What Is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management (SCM) involves coordinating a product’s complex journey from its origins to its final destinations. It similarly matches how a product travels from its manufacturing source to its eventual arrival in your hands.

To more easily explain this, let’s look at the production of a high-end smartphone.

Smartphone parts, like microchips, screens, and cameras, are created by different suppliers and manufacturers worldwide. The parts are then brought to one location to assemble the final product, in this case, a smartphone. It is the job of a supply chain manager to make informed decisions about supplier selection and optimize transportation routes to ensure that all the parts are in supply when they are needed.

SCM Basics

Supply chain management involves detailed planning and organization, which extends to the area of logistics that governs how the components are acquired, transported, and seamlessly integrated into final products. Suppose there are any disruptions along the way, like a low supply of microchips from a critical supplier. In that case, supply chain managers must quickly pivot and develop alternative logistics strategies to prevent production delays. Supply chain managers must maintain detailed inventory control to avoid excess or shortage of critical components, all while optimizing production and logistics.

The specialized skills that supply chain managers need can be gained in the Associate of Applied Business in Supply Chain Management Technology at the University of Cincinnati.

Why Is Supply Chain Management Important Today?

SCM is vital in today’s world for several reasons. Efficient product flow is the cornerstone of supply chain management, ensuring a smooth and cost-effective flow of goods from their origins to the points where consumers make purchases or use them. This efficiency highlights the accessibility and affordability of products.

Additionally, effective SCM helps companies save significantly by eliminating unnecessary expenses through careful planning and optimization, resulting in competitive pricing and greater consumer affordability.

Quality assurance is another fundamental element of SCM. It guarantees that products meet high-quality and safety standards and align with customer expectations, ensuring customer satisfaction and safety.

Supply chain management also contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing waste when effectively managed, benefitting the environment. It leads to reduced pollution levels and decreased volume of items ending up in landfills, preserving our planet for future generations.

Another critical function of SCM is ensuring that products are consistently available when needed, preventing essential items from becoming scarce or unavailable, thus enhancing consumer convenience. In our interconnected world, supply chain management enables businesses to engage in global trade, allowing consumers access to products from diverse regions broadening their choices and experiences.

Supply chain management’s importance lies in its pivotal role in the modern economy, guaranteeing product efficient, affordable, and safe delivery. It directly impacts consumers’ daily lives by ensuring a consistent supply of goods, ultimately contributing to the interconnected and globalized nature of the world we live in today.

How Can a Degree in Supply Chain Management Technology Advance My Career?

Upon successfully completing the Associate of Applied Business in SCM Technology, you will have acquired the following skills and knowledge that are highly sought after:

  • Understanding Supply Chain Management: You will understand the basic principles of SCM, including its role and purpose in today’s business environment.
  • Carrier Technologies: You will be able to explain the technologies carriers used by carriers to track the movement and storage of inventory between supplier and customer.
  • Procurement and Sourcing: You’ll be able to define and examine the history of the role of procurement, purchasing, and sourcing relative to the supply chain and the current business environment, including benefits to the organization.
  • Globalization and Technology: You will be equipped to evaluate the growing impact of globalization and technology on Supply Chain Management.
  • Career Planning Skills: You’ll have skills related to personal goal setting and career planning.

Potential Careers in Supply Chain Management

A degree in supply chain management will open you up to a wide range of potential career opportunities in various sectors and industries. Here are some possible careers in SCM:

  • Supply Chain Manager: This role involves overseeing and managing the supply chain process, including: procurement, logistics, inventory management, and distribution.
  • Logistics Manager: Logistics managers focus on the transportation, warehousing, and distribution of goods, ensuring efficient and cost-effective movement.
  • Procurement Manager: Procurement managers are responsible for sourcing and purchasing goods for an organization, negotiating contracts, and managing supplier relationships.
  • Demand Planner: Demand planners use data and forecasting techniques to predict product demand and plan production and inventory accordingly.
  • Supply Chain Analyst: Supply chain analysts use data analysis and modeling to identify trends, improve processes, and make informed decisions within the supply chain.

These are just some of the potential careers you could pursue after earning your degree in supply chain management at UC.

More Educational Opportunities

The Associate of Applied Business in Supply Chain Management Technology degree fully prepares you to continue your education in a bachelor’s program. In fact, after earning your supply chain management technology degree, you can complete your Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies online with just two additional years of study.

How Are Classes Structured in a Supply Chain Management Degree?

The Associate of Applied Business in Supply Chain Management Technology degree program consists of 60 credits.

Courses in the SCM degree program are structured as seven-week sessions and are designed to be fully asynchronous. This means that you have the flexibility to manage your own schedule. Once you’re enrolled, you can access instructional materials at your convenience as long as you meet the specified course deadlines. It’s important to note that there are no live video lectures in this type of learning format. Learn more about asynchronous learning in our blog post “Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning.”

How Can I Get Started?

Let us help you complete the next step towards reaching your goals while balancing other life responsibilities! Reach out to us today to learn more and take the next step toward your Associate of Applied Business in Supply Chain Management Technology degree. Our knowledgeable team of Enrollment Services Advisors are here to assist you.

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