The Most Important SCM Skills You Must Have

That sequence of processes involved in producing and distributing commodities is by definition the heartbeat of any business operation. The importance of the supply chain and its management cannot be stressed enough since its implications reach far and wide and can influence crucial aspects like the reduction of operational costs, a significant boost in customer satisfaction with high-quality client service and a substantial improvement in the organization’s financial position inside the market.

The field of supply chain management has been impacted by numerous changes at a vertiginous pace over the last few years. The changing nature of the relationship and alliances between suppliers and customers together with the growth internet-based businesses is creating a lot of pressure on the supply chain and the way organizations decide to run it. As a leader, manager, business owner, entrepreneur and pretty much an individual whose work directly related to handling aspects that affect the operation of the supply chain you must understand the standard practical expertise skills like its functions, transportation, warehousing inventory management and the planning of production. With that being said, there are also other skills that are quite useful and expected from any manager and person in charge of logistic operations. Today we want to use the space here at David Kiger’s Blog to look at some of the most useful abilities and skills that are required to be successful in the world of logistics and more specifically in the management of the supply chain.

Being able to project

Forecasting is difficult, and more so when it comes to large organizations in which the movement of product is fast and constant, but a good leader and a manager who is up to the task must be able to understand how to plan ahead, even before needs arise. Lead-time is something necessary in most logistical work, therefore it is crucial to be able to maintain the company as ahead of the curve as possible and to understand whenever possible, the way orders can be made before time, shipments prepared considering possible setbacks and many other functions that may ensure that activities go smoothly due to proper planning. Forecasting is something that can be done easier when things are stable, but those who can do it even in the most turbulent times, are the leaders who truly make a lasting impression and become invaluable assets to the organization.

IT solutions_software_logistics_supply chain
Image courtesy of Negative Space at

IT Knowledge

This goes without saying in a world that is more and more inclined towards technology and where the supply chain has been so dramatically changing by things like information technologies and automation. Analytical software and enterprise solutions are a must-know for any leader in the world of logistics. As a user, they must be able to work well with business information systems, but they must also understand the application as customers and be very familiar with user interfaces and how people interact with them. Automation is something else that is seeing more in the world of logistics and it goes along with our former point as it becomes a tool that allows companies to project their operations and forecast in order to make sound decisions.

Knowledge in the IT department is still something that comes second to interpersonal skills in a leader but that is quickly gaining ground and becoming one of the most important skills anyone involved with the supply chain must be able to dominate.

Understanding of Market Dynamics

The ebb and flow of the market is something that we can always count on being fickle. Those who are able to predict those shifts are the ones who take advantage of this volatility and make it work on their behalf. Quick shifts in customers and their purchasing behaviors are aspects that affect the market greatly and that dictate where things should go. Those unable to see this will ultimately fail to keep up with the times.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to think that their particular line of work is an exclusive market that is not affected by the seemingly unrelated, but they are wrong. The market, in general, exists as a large organic mass that intertwines and influences areas that while may not seem connected at first, end up being closely related and almost dependent on each other in many ways. Understanding what is it that drives demand, supply and pricing are absolutely necessary in order to make decisions and once again, find ways to anticipate those shifts in order to prepare strategies and stay ahead.

As we can see here, skills like flexibility, adaptability and the uncanny skill of anticipation seem to be abilities that are not only greatly appreciated in a leader but instead, expected and required of every manager who wants to be successful and leads their company to the top.

* Featured Image courtesy of at



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