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5 Skills to Up Your Supply Chain Game in 2019

According to a recent LaSalle Network study of more than 2,000 supply chain professionals, 78% say learning, growth and development is the most important aspect of company culture. It’s no wonder, because the world of supply chain is constantly evolving and rapidly growing. To be successful in this industry, you need to always be thinking three steps ahead. If you’re looking to kick-start your career, earn a promotion or propel your growth in the new year, read on:    

Proficiency in Planning 

Want to be successful in supply chain? Start by fine-tuning your planning skills. As a supply chain professional, you’ll often hold the responsibility of coordinating, scheduling and managing daily end-to-end operations. To ensure they run smoothly, proficiency in planning is a must. In addition, you’ll often need to be able to plan and manage various projects simultaneously. To keep track and stay on top of the demands of your role, make planning a priority.

Leg Up in Leadership 

The ability to manage, lead and inspire others will take you far in your supply chain career.  As you climb the ladder, you’ll likely lead a variety of people and projects, but it isn’t always easy. In the world of operations, things often don’t go to plan. When something goes wrong in the warehouse, a deal falls through or shipments are late, how will you react and lead your team? Do you model flexibility and foster collaboration to come up with a solution? Or do you fight the change? By practicing and fine-tuning your leadership skills, you’ll future-proof your career.

Technological Talent 

As technology booms, it changes the supply chain landscape, and you’ll need to learn (and adopt) new trends. For instance, an understanding of how supply chain uses tools like automation, cloud computing and predictive analytics in warehouse management is key. As we look ahead, there are countless other things technology touches (drone delivery, anyone?) So, not only will being tech savvy propel your career, but it can boost your business, too.

Expertise in Economics 

The best professionals understand supply chain end-to-end, and how to positively impact the growth of their business’ bottom line. A grasp on economics is essential in the supply chain world, because it can shift rapidly as the economy and buying behavior changes. As a supply chain professional, you’ll likely need to focus on what lies ahead and be able to prepare for what might come next in the market. An understanding of what drives demand, supply and pricing can take your career growth up a notch.

Crystal Clear Communication  

As you work with retailers, suppliers and your team, great communication can propel your success. It may sound simple, but it’s critical to know how to communicate clearly in the supply chain industry. Not only are you working with your employers to explain supply-chain initiatives, but you’re also negotiating with retailers and suppliers.

Good communication is also the foundation of strong relationships that can elevate your career. Efficiency in business communication is critical, especially when you can explain supply chain topics in a way board members or people outside of the field will understand. For instance, you may need to explain the efficiency of truck sales or the impact of delivery schedules to senior leaders. To effectively get your message across, clear and concise communication is key.