What Six Supply Chain Professionals Wished They Learned in School

To help students prepare for supply chain careers, Stukent asked six professionals the following question: “What do you wish you learned in school for your supply chain career?” From proper negotiation techniques to managing warehouse inventory, IT, and more, there are many things students can learn now that will help them in their future careers.

The top six things supply chain experts which they had learned in school include:

  1. Negotiation
  2. Global Trade and Its Impact
  3. IT and Automation
  4. Supplementary Courses
  5. More Case Studies, More Real-time Examples
  6. Managing Warehouse Inventory

Read on for their industry insights!

1. Negotiation

I wish that I had taken a negotiation class. Negotiation skills are essential to success in any career, but they are especially important for supply chain professionals. 

Supply chain managers are constantly involved in negotiations with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. These negotiations are often complex and delicate, and they can have a significant impact on the success of a supply chain.

A good negotiator can think strategically and creatively, remain calm and focused, and employ the right principles to achieve good agreements. They can also communicate effectively and work efficiently. Negotiation skills are crucial to the success of a supply chain, and I wish I had learned more about this important aspect of the business while I was in school.

Although I have learned much on the job in working with suppliers and customers, I believe that a formal education in negotiation would have been extremely beneficial.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

2. Global Trade and Its Impact

With the globalization of business, understanding global trade has become increasingly important for supply chain professionals. 

The rules and regulations governing international trade can have a significant impact on supply chain operations, and it is important to be familiar with them in order to avoid delays or disruptions. It would be helpful if supply chain management programs include courses on global trade and its impact on supply chains.

Martin Seeley, CEO, Mattress Next Day

3. IT and Automation

I was a supply chain specialist for the better part of a decade. One thing I wish I had learned in school was how to stay updated on IT and automation knowledge. 

In my career, I have found that keeping up with the latest technology is essential for supply chain success. By understanding the capabilities of new software and hardware, I can make informed decisions about how to improve my company’s operations. 

Additionally, knowing how to use new tools can help me optimize processes and save time. As the industry continues to grow, I believe it is important to invest in lifelong learning in order to be successful in supply chain management.

Derek Bruce, Sr. Director, Skills Training Group

4. Supplementary Courses

The supply chain is very complex and comprises many branches. The more knowledge you have in each of these branches will be an edge to your supply chain career. This will open up more opportunities and make tasks easier to tackle.

Take courses in different fields. Programming and computer-related skills can go a long way, especially in this booming digital age. Having these supplementary skills in your pocket at an early stage can propel your career forward like a rocket.

Dov Breuer, COO, Fixlers

5. More Case Studies, More Real-time Examples

I wish I visited more companies to learn about the professional work environment and gain useful insights into the complex situations that arise daily in the field of supply chain.

An internship would have come in handy to get hands-on experience or real supply chain challenges.

Owais Ahmed Khan, Group Senior Manager Supply Chain, Naveena Group

6. Managing Warehouse Inventory

The thing I wish I had known in school is how to manage warehouse inventory. In college, we were taught how to handle inventory and when to order more, but they did not teach us how to manage it in the warehouse. There is a big difference between working the stock in the warehouse and the office.

Warehouse inventory is an essential part of the supply chain. You need to make sure that you have enough inventory in your warehouse. If you need more stock, use your warehouse space for storage, and it will take you more time to get your order through. Having too much inventory becomes a big problem because you will have to find a way to move it.

Kristian Longden, Content Marketing Executive, James and James eCommerce Fulfillment

It’s never too late to start preparing for the future! Whether you’re a student getting ready to graduate or a professor who teaches supply chain, Stukent can help with two new supply chain courseware that provide real-world applications and hands-on experience.

To learn more about Stukent’s supply chain products, visit our website.

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