How Do I Become a Supply Manager?

Misty Amber Brighton

As a supply chain manager, you will be responsible for delivering the right product to your customer exactly when he needs it. In order to prepare you to become a supply manager, you may want to gain experience in manufacturing so you can have a good idea how products flow from vendor to end user. If you would like to manage certain types of products, retail experience dealing with these items could also be useful. A bachelor's degree is sometimes required for supply chain management positions, so you may want to enroll in classes at a local college.

An illustration of a supply chain.
An illustration of a supply chain.

Manufacturing experience can help you become a supply manager. This is especially true if you are allowed to work as a material handler, purchasing agent, or receiving clerk. These jobs will give you a good understanding of how products flow from a vendor to the end user as well as how to manage inventory so that just the right amount of materials is on hand to do the job.

A supply manager is responsible for managing inventory levels.
A supply manager is responsible for managing inventory levels.

You may want to take a job in retail sales if a manufacturing position is not available. This can help you become a supply manager in a specialized area such as medical products, automotive parts distribution, or electronics. Knowing what area you would like to specialize in as a supply chain manager can direct you to an opening that is related to your career goals.

Experience in supply chain management could also be obtained by serving in the military. The armed forces of many countries need personnel to move the right quantity and type of goods from one location to another in a timely manner. You will likely begin working as a supply clerk, performing routine duties and then be given supervisory responsibilities. An added bonus to this experience is that it could open the door for you to become a supply manager with a government contractor once your tour of duty ends.

The right education can be important if you would like to become a supply manager, because people with at least a bachelor's degree are generally preferred over candidates that have no related education. There are a number of colleges that offer a degree program in supply chain management, and some may have the option for you to take classes online. After graduating from one of these programs, you will be well prepared for a career in supply chain management no matter what type of products you are responsible for delivering.

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