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Most Desired Supply Chain Skills in Today's Workplace

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Supply Chains are more profitable than ever. Currently, 79% of companies with high performing supply chains experience greater revenue growth than other industries. The key to such success? Effective leaders in management positions. But when it comes to filling your management roles, which supply chain management skills should you be looking for?

Google, Apple, Target and other major brands know what the key to hiring is. It's finding the perfect cocktail of skills and giving them the right set of responsibilities. Every industry requires a specific skill set, including supply chains.

The Top 10 Supply Chain Management Skills to Look For

Some businesses favor impressive resumes or intelligence when hiring. Those who are successful in the supply chain industry understand that it's a combination of important skills that raise the bar.

By knowing what to look for you can avoid some major hiring pitfalls that supply chains often fall in. Here we will dig into the top 10 vital skills to look for when hiring a supply chain manager. Read on to learn more about what to spot in your ideal candidate.

Project Organization Skills

Undergoing projects within your supply chain business is an effective way to get the most out of management and retail opportunities. However, if your manager doesn't have project organizational skills it can mean wasting countless man-hours.

While it's always a good thing to have a manager with inspired ideas, those ideas won't go far without effective project organization skills. This means knowing how to divide the tasks, assign them to the right people, and stick to specific deadlines.

Project organization skills also go hand and hand with knowing how to effectively put together a team. Some team leaders choose to hire members that are less talented or intelligent than they are. This is an effort to make themselves look better.

This in no way benefits the team or your business. By knowing how to put together a solid team, you can trust that every area of your projects are being effectively handled.

Technical Skills

New software and programs are coming out every day to allow supply chain businesses to run smoothly and more effectively. These programs can allow you to track multiple roles at once and can even eliminate roles in the workplace, saving you a great deal of money.

However, in order for these skills to be used to his full potential, someone needs to know how to properly operate them. This is why it's more than worth your while to hire a manager with strong technical skills.

A manager with technical skills will not only be able to operate the programs you give them, but they will also know how to integrate new programs into your business to keep you ahead of the curve.

Time Management Skills

There's a big difference between being busy and getting things done, and the right manager knows this. A strong leader knows how to divide their time appropriately, leaving room to connect with team members, while still bringing in new clients and managing everyday processes.

You'll want to find a manager that knows how to implement a solid workflow in order to get the most out of their team and the time that they're given.

By having a time manager with effective work skills, you'll find they are able to seek out new opportunities instead of constantly struggling to stay on top of their work.

Legal Contract Knowledge

One of the most important things to remember in the supply chain industry is that it's vital to protect yourself. While delivering shipments to others it's necessary to have a solid contract in play. In the worst case scenario, you don't have to worry about lawsuits or refund demands.

You can either achieve this by hiring an expensive lawyer (not recommended) or find a management candidate with experience in legal contracts. This will ensure that nothing slips between the tracks.

It doesn't mean your manager needs to have a law degree, but coming from a past role that used contracts often would be a big plus. The last thing you want is to lose money because some easily avoidable holes were left in a contract.

Accounting and Cost Management Skills

There's a lot of numbers in play when it comes to the supply chain industry. Your numbers can either be the key to growth or your downfall, it all depends on who is behind the wheel.

Knowing which products are hurting the business and which is helping, where money can be saved, and what's worth a solid investment is mandatory if you plan on staying in business.

Potential managers that can demonstrate their accounting and cost management savvy should always be placed at the top of the list. By prioritizing these skills you can rest assured that your business will thrive.

Financial Literacy

Finances aren't just about keeping track of current expenses, it's also about understanding strong income opportunities and investment strategies. It's important to find a management candidate that can look at the number and see the potential behind them.

This means sharp business skills and financial literacy. You want your manager to understand the numbers, not just report them.

A strong manager also knows how to recognize financial trends within the industry, helping them avoid risks or stay ahead of the pack. A manager that reads industry publications and is aware of rises and falls within supply chains is a valuable asset.

E-business and Online Commerce Skills

44% of US Shoppers use online shopping as much as they use in-store shopping. That's a large pool of customers that you can't afford to lose. However, if you plan on taking advantage of this profit opportunity, it will require some e-business and online commerce knowledge.

You can either hire a marketing team to oversee your online business (again, very expensive) or you can hire someone that already has these skills. A manager with knowledge in e-commerce can vastly grow your profit potential. They can also increase your global brand recognition.

A manager with strong commerce skill will also know how to manage important marketing opportunities such as social media, email campaigns, and content.

Conflict Management

Being an effective leader means knowing how to guide a team. Unfortunately, when conflict arises, managers can often be the first to leave the scene or refuse to accept responsibility.

A strong leader knows how to keep interoffice relationships healthy and conflict at a minimum so it won't affect productivity or the energy of the workplace. Office drama can prevent projects from being completed and keep operations at a standstill if not quickly taken care of.

Look for a manager that can stay humble and work with employees on their level without the power trip. By being able to relate and build strong connections within the team, you'll find stronger employee satisfaction.

Ability to Work on a Global Scale

Having a global brand means knowing how to work on a global scale. Your supply chain business is only as limited as your manager's ability to work with other countries.

This means the ability to research customs, shipping methods, and the capability to manage teams on a global scale. Working on a global scale also means your manager should know how to put together their own super team for maximum productivity.

This may also mean starting work early and finishing late to handle large time differences. It's wise to know from the beginning if a manager is willing to do what it takes to keep up international relationships.

Strong Business Ethics

A manager holds more responsibility than your average employee, which is why it's vital to hire someone you can trust. After all, this individual will be managing your books, tracking inventory and be responsible for your investments.

Trust is one of the largest components of business ethics. You want a manager with a strong character and strict moral code. Remember, this individual will be building relationships with your clients and you want to be well represented.

Usually, you can get a good sense of a person's ethics from their references and how they carry themselves. Take note of body language cues like a solid handshake and consistent eye contact, this means you can count on your manager to make a strong first impression.


Find Candidates with Top Supply Chain Management Skills

Hiring the right manager can make or break your supply chain business. Is it really worth the risk of putting the wrong person at the helm? While you're building your business you need someone to make strong and effective hiring decisions that will take your business to the next level.

This is where we come in. At SCOPE Recruiting, we know the perfect combination of skill sets to hire for your open position. Our supply chain recruiting specialist knows the business inside and out, so we aren't guessing who would be right for the job..we know.

If you're ready to hire your dream manager, contact us today to learn more about how to get the hiring process started.

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