What is the Role of a Supply Chain Manager?

What are the Duties of a Supply Chain Manager | What are the Roles & Responsibilities of a Supply Chain Manager

Today, the global markets have expanded beyond the state borders, and the supply chains are evolving. Thus, the role of the supply chain manager in modern companies is more important than ever. 

What is the Role of a Supply Chain Manager?

The primary role of a Supply Chain Manager is managing and directing the company’s end-to-end supply chain and logistics operations to ensure that customers get what they want and whenever they want it.

The end-to-end supply operations include overseeing all procurement processes. The supply chain manager also oversees  all suppliers to ensure that the company gets the raw material it needs to produce products or services that meet the customer demand.

What are the Responsibilities of a Supply chain Manager?

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A supply chain manager is responsible for determining the fluctuation in demand and implementing a broad range of measures to prepare the supply chain operations adjust the capacity by;  

1. Setting a Strategy of Demand Management

The goal of the supply chain manager is to predict customer demand and determine how this demand can be synchronized with the capabilities of the company’s supply chain. 

To achieve the goal, the process team must have a clear understanding of the corporate strategy, the client’s needs, and manufacturing capabilities. 

The supply chain manager has to review current business trends, study the company’s supply chain network and possible bottlenecks, and determine the objectives of the company’s processes.

2. Determining Demand Forecasting Procedures

Forecasting is one of the critical processes that helps to determine the most promising sources of demand. Moreover, distinct parts of the company might require different levels of the forecast. 

The goal of the supply chain manager is to select appropriate forecasting approaches, determine levels of forecasts, specify sources of data, analyse various forecasting approaches, choose the most promising forecasting methods, and plan the entire forecasting process.

3. Planning the Information Flow

Forecasting of demand is impossible without appropriate information management. 

Planning of the information flow allows determining the primary sources of data, how to transfer the input information, and to whom the output data should be communicated. 

The supply chain manager needs to determine the main information requirements and its sources and value, determine how the collected information will be shared, and to assess in which ways the input and output data can be used to design a business strategy. 

4. Collecting Data and Information

Demand management requires up-to-date and relevant data for successful future demand predictions.

Useful sources of information include marketing, product development, returns, customer service, and commercialisation management. 

To make adequate demand forecasts, a supply chain manager should collect historical data, sales and marketing information, and customer information.

5. Forecasting the Demand

Forecasting the demand ensures the company’s growth, improved performance, and competitive advantage on the market. 

A supply chain manager is expected to analyze the information, develop relevant forecasts out of existing data, trace and assess possible forecast errors, and provide the feedback to improve forecasting approaches.

The company needs to be able to match the forecasted customers’ demand. Therefore, it is essential to determine which synchronisation procedures are necessary to match the demand forecast with the company’s supply, production, and logistics capabilities. 

Then the supply chain manager has to outline procedures for synchronisation, assess manufacturing and supplier capabilities, determine long-term planning requirements, and develop allocation procedures. 

6. Synchronising the Demand with the Supply

To respond to the customers’ demand, the company needs to transform the forecast into a working execution plan. It is essential to understand capacity limitations of all key members of the supply chain to implement new strategies and realize forecasts. 

A supply manager should identify all capacity constraints, plan within the discovered limitations, design aggregate execution plan, balance possible risks, and assess capacity for new products.

Also read: What are the Key Functions of Operations Manager?

7. Designing Contingency Management System

A company needs to be ready to respond to various internal and external events and processes that might disrupt the balance of demand and supply. 

With having reaction procedures ready before the disrupting event occurs, the firm becomes capable of responding to emergencies in a quicker and more effective way. 

Every contingency management system must be in line with the customers’ expectations.

A supply chain manager has to list all potential interruptions to the supply and production and develop response procedures for every possible emergency event.

8. Reducing Variability in Planning and Enhance Company’s Flexibility

Demand variability reduces positive effects of planning and forecasting. The reduction of demand variability makes planning more consistent and reduces company’s costs. 

While the increase of flexibility allows the firm to respond to internal and external events more quickly. 

The goal of the supply manager is to identify the leading causes of variability, to cooperate with both the company and all members of the supply chain to reduce variability, determine opportunities for flexibility increase, and to work with the company and the supply chain to enhance flexibility.

It is also essential to communicate with internal and external partners, to establish and maintain working relationships with providers, freight forwarders, employees, and other people involved in the supply chain.  

9. Developing Framework of Metrics

The framework of metrics is needed to measure and monitor the performance of all company’s processes and to set new goals for performance improvement. 

A company needs to understand how the demand influences key performance metrics such as sales, cost of products, expenses, investment, and assets. 

A supply chain manager should link the demand management performance to economic value added, design appropriate metrics, and set objectives.

10. Measuring Performance

Company performance must be measured with the metrics that were developed at the strategic level. The assessment of performance allows improving processes within the firm. 

All measures need to be provided to supplier and customer relationship management. A supply chain manager should calculate process metrics and link them to economic value added.

11. Purchasing Required Goods and Materials

To meet the skyrocketing demand, the company needs to possess enough raw materials and resources.

A supply chain manager must ensure that the company can receive all materials on time, of good quality, and for a good price and design a structure of relationships with suppliers.

12. Ensuring Proper Transportation and Logistics

A supply chain manager must develop an effective supply chain that meets the needs of customers. 

This includes delivering ready goods and products in varying volumes at shortest times, monitoring the movement of all products, linking the distribution network with local service providers, and managing transportation operations. 

The supply chain manager also develops and implements logistic strategies, and control the movement, shipment, and storage of materials and ready products in warehouses.

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