Home Supplychain Videos Supply Chain Basics Series A Dream Career in Supply Chain Operations Roles

A Dream Career in Supply Chain Operations Roles


Prerequisite Videos (see them in the same order as given)

What is Supply Chain – Part I
What is Supply Chain? – Part II

Operations role – What an exciting role isn’t it? Equal to that excitement, there are a lot of confusion prevailing in the market about operations role within supply chain. So in this video, I’m going to clear all these confusion surrounding the operations role within supply chain.

So in this video what we’re going to see are –

– Operations role within supply chain.

– Nature of these roles

– Routines of these roles.

And most importantly, Key Recommendations which would help you shape your Supply Chain career.

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Transcript of video

Operations role.

What an exciting role isn’t it?

Equal to that excitement..

There are a lot of confusion prevailing in the market about operations role within supply chain.

So in this video.

I’m going to clear all these confusion surrounding the operations role within supply chain.

Hello Everyone. I’m Alvis Lazarus, Your supply chain mentor from SupplyChainWay.com.

So in this video what we’re going to see are –

Operations role within supply chain.

Nature of these roles

Routines of these roles.

So let’s get it started

I’m sure you are familiar with this supply chain model.

If you’re not then please go to the description in this video I’ve given few links to the prerequisite videos you can go through those videos and then come back and watch this video so you get a continuity on the topic.

So this is the overall supply chain model.

And there are so many different operations role within this overall supply chain and the point to note here is each of these roles are unique and are completely different from each other so let’s start with the first role which is the supply chain planning.

So the objective of supply chain planning is effectively aligning the supply and demand.

And if you see supply chain planning, there are clearly…

Two distinctive roles within supply chain planning one is a demand planning and another is the supply planning. In many organizations these roles are combined and called as a supply chain planner. But there are few organizations where demand planner is separate and Supply planner is…

separate. So in organizations where the scale of operations is really high is where the supply planner role is split into two roles demand planner and supply planner.

What is the nature of job of a demand planner?. You may even ask a question the forecast is given by a different department.

What would be the role of a demand planner? When a forecast is given the job is just consolidating and releasing a demand forecasts that is absolutely a wrong understanding of demand planner before I even explain you what is a demand planner role I can very confidently say the one role within this entire Supply Chain which can impact every single activity which is happening within the supply chain not just that a slight miss can mislead the entire supply chain that role is a demand planner role; that crucial is the demand planner’s role. so I’ll tell you why as well so the job of demand planner.

It’s not just receive the forecast consolidate and give the crucial part of the demand planner’s role is validating the forecast so how you will validate? you will use your the past sales data number one you will also use your analytical capability to estimate what the sales is going to be I use the word analytical so you are going to use all your analytical skills as well that is number two number three you will get a chance to use multiple forecasting tools and techniques part of the demand planning so this is the role which will validate and then finally signs off and releases the demand forecasts which becomes a reference for rest of all the activities I’m going to explain within supply chain. now you would have understood how crucial this job is and if you are a demand planner listening to this video you can pat yourself on your shoulder because you are shouldering this entire engine within the supply chain.

So the demand planning now releases the demand forecast.

The demand forecast goes as an input to the supply planning

What supply planning does is…

Use the demand forecast.

Convert that into requirement of raw materials even the supply planner does analytics to understand what kind of increase and decrease has happened and they will give insights into the supply of raw material required and then complete this report and shares this with the sourcing team which is the second activity.

So the sourcing operations once they receive the output that is demand forecast and the supply related input from the supply planning team.

Their job is to ensure whether the supplier capacity is there number one.

Number two ensure to release the purchase orders to the suppliers follow up on the purchase orders to receive the product on time at the manufacturing facility.

In a nutshell.

The job of the sourcing team is to ensure the availability of material at the right time at the point of use at the right quantity as required by manufacturing. so manufacturing is the internal customer of sourcing and I use the term called point-of-use POU that is the place where the raw material is going to get consumed or converted to the final product till there the responsibility lies with sourcing team the role is typically called as buyer so buyer is responsible for sourcing material on a day-to-day basis and making it available at point of use. sounds so simple but this is one role where the fire fighting is at the peak.

The reason is the uncertainty surrounding the supply chain impacts the sourcing role when I say uncertainty no matter how good you estimate the demand there will be always ups and downs the impact or the one team which shoulders the complete uncertainty is the sourcing team.

They should have the.

good business acumen to have the rapport with the suppliers.

To perform even at those uncertainties to get the raw material on time at the point-of-use. okay? apart from this the sourcing team also takes care of.

New product introductions, they take care of new supplier onboarding they also take care of supplier performance Management. So the key role which we talked about in sourcing operations is the buyer

So once the product is made available at the point of use the 3rd operations role is the manufacturing operations the excitement of of manufacturing operations lies within the four walls of the manufacturing facility.

Within the manufacturing shop floor each second counts. so this is where Lean manufacturing Six Sigma TOC all the tools whatever you learnt about the best place to utilize is in the manufacturing role the excitement is in the shop floor within the four walls conversion of the raw materials into the

Finished product. so you will exactly see the conversion before your eyes how the raw material is getting converted into the finished product so the next one.

Is the distribution operations so the objective of distribution operations is to distribute the finished product to the customer so that job starts with taking custody of the finished product and then delivering it at the hands of the customer. This complete thing comes under distribution there is one small call out here; The raw material which is procured from the supplier by sourcing. It is stored some where inside the manufacturing facility.

That as well in most cases comes under the distribution team’s portfoio and in some cases it is taken care of by the manufacturing facility. This is the one small callout here but in general distribution operations takes care of taking custody of the finished goods and then they take care of all the activities involved in delivering the product to the customer.

Now distribution operations have two different functions within – warehousing and transportation. Same way I have said for planning here as well in most organizations you would have a separate warehousing team and separate Transportation team. what is the role of a warehousing function? receive the product that is take custody of the finished goods store them and then fulfil them depending on the customers requirement. So the job starts with taking custody, managing the Inventory, upkeep of the stock, all the safety related upkeep will come into their picture and then once the order has come you make the product ready to ship and then give a handshake to the transportation team whose job starts from there so the transportation team will take..

Make all the documentation already arrange for the truck take it to the customer and get it delivered the key objective of Transportation team is on-time delivery to the customer.

And all the teams that is sourcing manufacturing and distribution has a common Target Inventory management and quality this explains the operations happening at source manufacturing and distribution I’ll quickly summarize what kind of excitement and what you can expect from each of this role. if you are a person who likes to work with lot of data who wants to use more of tools and techniques but still associate yourself with the product then you need to get into supply chain planning.

If you are a person who wants to handle a lot of pressure; Who Wants to Be always on the field but still you want to interact with a lot of people you need to you need to develop something new you need to get into Sourcing; if you are excited about lean Six Sigma eliminating wastes from the system making each second count if you are that kind of person a person who is process-oriented who always have an inclination towards process excellence and also wants to closely the associate yourself with the product then you need to get into manufacturing operations only a manufacturing shpfloor can give you that experience and if you’re the person who wants to make an impact on the customer experience you need to get into distribution operation every member within the supply chain has the impact on customer but even a small miss by the distribution team will leave a negative mark on the organization. This explains… not fully but I’ve given you a flavor of each role If you have any specific questions you can obviously write down down in the comment section I would be able to get more information on that.

No I’m going to give you some key recommendations which will really help you shape up your supply chain career.

Number one impact of sector in your supply chain career you may even think.

How does a sector will impact my supply chain career? If you see the supply chain model we talked about distribution operations. Now a distribution operations happening in different sectors in a very different way so what happens in an automotive industry let’s take a car manufacturing once the car is ready for distribution operations role is to take the car, load onto a truck and get it to a dealer and customer comes and picks the car from the dealer so basically the dealership is your point of sale.

Now the same distribution operations think on a fast moving consumer goods industry what happens there. millions of outlets sell fmcg products so the distribution operations to move the product from the manufacturing facility to those millions of outlets. can you see the glaring difference on the same role?

Moving cars from a manufacturing facility to handful of dealers versus moving fmcg products from the manufacturing facility to million outlets these two roles are completely different; similar way, I will give you one more example of manufacturing operation.

Manufacturing of of biscuit versus manufacturing of a car in a manufacturing of a biscuit you will work on a handful of ingredients use processing Technologies and machineries to convert those ingredients into the final product which is a biscuit

In a car manufacturing you have thousands of Parts you will assemble them to manufacture a car the manufacturing operations in a Biscuit versus a car

are completely different that is the reason you should first decide on the sector before even you decide on the function you want to start your career

Number two.

Supply chian the buzz word; it is great supply chain is the buzz word. Since supply chain is the most wanted job everywhere, most of the job descriptions add supply chain word to

each and every job within the supply chain. If you see this.

A sourcing job a manufacturing job a distribution job a planning job everything is called as a supply chain job; In reality if you’re doing sourcing you’re doing a sourcing role if you’re doing manufacturing you are doing manufacturing role if you’re doing distribution you’re doing a distribution role if you’re doing planning you’re doing a planning role – the job descriptions read all these roles as a Supply Chain role. so my recommendation is before you take any job change or start your supply chain career you should exactly understand those differences keep aside what your title says but you should be clear what you are getting into; so when you can call yourself as a supply chain professional is when you get hands-on at most of these operations roles what I’ve explained to you in this video.

3rd one

is Where to start?

This is one of the most asked question if you want to build a supply chain career what you can do is you can start anywhere within this role and slowly increase your portfolio for example you can start on sourcing and then after 2-3 years in the next jump you take in probably the distribution operations also part of your portfolio and you grow and finally you’ll reach a supply chain position position which would be like a vice-president in supply chain where…

That role will oversee the end-to-end of supply chain so your goal is to reach such position but the day 1 – my recommendation is I’ve given some excitement factors in each of these operations role…

You take a decision basis that.

Once you serve one or two years in that role; you can either specialize on that role or you can then take some more in your portfolio that is absolutely your choice so these are the three key recommendations which would help shape your supply chain career. You have any follow-up questions if you want any more details related to the supply chain career feel free to drop a note in the comment section down to this video I would be glad to answer those for you.

Thank you so much I would meet you again with another video in supply chain way.

Alvis Lazarus It's all about Supply Chain! SupplyChainWay is first of it's kind Portal in Supply Chain. It is a community of Supply Chain Professionals and a one stop source for Supply Chain education, knowledge sharing and discussion.