In the retail supply chain, there are many positions that need to be manned in order to ensure a company's success. Graduates often think of the supply chain as a simple proposition, negotiated from on high to warehouses and stores in the mall. However, the complexities of the retail supply chain means that there is a more intricate job market than most graduates are aware of. Knowledge of the retail supply chain, easily found by speaking with a recruiter or reviewing trade publications, should lead graduates to understand that there are several different jobs available to interested candidates. One of the better supply chain jobs in the UK retail market is on the storefront end of the chain.
Retail storefronts and centres, selling a variety of products under their roof, need to have a constant stream of new inventory coming in to keep consumers happy. Shipping managers and supply chain consultants can work in two capacities on the store end of the chain. These professionals can be housed in one store and travel to nearby stores to deal with a specific city's supply needs.
Other supply chain professionals can travel throughout a region or internationally to stores in order to determine weaknesses in the chain and where the company can develop new outlets for their products. Another retail supply chain job in the UK is in distribution centres. These centres provide a middle area between the production facilities and the retail outlets. Supply chain professionals work to facilitate efficient marking, storage, and shipping of products on their arrival and in their departure to storefronts. These supply chain professionals are perhaps the most important in the entire chain, as distribution facilities hold almost the entire consumer inventory for a company.
Professionals in supply chain management need to be able to keep delivery trucks moving in and out in order to meet the company's needs. Finally, perhaps the most familiar supply chain job to graduates is at corporate headquarters in the UK. Companies need supply chain professionals in their corporate facilities in order to organise the entire supply chain independent from the narrow view of one region or a single facility. In this way, the corporate office of a supply chain professional can look like a war room.
Maps of the entire supply chain, broken up into regions, are marked heavily in order to find the best way to ship, store, and sell products.
Mark Doherty is a Director of Alexander Chapel Associates. A specialist sales recruitment company with a focus in IT sales jobs, logistics jobs and supply chain recruitment.