5 Crucial Competences All Supply Chain Managers Need To Have

Logistics professionals are continually developing new skills and aim to enhance existing ones in order to be able to handle the high volumes of challenges and global supply chain demands that come up. Let’s discuss the five core competencies that supply chain professionals ought to perfect and continuously improve on.

Global business leadership

If your supply chain is not global at the moment, it’s only a matter of time that it does grow to that extent. Supply chain professionals should be able to effectively operate in the fast paced international business environment. This includes factors such as adapting to different cultures; having a full understanding of how global risk is carried out concerning their business; and being proficient in managing the long lead times essential in the international marketplace. Supply chain managers also need to know the basic supply chain fundamentals associated with global logistics. These are factors such as how to optimize import and export flows, source globally and knowing how to deal with global labour issues.

Transformational capabilities

The supply chain is a dynamic environment where professionals that operate in it are constantly urging on with transformational initiatives. They must deliver right on time and within the budget while generating great results. As the bar is constantly raised, they must be skilled at managing change, difficult projects and diverse talent. Additionally, they need to have exceptional communication and negotiation skills.

Integrated business planning

Handling cross-functional and cross-enterprise issues is a large part of supply chain management. This entails integrating a company’s operations part with its demand part, and embracing demand and supply integration concepts like sales and operations planning. Supply chain professionals also take lead in design collaboration initiatives with suppliers and consumers, and should be able to master the challenge of planning the end-to-end supply chain.

Integrated value chain implementation

Supply chain managers need to exceed customer expectations and be responsible for delivering outstanding value so to be central in the business’ success. Some customers aren’t aware of what their needs are until your company exceeds their expectations. This is achieved through implementing an end-to-end value chain design including customer segmentation, product and supply chain design, and optimization – all of which will have to be done by the managers.

Linking supply chain performance to organizational success

The top supply chain managers integrate expertise in material flow management with extensive knowledge of information and financial flow. Becoming proficient in these flows is important to generate supply chain performance and financial results that are recognized in the executive suite and boardroom. To sustain that performance, managers need to design a metrics framework that enforces the appropriate behaviour, and processes that deliver product availability at the lowest possible cost and working capital levels.


Previously, most companies had supply chain leaders who relied on technical proficiency in separate, different areas. They also had shipping route knowledge, knew warehousing equipment and distribution centre locations & footprints; and were familiar with freight rates and fuel costs. Current supply chain professionals, however, depend on the new core competencies and advanced industry knowledge to progress.


For supply chain professionals who are still looking to attain these skills and get into the industry, we have Leading 6 Online Logistics Courses For Aspiring Logistics Professionals.


Source: inboundlogistics