What is Supply Chain?

And would I like to work in this field?

If you are trying to find the answer to either of these  questions, you are in the right place!

This site has been created to give you the tools and information you need to decide whether a career in supply chain is right for you, and if so – what type of job might be the best fit.  Click through to discover:

  •   Definitions and descriptions of the 7 key functions within supply chain
  •   A detailed list of the Educational programs and degrees / certificates appropriate for various roles within the field
  •   Sample job descriptions of positions within supply chain.  

Whether you are a high school or college student exploring career options,  or someone already in the workforce thinking of changing careers, this site will provide answers to your questions.

So, What is Supply Chain?

Today,  the term supply chain refers to all the activities involved in the transformation of natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.  

For example, all the processes that occur to convert tomatoes in a farm field into a sauce sold on supermarket shelves are part of the supply chain.  

Why should you work in the supply chain?

Because supply chain is a growing, evolving field.   Think of Amazon.  It’s a supply chain company that turned the retail industry on its head.   It uses technology to create a customer experience that is unmatched by any other company.   Amazon continues to evolve and will eventually impact industries other than retail.   To remain competitive in today’s global economy, companies need to deliver their products faster and cheaper than anyone else.. and it’s the supply chain that makes this happen.

Since supply chain is a fast growing industry – there are lots of jobs and great opportunites for career advancement. Many companies struggle to hire enough qualified employees to meet the demands of their changing environment.  

The supply chain industry will need to fill about 1.4 million new jobs between 2014 and 2018, according to a study by the logistics trade group MHI. That's roughly 270,000 jobs per year. But the talent shortage is one of the “major barriers preventing innovation in the supply chain,” the study found.

The number of available positions is likely to inflate in coming years as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age and the need for workers with experience in engineering, analytics and robotics continues to rise.

-- Industry Week, Nov 2015

Another key reason to consider working in the supply chain industry is that there are many different types of career opportunities. Whether you like IT, engineering, mechanics, process management, problem solving, etc, there is a role that can utilize your skills.   

 Learn about the 7 areas of Supply Chain

Amazon is a SUPPLY CHAIN company, like thousands of others that operate in this exciting and growing industry.
Learn what it takes to have a career in this field.

Latest Supply Chain News

A coronavirus vaccine is being developed by many companies, however, once that is developed, a very complex supply chain has to exist to support its production, storage and distribution. This article, Developing the coronavirus vaccine supply chain, explains the complexity and will hopefully allow people to understand why it will take time for the entire process to occur. Fortunately, many companies are already building out this supply chain as this field is used to being agile and creative in how it operates.

Full article: Developing the Coronavirus Vaccine Supply Chain, Supply Chain Dive, June 16, 2020

Before the pandemic, most people had little to no understanding of what a supply chain was, or how it operates.   Now, because the topic is in the news almost nightly, people are understanding how easy a supply chain can break, and how it can impact them personally.  From toilet paper to vaccines, people are learning that a supply chain is a very complex intertwined group of processes that can span the globe. 

I have had the privilege of teaching supply chain to students at Harper College for the past 2 years. The students I teach are part of a Fasttrac program. This program requires them to take 10 different supply chain classes with the same cohort group. Every time I start with a new group of students I am impressed by their dedication and willingness to learn. Most of the students have full time jobs, and this program requires them to attend class once per week from 6-10 pm for 6 weeks per class.