What Does A Supply Chain Director Do?

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A supply chain director (or supply chain manger) is responsible for defining and leading the execution of the company’s supply chain strategy. They are responsible for ensuring that the company’s inventories are optimal and are in charge of maximising the production and marketing of the products as planned.

The job of a Supply Chain Director

The term “supply chain” is defined as ‘all the activities, processes and activities that manage to connect the product of a company with the final consumer.’

This process includes obtaining raw materials, processing, manufacturing, transportation and delivery.

The parts of the supply chain include:

  • Supply: This includes all the processes and activities to supply the materials necessary for the manufacture of the product. How, when and where is the raw material obtained?
  • Manufacturing: In this part of the chain is the process of production and transformation of raw material into finished product.
  • Distribution: The last phase of the supply chain is responsible for delivering the finished product to the consumer
Role Overview - Supply Chain Director
Role Overview – Supply Chain Director

To obtain the necessary inputs for the operation and production of a company, a good inventory of materials is necessary. For this purpose, the logistics chain must be well organised, in order to ensure supplies with the quality and in the expected time.

💡 Supply Chain – Zara

A good example of this is the Spanish apparel retailer, Zara. The biggest contributor to their success in the fashion world is their unique business model which is driven by its supply chain capabilities. The company follows a ‘pull model’ in their inventory and supply chain management, meaning procurement, production, and distribution of their goods are demand-driven rather than based on predictions.

The 3 objectives that SCM (supply chain management) seeks are:

  • Improving customer satisfaction
  • Reduce expenses and costs
  • Meet deadlines and objectives

An efficient supply chain management improves the efficiency of the company and its profitability. For this, the role of the supply chain director is necessary, who will be in charge of optimising this chain.

Supply Chain Manager Responsibilities

The supply chain director is responsible for developing the supply chain strategy in a company. Their task is to improve the supply chain’s productivity and reduce costs to make it more efficient.

In said strategy, the director indicates the goals, parameters and actions to be implemented to ensure the optimum functioning of the logistics chain.

Responsibilities Of A Supply Chain Director
Responsibilities Of A Supply Chain Director

They are responsible for ensuring the availability of essential materials for operations, in optimal quality, quantity and time.

These directors are also in charge of analysing supply chain data and performance, supervising and training employees, and ensuring processes meet legal requirements and standards.

What are the responsibilities of a supply chain director?

  • Define the organisation’s supply chain strategy
  • Take care of adequate inventory levels for the company’s operation
  • Identify bottlenecks and issues in the supply chain
  • Monitor the logistics indicators of the company
  • Achieve organisational goals and performance KPIs
  • Implement safety and hygiene protocols in the logistics chain
  • Establish agreements with suppliers to improve profitability
  • Coordinate actions with other company departments to improve business performance
  • Correct possible problems (for example, delays in deliveries)
  • Analyse supply chain data and performance
  • Supervise and train employees
  • Ensure processes meet legal requirements and standards

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Skills needed as Supply Chain Director

The supply chain manager position requires advanced technical and practical knowledge of logistics. To this end, a logistics director is expected to have experience in the area and in similar positions, with a team under their supervision.

In addition, excellent knowledge of supply chain processes and management of related technological tools is required. They must especially have knowledge and experience working with relevant software such as SAP MM.

Skills Of A Supply Chain Director
Skills Of A Supply Chain Director

Due to the challenges and complexity of the position, the most successful supply chain managers are often noted for their organisation, planning, attention to detail, and analytical thinking.

In addition, a good supply chain manager works as a team with other directors of the company. For this reason, they must have excellent communication skills.

Requirements on a supply chain director job:

  • Previous supply chain management and analytical experience, including experience with SQL
  • Knowledge of all the processes and activities involved in the supply chain
  • Excellent technical knowledge of logistics processes
  • Management of ERP software, transport management (TMS), and/or logistics (SCM) related to the position
  • Experience in project management and tools such as Asana or Salesforce
  • Experience in Six Sigma / Lean Manufacturing
  • Training in predictive statistics
  • Strategic and analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Assertive communication


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Background and Education

Companies often require you to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in order to hold the position of a supply chain director. This could be in the field of Supply Chain Management, Logistics, or something related to either of them.

Other areas of training such as Business Administration and International Trade may be valid, depending on the type of company. It is also possible to work as a supply chain director with a background in an engineering sector.

Additionally, it is common that for this type of senior management positions, companies require postgraduate training in logistics, business administration (MBA) and relevant certifications.

Options for a few certifications in SCM (supply chain management) are as follows:

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Supply Chain Director Salary

Because of the weight of responsibility on a supply chain director’s shoulder, and considering the fact that their strategy has a great impact on the company’s final results, the salaries for these positions are usually good.

In the United States, the average salary for a supply chain manager is $175,550 per year. The base salary is around $154,072, while the highest is closer to $197,705 a year.

In Germany, the salary range for a supply chain manager is €52,000 and €85,000 whereas in the UK, the range is £83,602 and £133,362.

Ultimately, salaries depend very much on the company in question and the complexity of its supply chain, as well as the experience the professional brings to the position.

How much does a supply chain director earn?

US $154,072 – $197,705
Germany £83,602 – £133,362
UK £83,602 – £133,362

How much do freelance supply chain managers charge?

A freelance supply chain manager or supply chain director earns $106 per hour, according to the freelancermap rate index (June 2022). Taking an 8-hour workday into consideration, this translates into a daily income of $848.

Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Supply Chain Directors
Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Supply Chain Directors
Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

By Natalia Campana

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