Supply Chain Manager

Job Description:

Supply chain managers organise the movement of goods and materials from suppliers and manufacturers to customers.

Job Category:
Manufacturing & Electronics

What you will do:

Depending on which part of the supply chain you’re in, day-to-day you may:

  • work with procurement managers and buyers to select products that will sell well
  • negotiate and manage contracts with suppliers
  • plan the best way to get goods from suppliers to distribution centres and retailers
  • track shipments and stock levels using computer software
  • make sure retailers receive their goods on time and in the right condition
  • look at ways to improve supply chain networks
  • monitor overall performance to make sure targets are met
  • prepare forecasts and inventories
    recruit, train and manage a team of supply chain staff


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a supply chain manager involves a combination of education, skills, and experience. While there are no strict GCSE subject requirements for this role, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for developing the skills and knowledge needed for a career in supply chain management. Here are some relevant GCSE subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Mathematics: A solid understanding of mathematics is essential for analyzing data, calculating inventory levels, and making informed decisions in supply chain management.
  2. Business Studies or Economics: These subjects provide insights into business principles, economic concepts, and the fundamentals of managing supply chains.
  3. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using technology, databases, and software for data analysis and logistics management is important in supply chain roles.
  4. English Language: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are important for effective collaboration and communication with suppliers, partners, and team members.
  5. Foreign Languages: Depending on the global nature of the supply chain, knowledge of foreign languages can be advantageous for communicating with international partners.

Education and Career Path

Supply chain managers often hold a bachelor’s degree in fields such as Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Business Administration, or a related discipline. Some also pursue master’s degrees (such as an MBA) to enhance their qualifications and advance in their careers.

Gaining experience through internships, entry-level supply chain roles, and progressively more responsible positions is essential for career advancement in supply chain management.

While specific GCSE subjects can provide a foundation, it’s important to note that supply chain management is a multidisciplinary field that requires a combination of business acumen, technical skills, and interpersonal abilities. Continuous learning, professional certifications (such as Certified Supply Chain Professional – CSCMP or Certified Professional in Supply Management – CPSM), and staying updated on industry trends are also important for success in this role.

You may be able to start on a supply chain practitioner advanced apprenticeship, which could lead onto a supply chain leadership or express delivery manager degree apprenticeship.

You could also do a transport and warehouse operations supervisor advanced apprenticeship.

You could start in a junior role like transport clerk and work your way up through training and promotion.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typical working hours consist of 38-40 hours of work each week.

You may be expected to work in the evening, on the weekend or on bank holidays. You could work on a rota system.

You could work in an office or at a client’s business.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to senior planning jobs and consultancy work.