management market is expected to more than double in size – reaching almost $31 billion by 2026.

The vital need for, and growth of, the supply chain industry means it’s a fantastic time to start thinking about future careers in this booming sector. If you’re interested in a future-proof career with high potential earnings and strong job satisfaction, this could be the career path for you.

What is the job of a supply chain manager?

According to job experts, Prospects, as a supply chain manager you’ll ‘oversee and manage every stage of the production flow, from purchasing the raw materials to the delivery of the final product.’ This includes ensuring the right products are made in the right amounts at the right time, coordinating storage and warehousing, organising the distribution and logistics of goods, forecasting market and customer trends, and inventory management.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) report that the relatively new discipline of SCM – which combines more traditional buying, transport, freight forwarding, manufacturing, and retailing roles – makes increasing use of technology. This includes satellite communications, global positioning systems (GPS), radio frequency identification (RFID) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Many global industries rely on supply chain managers to help run their business operations, including manufacturers, logistics providers, government departments and agencies, retailers, and consultancies.

The exact nature of the supply chain manager position varies, but is likely to include responsibilities such as:

  •   contract negotiations with suppliers and customers
  •   control of manufacturing and delivery operations
  •   planning and implanting logistical strategies
  •   product storage, handling, tracking and distribution
  •   working with procurement and buying managers to source materials and products
  •   forecasting and inventory management
  •   financial management
  •   quality control
  •   planning, managing and mitigating risk
  •   managing teams
  •   implementing technologies and data analytics to optimise processes and performance
  •   developing new and existing relationships with supply chain partners
  •   factoring in social, environmental and sustainability goals
  •   staying up-to-date with industry and market trends and developments.

Related roles, with similar skill sets, include: supply chain analyst, operations manager, logistics manager, supply chain specialist, director of operations, strategic sourcing manager, and planning manager.

What is the average salary of a supply chain manager?

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) reveal that, over the past decade, supply chain management and logistics salaries have been steadily climbing. The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) 2023 Procurement Salary Guide reports a 7.3% average salary increase for supply chain, operations and procurement professionals – outstripping the UK national average pay increase of 6.5%.

In 2023, it states that the average salary for a UK procurement and supply chain professional is £53,359. For related roles, average salaries are £49,200 for procurement managers, £41,600 for procurement specialists, and £113,000 for procurement directors. Experience is one of the driving factors in determining salary. Some supply and procurement professionals will also earn bonuses on top of their salaries, depending on sector and performance.

How do I pursue a career in supply chain management?

While you don’t always need qualifications to break into the SCM industry, having an undergraduate or master’s degree in supply chain management, or a related discipline, can fast-track your progress. There are a variety of specialist programmes available, equipping you with the academic, industry-relevant tools and expertise to support and inform practical experience.

SCM can be a complex, fast-paced and challenging industry to work in. As such, effective supply chain managers are required to have the following critical skills – spanning business and management, supply chain management, and soft skills:

  •   Business management skills
  •   Leadership skills
  •   Risk management skills
  •   Project management skills
  •   Knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  •   Knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  •   Excellent attention to detail
  •   Customer service and communication skills
  •   Group working skills
  •   Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills
  •   Technological and computer skills.

Proving you possess these skills – whether acquired via hands-on work experience, an apprenticeship or internship, or an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree – will be central to your success in the role.

Membership of a relevant professional body – such as CIPS – can also support career progression and professional development, as well as increase your overall competitiveness.

How do I choose a master’s degree in supply chain management?

Are you interested in learning more about supply and operations management? Eager to upskill and begin your career in this exciting, evolving, global industry? Unsure which master’s degree to choose to get you started on the path?

The good news is there are plenty of supply chain management degrees to choose from, depending on your individual circumstances, requirements, and career goals.

You can choose from on-campus or online master’s courses, full-time or part-time study options, and accredited or non-accredited programmes. Tuition fees and additional costs, entry requirements, application processes, course content, start dates, modes of study, assessment, and type and level of support will all vary too, so take time to think about what you’d like out of a postgraduate degree in SCM before you begin searching. Attending online or in-person Open Days are great ways to gain valuable insights into what a particular university, business school, or training provider could offer you.

Invest in yourself – and gain competitive advantage – with a supply chain management programme

Gain the fundamentals in business management and leadership – together with the specialist knowledge needed to run global supply chains – with the University of Lincoln’s online MSc Management with Supply Chain programme.

You’ll develop the skills to evaluate issues and challenges of global supply chains at a strategic, macro level. Through flexible, 100%-online study that suits you, you’ll learn how to build sustainable, robust and responsible supply chains and understand how to use practical tools and techniques to address real-life challenges. Engaging, in-depth modules will give you a thorough grounding in topics such as strategic global SCM, supply and procurement management, leadership development and entrepreneurship, logistics management and operations strategy, financial analysis and decision-making, project planning and management, people management, international business marketing, supply sustainability, and more.