Returning veterans have a wide range of educational and career paths to choose from after their military service. Some may return to school to pursue undergraduate or advanced degrees or certificates, while some may re-enter the workforce immediately.
Many careers lend themselves to the skills acquired during military service and supply chain management is one of them. It requires many of the same qualities veterans have gained with their military experience: teamwork, excellent communication skills, confident leadership and attention to detail.
For veterans considering a career in this growing field, quality programs such as the Supply Chain Management Certificate may fit perfectly with their educational and career goals.
So what do supply chain managers do? They are involved in every step of a business process, such as planning, purchasing, customer service, production, transportation, storage and distribution.
Although supply chain management jobs vary depending on the nature of the company, the primary work is to direct the movement, storage and processing of inventory. A supply chain professional must be able to forecast demand and create a supply plan to ensure products and materials are available.
The managers also need to identify critical changes and determine their effect on the supply chain, and must possess a solid understanding of the complex interdependencies necessary to make the operation successful.
This type of work may ring a bell with service members with training and experience in logistics management; anyone who has learned how to supply military personnel with everything they need should have a head start in this field.
Supply chain management is part of nearly every type of business, including retailers, transportation companies, government agencies, service firms and manufacturers. The career opportunities can include a more action-oriented route, such as the day-to-day management of a terminal, port or distribution facility, or an office-based position that is more involved in performance analysis and troubleshooting.
With their backgrounds in leadership, logistics, analysis, problem-solving and communication, military veterans often fit well in a supply chain management position.
With economic and environmental climates on the radar of everyone from consumers to congress, many of today’s organizations are rushing to implement processes to cut back expenses, run more efficiently and reduce their environmental footprint. These trends have made sustainable supply chain management a critical business field in the world today. Global corporations such as Walmart have jumped on board to implement these processes, spearheading the movement to make sustainable business practices a core competitive advantage. Recently, the power-house retail chain pledged to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse emissions by the end of 2015.* As demand for environmentally conscious products and companies grows, more and more organizations will follow suit and the need for qualified professionals who have knowledge of sustainability and supply chain management may grow.