Finding and Succeeding in Remote Supply Chain Management Jobs
As the world becomes increasingly connected, many supply chain management (SCM) jobs can now be performed remotely. In turn, more potential employees are seeking remote employment in the industry.
With so many candidates interested in remote positions, it’s more important than ever to understand what they entail. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of SCM and how remote jobs work. Additionally, we’ll explore the best practices for finding these positions and tips for how to succeed in remote SCM work.
Part 1: Understanding Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management (SCM) refers to managing the movement of goods and services from raw materials to finished products. Additionally, it includes all of the methods or links that make up the chain of the transformation of these goods into final products.
Benefits of effective SCM
1. Shipping improvements
SCM helps optimize the shipping process and reduce the number of distribution channels.
2. Lower costs
Efficient SCM can reduce costs associated with the following:
- Maintaining inventory
3. Improved supplier cooperation
Great SCM can lead to better supplier relationships. These can help businesses negotiate better prices and payment terms, and ensure that suppliers are able to scale up as the business grows.
4. Improve supply visibility and data analytics
SCM provides businesses with real-time data metrics. This may improve their ability to manage stock levels efficiently, track distribution channels, and monitor business performance.
5. Increased cash flow
A well-managed supply chain based on good supplier relationships, strict quality, stock control, and cost-price monitoring can improve a business’s liquidity and cash flow.
6. Enhanced quality assurance
SCM ensures quality control problems are detected earlier. This leads to more efficient problem-solving and reduced delays and costs associated with defective products.
7. More flexible business
A well-structured supply chain allows businesses to adapt to new challenges and opportunities more quickly.
8. Risk reduction
SCM provides end-to-end visibility of the supply chain. This lets businesses find potential risks and put contingency plans in place to mitigate them.
Challenges of working in SCM
1. Managing inventory
One of the primary challenges of working in SCM is managing inventory levels. This is particularly true in industries where the demand for products can be unpredictable.
2. Maintaining supplier relationships
SCM often requires a strong network of suppliers and vendors. Maintaining positive and productive relationships with these partners can be difficult.
3. Meeting customer demands
When disruptions or unforeseen issues occur, meeting the demands of your customers may be tricky.
4. Addressing supply chain disruptions
Supply chain disruptions can be a significant problem. These disruptions can occur due to a variety of factors, many of which are unavoidable.
5. Managing costs
Managing costs is a crucial aspect of SCM. Balancing the need to cut costs while also ensuring quality and efficiency can be incredibly challenging.
6. Adopting new technology
With the rapid race of technological advancements, SCM professionals need to stay up-to-date with new reporting tools and software. This will help to improve data systems and performance. Still, adopting new technology can be expensive and time-consuming.
7. Managing global operations management
For companies operating on a global scale, managing supply chains across multiple countries and regions can bring new obstacles.
Part 2: Remote Work in Supply Chain
Remote supply chain jobs are becoming more popular in recent years. This is thanks to advancements in SCM technology and the huge benefits that companies have seen when implementing remote positions.
Advantages and disadvantages of remote work in SCM
- Increased productivity
- Cost savings on office space and equipment
- Access to a wider talent pool
- Better flexibility and work-life balance for employees
- Improved employee satisfaction
- Less commuting means a reduced carbon footprint
- Reduced collaboration
- Difficulty in managing remote teams
- Increased risk of cybersecurity threats
- Potential for miscommunication
Best practices for remote work in SCM
There are several key steps that supply chain managers can take to successfully transition to remote work. Some of these practices include:
- Implementing the latest technology and software tools
- Creating appropriate work-from-home policies
- Provide teams with the right equipment and training
- Prioritize safety and cyber security
- Use accessible systems and infrastructure
- Keep an open line of communication with employees
Tools and technologies used for remote SCM
There are various tools and technologies that are ideal for remote SCM. Some examples include:
- Collaboration tools
- Communication platforms
- Internet of Things (IoT) technology
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
- Blockchain supply chain technology
- Cloud-based software
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Part 3: Types of Remote SCM Jobs
There are several types of remote jobs available to employees in SCM, and some positions have a high demand for workers. Most SCM positions like supply chain planner or supply chain analyst require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree.
Demand for remote supply chain management jobs
There is a high demand for employees in SCM. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 28% increase in jobs for those in logistics by the end of 2031.
Job titles and responsibilities of remote SCM jobs
- Supply chain analyst: A supply chain analyst or supply chain planner handles data analysis. They also provide insights to improve the efficiency of the supply chain.
- Logistics coordinator: A logistics coordinator is responsible for managing the movement of goods and materials through the supply chain.
- Procurement specialist: These professionals source and purchase goods and services for the organization.
- Inventory manager: Inventory managers ensure that the right inventory levels are maintained to meet customer demand.
- Supply chain consultant: Provides expertise and guidance to organizations on how to improve processes in the supply chain.
- Supply chain manager: Responsible for managing day-to-day operations of the supply chain within a company.
Salary ranges for remote SCM jobs
Depending on the job description, job title, and area, a remote job in SCM may pay employees an average of $77,000 per year.
Popular companies offering remote supply chain management jobs
Now that we’ve gone through the common roles and responsibilities for SCM remote workers, it may be beneficial to know which companies offer some of the best roles in the industry. Some of the most popular businesses include:
- Northrop Grumman
- Johnson & Johnson
To apply for these jobs, candidates should visit the company’s career portal. There, they can search for remote supply chain management jobs. Generally, candidates can apply online if they meet the job requirements.
Part 4: How to Prepare for a Remote Supply Chain Management Job
Skills and qualifications required for remote SCM jobs
- Supply chain knowledge
- Communication skills
- Basic knowledge of business administration
- Technological proficiency
- Analytical ability
- Project management experience
- A bachelor’s degree or certification or the equivalent relevant experience
Educational requirements for remote SCM jobs
The basic requirements for most SCM jobs include a high school diploma or GED. However, some specialized roles may require a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, logistics, or business.
Certifications and training programs for remote SCM jobs
Where you get your certification will depend on where you live. It will also depend on whether your training program offers online instruction. Some of the best SCM certifications include:
- ASCM Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution
- ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity
- Oracle E-Business Suite 12 Supply Chain Certified Implementation Specialist: Oracle Purchasing Certification
- SOLE Certified Professional Logistician
- NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager
Tips for building a successful remote SCM career
- Develop your skills in supply planning
- Build your network
- Communicate effectively
- Be organized and self-disciplined
- Be adaptable
Part 5: How to Succeed in Remote Supply Chain Jobs
Best practices for succeeding in remote SCM jobs
To succeed in remote SCM jobs, it’s important to maintain a disciplined work routine. This will help to keep the workflow for the supply chain functioning, even when you’re working remotely.
You’ll also need to have an effective line of communication between you and members of your team. Without this, the chain may be disrupted. This can cause issues with key stakeholders like suppliers, other workers, and customers.
Since supply chains require teams to manage their time well, it may be a good idea to learn how to prioritize tasks. This way, you can stay focused and ensure you’re meeting all your necessary deadlines.
Building effective communication and collaboration with team members
Effective communication and collaboration with your team members are essential when you’re working a remote job. Here are some helpful hints and strategies to help you build these skills:
- Use tools for video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software. This ensures better team collaboration
- Set clear expectations for your team. This should include response times and the preferred communication channel
- Schedule regular check-ins to ensure that all team members are meeting their deadlines and that everyone is on the same page
- Be proactive in addressing challenges like time zone differences. Be sure to work with your team to find a solution that suits everyone
Overcoming challenges of remote work in SCM
Other than communication challenges, working a remote job in SCM can come with a plethora of other obstacles. Things like time management and technology are particularly tricky.
In terms of time management, it’s important that you create a schedule that works for your team – and stick to it. Without proper management, you may have unfulfilled client orders.
Technology can either make or break a supply chain. For remote workers, it’s essential that they have the necessary tools and technology to meet their role expectations. For example, if the company uses certain SCM software, workers should all have access to the software. They should also have home office equipment that can support it.
Strategies for improving productivity and efficiency in supply chain remote jobs
Using all of these skills and tips, it’s time to merge them to create helpful strategies for improving the efficiency of remote SCM employees. Some of the best strategies include:
- Set clear goals and deadlines: Establish clear goals and deadlines for each task or project with your team. This will help to keep employees focused and on track
- Communicate effectively with teams: Communication is critical in remote work. Make sure to use the appropriate communication tools to stay connected with coworkers, suppliers, and customers alike
- Leverage technology to streamline processes: Utilize software and technology that can help to automate and streamline workflows. These may include inventory management systems, supply chain analytics, and project management software
Remote work has become an integral part of the supply chain management industry. It provides benefits like flexibility, increased productivity, and cost savings. As a result, the demand for these remote jobs has increased significantly. Therefore, more positions have become available to qualified applicants.
To succeed in a remote SCM career, it’s important to have the relevant skills, qualifications, and experience. Plus, you’ll need to have the ability to communicate and collaborate with remote teams.
What types of remote supply chain management jobs are available?
Remote SCM jobs can include positions like supply chain analyst, logistics coordinator, inventory manager, and more. The most common is the role of supply chain managers.
What are some popular companies offering remote supply chain management jobs?
Some popular companies offering remote supply chain management jobs include:
- Johnson & Johnson
What is the salary range for remote supply chain management jobs?
Remote SCM salaries may range between $64,000 to around $89,000 per year.