Bridge Insights

8 Important Soft Skills in Supply Chain Managers

Oct 15, 2019

Supply Chain Managers play a very important part in any manufacturing or distribution organization.  They must be someone who embrace change and are extremely motivated.   Someone who is analytical and listens to suggestions.   Supply Chain Managers can tell you everything “they” have done at their previous roles, but to really get down to if they were the ones who envisioned the changes and were able to effectively run the department after the fact is key.

Below are 8 soft skills that will help you determine just that and identify if this person is a go-getter.

1. Communication

Must have the ability to communicate effectively though presentations, email, one on one, and team discussions.

2. Time Management

Someone who can make use of their time wisely and is efficient in their daily work, will be able to manage multiple tasks and have a clear mind and “open” schedule to assess process improvements.

3. Leadership

This comes without saying. A Supply Chain Manager must be able to encourage and create an environment where their employees want to succeed. Someone who sets clear expectations, goals, and initiatives-but who also leads by example.

4. Vision – Creating the Environment

Not only is it important for a Supply Chain Manager to see the bigger picture but also be able to break everything down and analyze it. Someone who has a plan on what to do with each piece of the puzzle in order to create a fully operating department that is saving the company money, operating lean, and committed to forward thinking practices.
[blockquotes]Having the right supply chain manager in place is imperative for any organization. [/blockquotes]

5. Desire to Learn

Supply chain is an ever-changing world. If someone is complacent on doing things a certain way because that is how they have always done, verses taking the time to strengthen their skills in supply chain and management, they will quickly fall behind and inevitably run a department that is not operating efficiently and effectively-opening the door for their competition to surpass them.

6. Ability to Present Oneself With Confidence

An effective manager shows confidence. Someone who is unsure of themselves and slow to make a decision will lose the respect from their employees and counterparts.

7. Ability to Think on One's Feet

Things don’t always go as planned and problems will occur more often than not. It is imperative a supply chain manager can remain calm under pressure and think of a solution on the spot.

8. Ability to Pass on Knowledge and Mentoring

A manager is only as strong as his team. A successful manager needs to have a desire to teach their employees everything they know and want them to grow in their career. Someone who has examples of previous employees they have managed and have helped grow in their career, who are now Supply Chain Managers themselves should be able to speak to this in great detail.

In Conclusion

Having the right supply chain manager in place is imperative for any organization. Sure, someone can speak to their abilities and give you stats, but for a manager to be successful long term it is important to make sure they possess all the soft skills mentioned above.
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