Supply chain management is the management of a network of interconnected businesses involved in the provision of product and service packages required by the end customers in a supply chain. Supply chain management spans all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. – Source Wikipedia
1. The Supply Chain Sector Offers Exciting Career Opportunities and is Growing
Reference: The Accelerator Project
Reference: The Accelerator Project
The supply chain sector has traditionally been male dominated, but current trends in some parts of the sector show signs of change. Post secondaries see strong female enrolments and women in the sector indicate that work in supply chain is strongly suited to female workers. Soft skills such as collaboration, creativity and problem solving are in high demand by employers and women already in the industry have expressed their love of their work as they multi-task, face daily challenges and in the fast – paced nature of their work environment.
However, it would be naive to think that what is at stake here is merely a ‘women’s issue’. If Canada is to remain competitive in a dynamic global market, as Gwyn Morgan states in a recent Globe and Mail article, “ Given the shortage of skilled workers, and the pending retirement of thousands more across the country, Canadian businesses and governments should view every person as a potential contributor to the workforce”.
We think attracting and retaining women within the supply chain sector is a realistic, common sense solution to Canada’s human resources challenges.
The WISC initiative seeks to create awareness of the supply chain sector and of its vast career opportunities for individual workers. WISC also seeks to encourage employers to consider their retention and succession strategies that address the specific needs of the women in their organizations.
3. Supply Chain is a Door Opener to All Sectors and Industries
One of the great characteristics of the supply chain sector, is that there are supply chain functions and sub-functions in virtually all sectors of the Canadian economy and not-for-profit world.
That means that an individual can identify an employment sector they would like to work in eg. energy, retail, health care, tourism, public sector, etc. and then can create a career development strategy with a skill set to match, and leverage their supply chain knowledge and skills as an employment door opener.
This notion of diversity is supported by the Alberta Government’s Workforce Strategy for Alberta’s Supply Chain Logistics Industry, which states: “Supply chain logistics is an undeniable cornerstone of the Alberta economy. Virtually every enterprise in the province relies on a highly efficient supply chain industry to do business.”
Another characteristic of the supply chain sector is that it is scalable. That means that there are supply chain functions and occupations found in many different kinds of Canadian and global communities – in rural settings, in small communities, in large, urban centres and internationally. People with supply chain skills and knowledge therefore have many choices in terms of the kind of locations, communities or countries that they can work in.
4. Make A Difference Using Transferable Supply Chain Skills
Just as the supply chain sector is broad, so too can supply chain skills and knowledge be transferred across all other sectors, including public and not for profit sectors. Those in the field are positive about the sector and are proud to be engaged in ‘work that matters’.
Skills recommended by employees for success in supply chain jobs are:
The supply chain sector labour force by sub-functions are:
5. Career Pathways and Trajectories
In Alberta, we are fortunate to have a number of education providers offering a range of learning options to those who wish to establish or expand their supply chain knowledge and skills.
These options include post secondary certificates and diplomas, degrees and graduate studies. Linked to these programs are Apprenticeship and Industry Training programs and multiple professional accreditation programs for those already working in the field.
Once in the field, supply chain workers find that their employment options are multifaceted and that opportunities for career advancement are abundant. Actual supply chain jobs are considered to be exciting, fast paced, ever-changing and challenging.
6. Watch a Video Introduction to Supply Chain
Watch this introductory video to the supply chain sector produced by the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council: