How to Learn Supply Chain Management: Best Practices & Resources

Supply chain management (SCM) is an important component of any business’s operations. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the entire supply chain and how it works to ensure efficient delivery, from suppliers through to customers. Logistics managers need to be well-versed in SCM principles if they want their organizations to succeed in today’s competitive market.

This blog post will provide readers with insight into where they can learn the basics of supply chain management, what training topics are most important for logistics managers, best practices for implementing solutions and more resources on learning about SCM so that you can make sure your organization remains successful now and into the future. So join us as we explore how you can learn supply chain management!

Table of Contents:

Introduction to Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the process of managing and optimizing the flow of goods, services, and information between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and customers. It involves a complex network of processes that must be managed in order to ensure efficient delivery of products or services from one point to another. The goal of SCM is to reduce costs while increasing customer satisfaction.

The challenges of Supply Chain Management include managing complex supply chains, ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of data, dealing with global regulations and compliance requirements, staying up-to-date on technological advances in the industry, and adapting to changing customer demands.

Supply Chain Management is a powerful tool for logistics managers to optimize the flow of goods and services, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased profits. Understanding the basics of SCM will help you take advantage of its benefits even further.

Understanding the Basics of Supply Chain Management

It involves planning for inventory levels to meet customer demand while optimizing costs associated with production and distribution.

The main processes involved in SCM include procurement or sourcing of raw materials; manufacturing or assembly; warehousing; transportation; order fulfillment; returns management; and customer service. Each process must be managed effectively to ensure that products are delivered on time at a competitive cost.

There are several types of logistics strategies used in supply chain management including direct shipping from supplier to customer (drop-shipping), cross-docking where goods are unloaded from one truck onto another without being stored first, third-party logistics providers who manage all aspects of the supply chain for their clients, just-in-time delivery which minimizes inventory storage costs by delivering only what is needed when it is needed most efficiently possible, and hub & spoke networks which involve multiple warehouses connected through a central hub.

KPIs measure how well an organization is performing against its goals. Common KPIs used in supply chain management include on-time delivery rate (OTD), fill rate (FR), average lead time (ALT), total landed cost per unit (TLCPU), perfect order rate (POR) and return on assets ratio (ROA). These metrics provide insight into areas such as efficiency, quality control measures taken throughout the supply chain process and overall profitability.

A thorough understanding of the basics of Supply Chain Management is essential for logistics managers to effectively manage their supply chain operations. By learning more about risk management, quality assurance, and data analysis techniques in SCM, managers can further improve their operations.

Training Topics for Supply Chain Managers

Risk Management and Mitigation Strategies: Supply chain managers must be able to identify, assess, and manage risks that could potentially disrupt the supply chain. This includes understanding how to mitigate risk through insurance policies, contracts, and other strategies. Additionally, they should have a good grasp of crisis management protocols in order to respond quickly when disruptions occur.

Quality Assurance and Control Procedures: Quality assurance is an important part of any supply chain operation. Managers need to understand the various quality control procedures used by their organization such as inspections or audits at different points in the process. They also need to know how to use data analysis tools such as Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing techniques for continuous improvement initiatives.

In today’s digital world, data analysis is essential for making informed decisions about supply chain operations. Supply chain managers should have knowledge of analytics software programs like Tableau or Power BI so they can generate reports on key performance indicators (KPIs). They should also be familiar with predictive analytics methods such as machine learning algorithms which can help them anticipate future trends in demand or pricing changes within their industry sector.

Training Topics for Logistics Managers

Logistics managers are responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective flow of goods, services, and information throughout a supply chain. To do this effectively, they must have an in-depth understanding of the various processes involved in SCM as well as the latest technologies that can be used to improve their operations. This section will cover some of the key training topics for logistics managers so they can stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.

Understanding the Impact of Technology on SCM: As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it is essential for logistics managers to understand how these advances can be leveraged to streamline their operations. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, cloud computing, robotics process automation (RPA) and Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming traditional supply chains into more agile systems with increased visibility and transparency. Logistics managers should understand how these technologies work together to create more efficient processes within their organization’s supply chain network.

Developing Effective Inventory Control Strategies: Proper inventory management is critical for any successful business operation but especially so when dealing with complex global supply chains. Logistics managers need to develop strategies that enable them to accurately track stock levels across multiple locations while also managing costs associated with storage space or transportation fees related to overstocking or understocking items. They should also consider investing in software solutions that provide real-time data about inventory levels so they can make informed decisions quickly when needed.

Online Resources for Learning SCM

Online resources are a great way for logistics managers to learn about supply chain management (SCM). Blogs, journals, and articles on SCM provide valuable insights into the latest trends in the industry. They can help logistics managers stay up-to-date with new technologies and strategies that can be used to improve their operations. Online courses and tutorials offer an interactive learning experience, allowing logistics managers to gain practical knowledge of SCM concepts. Professional organizations such as ASCM (formerly APICS) or ISCEA also provide certifications that demonstrate expertise in SCM topics.

Blogs, journals, and articles on SCM are a great source of information for those looking to expand their knowledge base. These sources often feature expert opinions from industry leaders who have extensive experience in the field. By reading these materials regularly, logistics managers can stay informed about current trends and developments in the world of supply chain management.

Best blogs for learning SCM:

1. Supply Chain Matters: This blog is one of the most popular independent blogs in the supply chain and SCM field. It’s written by Bob Ferrari, founder of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group with decades of experience in the industry.

2. Supply Chain Shaman: Lora Cerere is an established industry analyst who shares her insights and experience on her blog. She focuses on advances in enterprise technologies.

3. MIT Supply Chain: MIT Supply Chain Management is one of the top academic programs in supply chain and SCM. They have a blog that features the latest news, opinions, research, and insights from the industry’s leading experts.

There are many online courses and tutorials for learning more about SCM principles and practices available online. Many online programs offer comprehensive instruction on various aspects of managing a successful supply chain operation including risk management strategies, quality assurance procedures, data analysis techniques, inventory control systems etc. Through these courses or tutorials, logistics professionals can develop their skillset while gaining hands-on experience with real-world scenarios related to supply chain operations. Examples include Coursera, Alison and edX.

Finally, professional organizations such as ASCM or ISCEA provide certifications that demonstrate mastery over certain areas within the field of Supply Chain Management. These certifications validate an individual’s understanding of key concepts related to this discipline while providing recognition among peers within the same profession. Aspiring professionals should consider obtaining one or more certification(s) if they wish to advance their career prospects within this domain.

Online resources for learning SCM provide a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry. With these tools, logistics managers can develop their skills and knowledge of supply chain management. Now that we have discussed online resources for learning SCM, let’s move on to the conclusion.

FAQs in Relation to How to Learn Supply Chain Management

How to study supply chain management?

To study supply chain management, it is important to understand the fundamentals of logistics and operations. This includes learning about inventory control, transportation, warehousing, customer service, procurement and other related topics. Additionally, studying the latest trends in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain can help you stay ahead of the curve. Finally, understanding how different companies have implemented successful supply chain strategies can provide valuable insights into best practices that could be applied to your own organization.

What are the 5 basic steps of supply chain management?

1. Plan: Establishing a plan for the supply chain process is essential to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of their roles and responsibilities, as well as the desired outcomes.

2. Source: Finding reliable suppliers who can provide quality materials or services at competitive prices is an important step in managing the supply chain effectively.

3. Make: This involves producing goods using the necessary resources and ensuring that they meet quality standards before being sent out for delivery.

4. Deliver: Delivering products on time to customers is key to successful supply chain management; this requires efficient transportation networks and effective communication between all parties involved in order fulfillment processes.

5. Return/Support: A comprehensive return policy should be established to handle customer returns, while providing support services such as technical assistance or warranty repairs will help maintain customer satisfaction levels over time

What are the 7 R’s of supply chain?

The 7 R’s of supply chain are:

1. Receive – This is the process of receiving goods from suppliers and ensuring that they meet quality standards.

2. Review – This involves assessing the needs of customers, understanding their requirements, and evaluating potential solutions to meet those needs.

3. Respond – This entails responding quickly to customer requests for information or orders with accurate data and timely delivery dates.

4. Route – This includes selecting the most efficient route for delivering goods while considering cost, time, resources, and other factors.

5. Replenish – Refers to replenishing inventory levels in order to ensure that there is enough stock available when needed by customers or production processes.

6. Return – The return process deals with managing returns from customers due to defects or dissatisfaction with products received.

7 Report – Reporting on performance metrics such as on-time delivery rates helps logistics managers understand how well their supply chain operations are performing against targets set out by management teams

Which course is best for supply chain management?

The best course for supply chain management is a comprehensive program that covers the fundamentals of logistics, inventory control, and operations. This should include topics such as demand forecasting, transportation planning, warehouse optimization, and risk management. Additionally, courses should also cover emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to ensure that students are prepared for the future of supply chain management. With this knowledge in hand, logistics managers will be able to make informed decisions about their organization’s operations while staying ahead of industry trends.


In conclusion, learning supply chain management is an important part of being a successful logistics manager. It requires understanding the basics of SCM and having knowledge on how to implement solutions that are best for your organization. Training topics such as inventory control, transportation management, and customer service should be studied in order to gain a better understanding of the field. Additionally, there are many online resources available that can help you learn more about supply chain management and stay up-to-date with industry trends. By taking advantage of these tools and resources, you can become an expert in this field and make sure your organization runs smoothly.