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What Makes a Good Supply Chain Manager - I Think 3 Things

What Makes a Good Supply Chain Manager? - I Think 3 Things

Supply chain management is a critical function in today's business world, and having a competent supply chain manager can make all the difference in the success of a company. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of supply chain managers, and I have observed that the standout managers possess three key qualities: people skills, technical skills, and business skills.

People Skills

One of the most important qualities that sets great supply chain managers apart is their people skills. These managers are not only good at managing tasks but also excel in leadership. They have a high EQ (emotional intelligence) and can understand and relate to their team members effectively. They possess a deep understanding of what makes people tick and use this knowledge to motivate and empower their teams.

Great supply chain managers are also excellent delegators. They trust their team members and provide them with the necessary autonomy to carry out their tasks. They are skilled at developing their teams and allowing them to take on new challenges and stretch their capabilities. These managers are not threatened by their team members' success; instead, they let their teams take the credit for outstanding achievements.

Technical Skills

While people skills are essential, technical skills are also crucial for supply chain managers. These managers must have the right qualifications and experience in supply chain management. They should possess a solid understanding of supply chain principles and best practices. Ideally, they have experience working in a variety of industries, which enables them to bring a diverse set of skills and knowledge to their current role.

Furthermore, great supply chain managers have a strong grasp of business skills. They understand how supply chain management fits into the broader business context. They have a comprehensive understanding of financial concepts, enabling them to make informed decisions that align with the company's goals and objectives. These managers are also proficient in cross-functional collaboration and can effectively communicate with stakeholders from different areas of the business.

Business Skills

The ability to think and act strategically is another hallmark of exceptional supply chain managers. They possess a broad range of business skills and can see beyond the confines of supply chain management. They understand the bigger picture and how supply chain management impacts the overall success of the business.

Great supply chain managers are skilled in developing and implementing strategies that optimize the supply chain's performance and contribute to the company's growth. They have a deep understanding of various business functions, including sales, marketing, product development, operations, and finance. Their ability to communicate and collaborate with individuals in these areas is instrumental in driving alignment and achieving organizational objectives.

In conclusion, while technical skills are important, what sets apart exceptional supply chain managers is their combination of people skills, technical skills, and business skills. These managers excel in their ability to lead and motivate their teams, possess a solid foundation in supply chain principles, and understand how to align supply chain management with the broader goals of the business.

Keyword: People skills, Technical skills, Business skills

FAQ:

  1. What are the three essential qualities of a standout supply chain manager? The three essential qualities of a standout supply chain manager are people skills, technical skills, and business skills. These managers excel in building strong relationships, have a solid understanding of supply chain principles, and possess a broad range of business acumen.
  2. How important are people skills for supply chain managers? People skills are crucial for supply chain managers as they involve leading and motivating teams. A supply chain manager with exceptional people skills can create a positive work environment, empower team members, and drive collaboration and success within the organization.
  3. What technical skills should a supply chain manager possess? A supply chain manager should have a solid understanding of supply chain principles, best practices, and industry-specific knowledge. They should also be proficient in data analysis, forecasting, and utilizing supply chain management software.
  4. Why are business skills important for supply chain managers? Business skills are important for supply chain managers because they need to understand the broader business context and how supply chain management contributes to the company's goals and objectives. These managers should possess financial acumen, cross-functional collaboration skills, and the ability to develop and implement strategic plans.