Originally Posted by Douglas
It's not the greatest career path, IMO. My wife is in supply chain and she's really f*cking good at it, but it tends to be a department that is often underrated. I think this is what causes the salary lag. It often doesn't get a lot of respect because so few people really realize what a core function it is; how much savings it can provide. Also, assuming you're in the US, supply chain is almost a shrinking job function as so little is manufactured here anymore, and distributorships tend to like making purchase and inventory decisions at the marketing level. Supply chain gets relegated to a functional, as opposed to strategic, role. That said, the hours are usually decent, and the work is less stressful and demanding than sales, so the lifestyle can be good.
You bring up some good points. If you want to make it rain SCM is definitely not the place for you, that's for sure. It does offer, however, probably the best combination of hours, wages, and interesting work of most major business functions. As far as it becoming a shrinking job function, that depends. At its basic level (i.e. routine procurement, some logistics) it certainly is shrinking because most of that work can be outsourced. At a strategic level, however, it's actually growing because a number of big companies have realized how much of a competitive edge it can provide. LG's new CPO (Chief Procurement Officer) saved the company an estimated $1 billion in his first year on the job by reorganizing the company's sourcing functions. $1 billion! Think about that. Although manufacturing is certainly crawling along in the US, SCM is still a pretty damn important function for a number of American companies, most notably food and beverage producers, airlines, oil and gas, etc. Finally, it is an underrated business function. That means it doesn't always get the credit it deserves, but it also means that talented people can have an amazing impact in the area.