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A supply chain manager is a manager who is responsible for the management of equipment, hardware, and other logistical details of a company or a company’s division. It is their job to manage all of the steps needed to purchase raw materials; deliver it to various points throughout the business; ensure that the company makes enough of its product to meet customer demand; and deliver the output to the right destinations on time.
Such managers must be responsible for every step along the way, from raw material to finished product. If they does their job properly, there will not be much fanfare since everything is going as expected. However, if they are not able to capably do the job, the effects will be felt all throughout a company, from salesmen to customer service people to any types of field service personnel.
Supply chain managers have typically not been regarded as one of the more glamorous management positions. However, they occupy an important role in a firm’s overall management and strategy. Indeed, with technology advances in recent years they have become much more important and much more valued - and as a result, much better compensated than in the past.
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Supply chain managers must oversee the import or creation of raw materials to be used by the company. They must be able to track the materials as they are combined, shaped, and altered to form new products. They must be able to monitor these items all throughout the product development process in order to ensure that adequate supplies are on hand. Lastly, they must develop a delivery system that will ensure maximum product creation and optimal shipments to customers or other manufacturers for further use.
Typically, the manager also needs to be well versed in process management and development to have an adequate understanding of how the company functions. Ideally, the manager will be able to bring in fresh ideas that allow the company to deliver its products at higher quantities or at a faster rate to the market. These ideas might be as simple as reallocating employees within certain areas to bringing in advanced technology to do a better job of tracking hundreds or even thousands of materials and parts.
The typical business setting for supply a chain manager is an office environment in which the manager can oversee and analyze the day-to-day activities of the company. Managers may be located in a complete business office, with other offices and cubes, or they may be situated just off a manufacturing or engineering floor. They will need to maintain close proximity to the production or manufacturing areas that they oversee.
Supply chain managers may be called upon to travel often to remote manufacturing sites if it they work for a company that has production floors in multiple locales. Furthermore, they may need to visit new vendors or partners to find new means of production or management, whether that means finding new sources of raw materials, developing new production floors, or engaging new manufacturers who can further work with finished products.