Supply Chain Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Supply Chain Manager, or Logistics Manager, is responsible for ensuring a business can efficiently source raw materials, manufacture products, store inventory and transport shipments to consumers or wholesalers. Their duties include analyzing logistics data to refine the supply chain, negotiating business relationships and communicating with suppliers and distributors.

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Supply Chain Manager duties and responsibilities

A Supply Chain Manager should provide operational support and guidance to ensure maximum productivity, and there are many duties that accompany this. Some common job duties for this role include:

  • Train and mentor employees, including reinforcement of safety guidelines.
  • Report accidents and injuries and ensure proper treatment protocols are met.
  • Create supply chain management strategies that increase efficiency and speed.
  • Collaborate with other departments to close operational gaps.
  • Balance safety, cost management and business growth then prepare and submit reports.
  • Optimize warehouse functions.
  • Handle communications and negotiations with suppliers.
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What does a Supply Chain Manager do?

Supply Chain Managers work as part of a logistics and operations team to supervise the lifecycle of a product, from its creation to delivery to a customer. The role of a Supply Chain Manager is to understand how each step in the production, manufacturing and distribution process works together, optimizing efficiency and reducing waste. Supply Chain Managers coordinate the activities of different teams to get products to customers on time, considering factors like transportation time, product returns and other delays.  They prepare long-term schedules for the company to ensure they have enough stock at any given time to meet demand.

Supply Chain Manager skills and qualifications

Although each company differs slightly in the skills and qualifications they require in a Supply Chain Manager, many are similar. Some of the most common skills and qualifications include: 

  • Familiarity with safety regulations, including those outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Understanding of procedural best practices in supply chain management
  • Ability to lead, train and mentor employees individually and as a team
  • Great written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong negotiation skills

Supply Chain Manager salary expectations

The average salary for a Supply Chain Manager is $80,512 per year. These salary estimates are based on 1,668 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Supply Chain Manager employees and users or collected from past and present job advertisements in the past 36 months. The typical tenure for a Supply Chain Manager is one to three years.

Supply Chain Manager education and training requirements

Most Supply Chain Managers should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or related field. A master’s degree in a related field is an added bonus. A certification through the Association for Supply Chain Management can make an applicant more competitive. Some possible certifications include the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, the Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) program or the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) program.

Supply Chain Manager experience requirements

Some applicants may have 10 or more years of experience in manufacturing in a leadership role or 4 or more years of experience in supply chain management before entering a Supply Chain Manager role. Experience with enterprise resource planning programs can make a potential Supply Chain Manager more competitive.

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Frequently asked questions about Supply Chain Managers


What is the difference between a Supply Chain Manager and an Operations Manager?

Logistics and operations are two closely-related fields in manufacturing, so Supply Chain Managers and Operations Managers have similar roles. However, Supply Chain Managers exclusively focus on how operations can influence the supply chain and vice versa. They plan out protocols to ensure they can turn raw materials into a finished product on the shelves of a retailer. Supply Chain Managers mostly deal with suppliers and Warehouse Managers to accomplish this goal. 

Operations Managers are in charge of all company operations, including administration and employee management. Operations Managers communicate with Supply Chain Managers about their expectations and predictions for supply chain interruptions, shortages or surpluses. They use this information to adjust workflows, outsource responsibilities or expand company infrastructure to meet those needs.


What are the daily duties of a Supply Chain Manager?

Supply Chain Managers supervise the flow of products and labor at their company by meeting with company managers, scheduling inventory shipments and placing orders for raw materials and packaging supplies. They keep detailed plans describing the main supply chain and offering alternatives to keep production moving if one part of the supply chain is disrupted. Supply Chain Managers host meetings, give presentations on logistics efficiency and consult on the strategy for launching new products. 

Supply Chain Managers perform regular logistics assessments and write reports to describe challenges and successes, documenting disruptions to prevent future issues. They interact with business partners and uphold professional relationships by negotiating contracts and placing orders. Supply Chain Managers prepare contracts, shipping agreements and other legal documents to solidify the relationship between the company and each supplier.


What are the characteristics of a good Supply Chain Manager?

Good Supply Chain Managers are extremely organized people with the ability to manage multiple factors at once. Because Supply Chain Managers have to track products at all stages of the production and distribution cycle, they should be great at multitasking and shifting from one responsibility to the next. Successful Supply Chain Managers are always looking for ways to improve, applying ambition and motivation to company logistics. Good Supply Chain Managers should also have a logical, analytical mindset and the ability to perform financial and mathematical projections about supply-related costs.


What should you look for on a Supply Chain Manager's resume?

When hiring a Supply Chain Manager, it’s important to identify candidates with the ability to handle large scale operations and uphold complex business agreements. Look for resumes that demonstrate managerial and leadership experience. Having an inside perspective on the logistics process is also important, so try to identify resumes that indicate experience in manufacturing, shipping and transportation.

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