The current global supply chain network has been optimised to be lean and cost-effective. However, rapid political developments, trade tensions, financial barriers, a shift in the consumer’s buying behaviour, and, now, the pandemic has revealed the weakness that lies at the heart of this model. It took a global pandemic for supply chains to move from playing a behind-the-scenes organisational role to being a prime driver of the company’s business. COVID-19 has opened up avenues for change and offers a chance to re-imagine it for future needs.
Many business schools understand the need for a specialised degree in supply chain. In a recent report on North American supply chain management programmes, The Gartner Market Guide recorded a five-fold increase in the number of programmes since 2008.
Opportunities in supply chain management have advanced exponentially in the post-pandemic world. Businesses are planning for a local logistics hub set-up and making supply chain regional to avoid single-point dependencies. During the pandemic, the impacts of global sourcing channels were visible most prominently in the pharmaceutical industry.
According to a projection by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the field of procurement and supply chain management are rising at twice the rate of any other job in the U.S.
The scarcity of skilled professionals has impacted India, Hong Kong, China, and most Asian countries. Given the importance of supply chain management in a product’s life cycle, the job roles and opportunities are vast.
Procurement and supply chain careers in India are set for a long-term boom. India’s online and mobile shopping boom is on a continuous rise. Thus, the online logistics space will continue to flourish, and the demand for professionals will also keep growing. The same goes for the offline market and a huge wave of reforms and modifications are already being implemented.
Be it an aspiring learner, a field professional or a skilled manager, this is the best time to upskill oneself and look at a future in supply chain management. The skill-sets that one acquires in the study of the supply chain are unique and a management degree provides the right foundation for a successful and rewarding career.
The writer is Director, Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM).