A supply chain planner is responsible for ensuring that a company receives the materials or supplies they need quickly, efficiently, and within budget. To do this, they must monitor the company’s inventories and track the performance of current supply methods. Then, the supply chain planners try to find ways to improve that process. Depending on their industry, the supply chain planner may suggest moving warehouses, changing suppliers, or switching transportation methods. In the event of a supply emergency (such as a sudden increase in demand or a shortage of materials), the supply chain planner must also determine how to get new supplies in time to meet deadlines.
Supply chain planners work in a variety of fields, such as retail, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and distribution. Regardless of the field, the supply chain planner works in an office setting during regular business hours, but overtime may be required if an emergency situation arises.
To become a supply chain planner, a bachelor’s degree is usually required. Companies typically prefer degrees in supply chain, business, operations, or a related field. A master’s degree in business administration may be helpful, especially if the applicant hopes to rise to a senior level in the company. Also, two to five years of experience working in the supply chain field is often required. Some companies may require certifications in operator or vendor management, such as the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) or the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).
Supply Chain Planner Tasks
Obtain, analyze and interpret supply chain relevant data.
Use analysis results to improve supply chain processes, performance and to reduce costs.
Perform analyses with this data using analytical models and mathematical analysis.