How To Become A Supply Chain Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become supply chain managers in Australia.


Are you someone with a solution-oriented mindset and a flair for creativity? Then, a supply chain manager career might be ideal for you.


Supply Chain Managers are integral to executing every facet of a business operation. They oversee and coordinate the supply, storage, and distribution of goods within an organisation.


To become a Supply Chain Manager in Australia, you need a degree or VET qualification in logistics, warehousing, sales, freight forwarding, distribution, or business administration and work experience.


If you want to become a supply chain manager, here is a step-by-step guide. Explore the duties and qualifications of a supply chain manager, the skills required, their average salary, career paths, and more in this blog.



1. What Is Supply Chain Management?


Supply change management is an elaborate system that companies use to manage processes involved in manufacturing and delivering the finished product to the customer.



Components Of Supply Chain Management


  • Resource acquisition

  • Product Manufacturing

  • Inventory management 

  • Demand management 

  • Supply management 

  • Product portfolio management 

  • Sales and operations planning



Benefits of Optimised Supply Chain Management


  • Reduced operational costs

  • Optimise operational efficiency and productivity 

  • Speedy deliveries 

  • Improved customer satisfaction

  • Boosts financial performance


Based on what a business manufactures and distributes, it can involve a thousand manufacturers, suppliers, transporters, sales channels, warehouse vendors, and workers.


Whether small or big, the end objective of all strategic supply chains is to manufacture goods and get them into the hands of consumers as efficiently and affordably as possible.



2. What Are Supply Chain Managers?


Supply Chain Managers play a critical role at each stage of supply chain management. They have a good understanding of systems engineering, logistics, procurement managementoperations management, and marketing.


They use their expertise to do the following:


  • Assess performance.

  • Lower supply chain costs.

  • Optimise processes.

  • Shorten the product life cycle.

  • Explore new opportunities.

  • Manage inventory to enhance profits.


Supply Chain Managers are responsible for the cost and quality of purchased goods and ensure the steady supply of raw materials and goods for sale.



3. What Does A Supply Chain Manager Do?


Supply chain managers coordinate elements of each aspect of the supply chain in various sectors, from manufacturing to energy to retail. The exact duties of a supply chain manager vary based on their industry requirements. 


While some supply chain managers focus on planning and sourcing, others spend more time on marketing and delivery. 


In general, they perform the following tasks to ensure the smooth functioning of all supply chain segments:


  • Develop a strategy to gather and analyse supply chain data

  • Optimise the current inventory levels in production and the storage of finished goods

  • Continuously improve logistics, processes, and delivery systems involved in dispatching finished goods to customers.

  • Manage Service Level Agreements with 3rd party vendors and suppliers

  • Examine existing supply chain strategies and recommend improvements to reduce costs, streamline operations, boost growth, and boost productivity.

  • Oversee logistics and operations of a company to maximise process productivity and efficiency 

  • Interview, recruit, and train warehouse workers.

  • Delegate duties to workers and supervise their work performance

  • Prepare and manage budgets.

  • Respond to customers' queries and complaints

  • Review work orders, data, and invoices, to project peak delivery periods

  • Schedule and track the product pickup or delivery

  • Build and maintain favourable relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, vendors, transporters, channel partners, return processors, and distributors to maximise efficiency and performance 



4. Skills For Success


To be a good supply chain manager, you need to have the following skill set:



Technical Skills


  • A solid background in supply chain management, including sourcing, production, distribution, logistics, and customer service.

  • Strong IT knowledge

  • Working knowledge of widely used management software and apps that supply chain analysts use, such as SAP, MS Excel, Access, and Supply Chain Guru.

  • Good numerical skills



Soft Skills


  • Strong interpersonal relationships and social skills 

  • Well-organised

  • Comfortable with taking responsibilities

  • Good communication skills 

  • Active listening 

  • Good decision-making skills

  • Strong analytical skills 

  • Solution-oriented mindset 

  • Creative to find new ways to increase business' profitability and productivity 

  • Strategic approach

  • Ability to Analyse Data

  • Teamwork and Collaboration skills 

  • Critical thinking and planning

  • Negotiation Skills 

  • Marketing and Economic skills

  • Project management skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Able to identify patterns 

  • Strong coaching skills to motivate, lead and guide a team of store and regional managers

  • Customer service skills to maintain good relationships with suppliers, distributors, channel partners, and other professionals and businesses in the supply chain



5. Supply Chain Manager Qualifications In Australia


You need a mix of education and experience to work as a Supply Chain Manager. 


Here is how you can qualify for this position:


  • Consider completing at least a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, logistics, business administration, or sales like a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management).

  • Gain 3-5 years of experience in related areas such as logistics, customer service, or business. 



6. Steps To Become A Supply Chain Manager In Australia


You need a unique blend of practical and theoretical business knowledge to work in this job. 


Here are the most common steps to get started in this profession:



Step 1: Study Supply Chain Management 


Study for an undergraduate degree in Supply Chain Management. Start your professional journey by completing formal education in supply chain management, business, logistics, or operations engineering. It is an excellent approach to understanding supply chain management and its aspects.


Some of the degree options you can consider kick-starting your journey include a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) – at the University of South Australia.


This degree program provides opportunities to learn logistics and operations in real-world settings via internships, research work, and fieldwork partnerships.


It also paves the path to pursuing industry certifications like the Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management.


When undertaking this degree program, students develop an understanding of the following areas:


  • Business fundamentals

  • Supply chain security

  • Reverse logistics management

  • Supply chain networks

  • Operations management

  • Demand chain management

  • Inventory management and supply management

  • Logistics management

  • Procurement

  • Supply chain process management

  • Enterprise resource planning

  • Order fulfilment

  • Customer-driven supply chains

  • Inventory control systems

  • Total quality management


Other course providers: Swinburne Online, Griffith University, Swinburne University of Technology, RMIT University, Deakin University



Completing Short Sourses in Supply Chain Management


The alternate way to become a Supply Chain Manager is to complete a relevant VET qualification such as:


  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Procurement – Stanley college

  • Advanced Diploma of Procurement and Contracting - Monash College

  • Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management – The University of Sydney

  • Graduate Diploma in Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Sydney University



Step 2: Get An Internship To Gain Early Work Experience


After completing an undergraduate certificate, aspiring supply chain managers usually require early work experience. One of the ways is to apply for internships in related areas such as supply chain, product distribution, business operations, or inventory management. 


As an intern, you will learn about the fast-paced workflow, interdepartmental communication, and data-based decision-making integral to supply chain management. 


Such a hands-on learning experience is invaluable in the initial stages of one's career. It builds the foundation for a successful supply chain career.


Alternatively, you can get into an entry-level "Analyst" role in supply chain management and gain experience working up to a managerial position. Some of the available roles you can consider are:


  • Sourcing Analyst         

  • Materials Analyst/Planner 

  • Production Analyst 

  • Inventory Analyst

  • Demand Planning Analyst 

  • Deployment Analyst

  • Transportation Analyst 

  • Supply Chain Modeling Analyst 


As you gain adequate experience, you can move to senior roles. These include senior analysts, supply chain managers, supply chain management directors, or supply chain, executives.



Step 3: Earn A Master's Qualification


Supply chain management is a senior position that involves extreme responsibilities. It requires you to study further and gain a postgraduate qualification to work in this position.


The Bachelor's degree in Supply Chain Management or a Graduate Diploma in Logistics and Supply Chain Management course are pathways for postgraduate qualifications, such as the Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.


The qualification is ideal for those who want to:


  • Develop specialist skills in supply chain management, logistics, and transport planning and management, such as resilience, analytics, sustainability, responsibility, and ethics

  • Undertake research work and specialise in a specific niche in supply chain management

  • Get promoted to senior roles within the industry.



Step 4: Get Middle Management Experience


Companies prefer candidates with at least three years of expertise in administration roles. Knowledge in commerce, logistics, management, and supply chain operation gives an edge.


So, after earning a master's degree, seek work experience in leadership roles. It could also build towards the requisites for professional certification.



Step 5: Consider Professional Certification


Though not a mandatory requirement to practice, most supply chain managers pursue professional certification to develop industry expertise and distinguish themselves in the industry.


Professional certification shows employers your commitment to emerging best practices in supply chain management.


Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management - The University of Melbourne


This certification course provides you with a core foundation in the evolving areas of the supply chain. You gain the necessary skills to move into the logistics or supply chain field or fast-track your career trajectory.



Step 6: Continuously Upskill Yourself


Supply chain managers must stay current with their skills and expertise to work in this fast-paced field. 


Supply chain management is increasingly getting automated. Potential supply chain managers should develop an in-depth understanding of algorithms to track inventories and supply chain requirements.


Resources For a Supply Chain Analyst:




7. How Long Does It Take To Become A Supply Chain Manager?


To work as Supply Chain Manager in Australia, you need at least a bachelor's degree or a VET qualification in a related field and 3-5 years of relevant work experience.


A 3-year full-time Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) is an ideal university degree course to qualify for this role. 


Some also pursue postgraduate qualifications like a 1.5-year full-time Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management to gain a competitive advantage before entering the job market.



8. How Much Does A Supply Chain Manager Get Paid In Australia?


Supply chain managers receive a good salary because they ensure a steady flow of items and help business operations. The following factor may influence their pay:


  • Company

  • Education/Certifications

  • Specific designation 

  • Years of experience

  • Work location


According to Pay Scale, the average supply chain manager salary in Australia is AU$101,255 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$32.00. The average supply chain analyst salary in Australia is AU$ 77,123 per year, equivalent to AU$ 31.45 per hour.


The average logistics manager's salary in Australia is AU$ 81,438 per year, equivalent to AU$ 29.12 per hour. 



Annual Average Supply Chain Manager's Salary Based on Experience


  • Entry-level Supply Chain Managers (< 1-year experience): AU$77,293

  • Early career Supply Chain Managers (1-4 years of experience): AU$81,767 

  • Mid-career Supply Chain Managers (5-9 years of experience): AU$101,031 

  • Experienced Supply Chain Managers (10-19 years of experience): AU$118,505 



Annual Average Salary Based on Work Location:


  • Supply chain manager salary in Canberra: $131,490

  • Supply chain manager salary in Perth: $108,266

  • Supply chain manager salary in Brisbane: $96,077

  • Supply chain manager salary in Sydney: $92,236

  • Supply chain manager salary in Melbourne: $82,688



9. Supply Chain Manager Work Conditions


Supply Chain Managers generally work indoors in an office setting. Some even work from home, engaging logistic personnel and suppliers to ensure proper transportation of products to destinations.


They may work irregular hours and frequently travel to various stores, vendors, distribution facilities depots, and other locations to conduct their duties.


As the supply chain is active 24/7 and production and distribution happen around the clock, issues can crop up. Supply chain managers are responsible for quick solutions day or night. This is what makes the job stressful at times.



10. Where Do Supply Chain Managers Work?


The scope of supply chain management is wide-ranging. Many companies operating in public and private sectors in manufacturing, distribution, policy, and planning seek supply chain managers to deliver continuous improvement in their supply chains.


Employers hire Supply Chain Managers in three areas:


  • Logistics (combining sales and operations units to optimise procurement methods) 

  • Operations (manage product inflows and outflows, optimise warehouse procedures, restructure transport networks)

  • Finance (revise budgets to report inventory management costs accurately and compare different inventory recovery methods)



11. Supply Chain Manager Career Paths In Australia


Supply chain management is an umbrella term that applies to several positions based on the company's needs. 


After obtaining a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, you can work in the following entry-level positions:


  • Sourcing Analyst 

  • Materials Analyst/Planner 

  • Inventory Planning Analyst

  • Demand Planning Analyst 

  • Deployment Analyst

  • Transportation Analyst

  • Supply Chain Modeling Analyst

  • Logistics Analysts

  • Production Planner

  • Logistics Resource Planner 

  • Supply Chain and Logistics Coordinators

  • Supply Chain and Logistics Customer Service Representatives

  • Import-Export Specialists 

  • Supply Chain and Logistics Sourcing Specialists

  • Production Scheduler 

  • Warehouse Operations Manager

  • Supply Chain And Logistics Transportation Specialists 

  • Purchasing Agents 

  • Purchasing & Inventory Controller


With recognised certifications, leadership training, 3-5 years of experience, expertise, and devotion, you can accelerate your profession with rewarding career opportunities in the top management and even the executive board within this diverse field. 


Below are the most lucrative senior-level supply chain management jobs that pay well over six figures:


  • Freight Manager 

  • Operations Manager

  • Supply Chain Manager

  • Logistics Administrator/Manager 

  • Procurement Manager

  • Export Manager

  • Shipping Coordinator

  • Maintenance Supervisor/Manager 

  • Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

  • Materials Manager

  • Purchasing Manager

  • Quality Manager 

  • Production Manager 

  • Global Supply Chain Manager 

  • Global Commodities Director

  • Supply Chain Director/Manager

  • Vice President Of Supply Chain Management 

  • Reverse Logistics Manager



Areas of Specialisation


Supply Chain Managers with extensive work experience may choose to continue their learning and specialise in pursuing the following roles:


  • Supply Chain Manager, Supply Officer (Navy)

  • Logistics Manager

  • Ordnance Corps Officer (Army)

  • Logistics Officer (Air Force)

  • Transport Corps Officer (Army)



12. Job Prospects Of Supply Chain Managers In Australia


The supply chain, directly and indirectly, impacts all sectors within an economy. Companies understand that an efficient and well-structured supply chain can transform their business:


  • Lower manufacturing costs

  • Ease business operation

  • Enhance customer experience and satisfaction

  • Improve market accessibility and accelerate urban and rural consumption growth 


To reap these benefits, they need experts who can optimise the pipeline that enables the sourcing of their products. These experts are supply chain managers. 


They are the backbone of a country's economy and play a pivotal role in the supply chain industry. They make a significant contribution to modern business. 


Supply chain managers formulate actionable business strategies and help integrate IT with supply chain and logistics to ensure proper coordination between all supply chain components. This way, they help the business survive in the dynamic market and economy.


Thus, the profession of a supply chain manager is in high demand nationally and globally. The need for these professionals will grow fast with a growing population in the country's supply chain structure.


The increasing inflow of domestic and foreign funds, coupled with the government's active efforts to enhance the supply chain infrastructure, will further fuel the demand for qualified supply chain managers in the coming years.


The supply chain incorporates numerous aspects, which include warehousing, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, delivery, packaging, and IT. This diversity creates many job positions for aspiring Supply Chain Managers across varying sectors.


ANZSCO Occupation Group: 133611: Supply and Distribution Managers



Working Arrangements


Around 94% of people work full-time for an average of 37.4 hours a week (All jobs average: 40.1)



Main Industries


  • Transport, Postal, and Warehousing: 39.1%

  • Manufacturing: 12.4%

  • Wholesale trade: 10.7%

  • Public Administration and Safety: 7.8%

  • Other Industries: 24.5%



Employment Across Australia


The maximum number of Supply Chain Managers work in NSW. VIC and QLD are the other cities with a higher proportion of Supply Chain Managers.



The Following Regions Have The Largest Share of Workers:


  • Sydney - Inner South West

  • Melbourne - Inner

  • Melbourne - West

  • Melbourne - South East

  • Perth - South East



Here Is Their Percentage of Employment Across Australia:


  • NSW: 34.1%

  • VIC: 27.4%

  • QLD: 18.2%

  • SA: 6.4%

  • WA: 10.2%

  • TAS: 1.2%

  • NT: 1.1%

  • ACT: 1.2%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile:


  • The average age for Supply Chain Managers is 44 years. (All jobs average: 40 years) 

  • 42.7% of employed professionals constitute females. 



13. Conclusion


Every industry needs Supply Chain Managers to improve the productivity and efficiency of each stage of its supply chain management. Besides being a highly responsible position, it is also lucrative and satisfying. 


With ample employment and career progression opportunities available across a wide range of sectors, this is one of the professions worth pursuing.


Every industry needs Supply Chain Managers to improve the productivity and efficiency of each stage of its supply chain management. Besides being a highly responsible position, it is also lucrative and satisfying. 


With ample employment and career progression opportunities available across a wide range of sectors, this is one of the professions worth pursuing.


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