Supply Chain Jobs & Their Descriptions

Part 3 of our 4-part series. A List of Supply Chain Management Jobs and Their Duties


As the world's supply chains have evolved, so too has the role of the supply chain professional. Where in the past a new job candidate may have been a warehouse manager, transportation manager, or logistics manager, the job titles have since expanded. There are even some degrees and certifications you can acquire to advance your career or get started in this growing industry. Here's a laundry list of logistics and supply chain career opportunities (and their job duties) that are now categorized under supply chain management (SCM):

Entry Level Supply Chain Jobs

Inventory Clerk 

  • Maintains a record of materials that are stored in a warehouse or distribution center
  • Receives and counts items as they are placed into the firm's inventory 
  • Compares item quantities that are physically present in the warehouse to that facility's inventory records 
  • Labels the stock using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, paper tags, or other type of labeling equipment 

Production Clerk

  • Helps company stick to production schedule by organizing and expediting the workflow
  • Develops and shares production schedules
  • Develops and distributes work orders to their respective departments
  • Expedites the delivery or distribution of supplies in order to speed up the material flow

Supply Chain & Logistics (SCL) Coordinator

  • Coordinates the order flow of all domestic and international shipments 
  • Utilizes the company's warehouse management system (WMS) to oversee the movement and storage of goods in the facility
  • Oversees the staging, scheduling, and documentation of all imported and exported goods
  • Develops strong lines of communication with carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders 

Supply Chain & Logistics (SCL) Customer Service Rep

  • Handles inbound customer service calls and emails
  • Helps customer solve their logistics, shipping, and fulfillment issues
  • Serves as the “front line” between the company and its valued customers
  • Uses a variety of computer programs including Microsoft Office and Excel, as well as online communication tools like chatrooms

Mid-Level Supply Chain Management Jobs

Import/Export Specialist

  • Facilitates cross-border shipments 
  • Ensures that shipments adhere to customs regulations
  • Tracks and documents shipments 
  • Counsels companies on issues like tariffs, insurance, and quotas

Logistics Analyst

  • Analyzes supply chain processes
  • Identifies areas ripe for optimization and improvement
  • Gathers, organizes, and shares logistics information
  • Examines transportation costs and finds areas where they can be cut

Supply Chain and Logistics (SCL) Sourcing Specialist

  • Facilitates an efficient product and service sourcing process for the organization
  • Advises and consults with the company and works with upper-level staff members to develop efficient supply chain sourcing strategies
  • Builds relationship with suppliers
  • Negotiates costs and develops contracts/agreements that ultimately help their companies be more profitable and successful

Supply Chain and Logistics (SCL) Transportation Specialist

  • Leads operations for organizations that provide transportation services
  • Heads up strategic transportation initiatives for retail or wholesale fulfillment operations
  • Selects carriers, transportation routes, and other key aspects of getting shipments from the warehouse dock door out to the customers' locations
  • Negotiates rates and terms with transportation providers (trucks, ocean carriers, and air freight providers)

Upper-Level Supply Chain Management Positions

Purchasing Agent or Buyer

  • Researches, evaluates and buys products
  • Procure goods to either use in their firm’s everyday operations to sell to customers
  • Does the legwork and research needed to be able to cost-effectively buy large quantities of products needed to fulfill the firm’s business model
  • Creates purchase orders and negotiates price points

Distribution Manager

  • Directly oversees the company's storage and/or distribution operations
  • Recruits and trains warehouse personnel
  • Develops warehouse safety policies and procedures
  • Enables the smooth flow of goods within the facility (from receipt of goods until the product leaves the facility)

Operations Manager

  • Manages the overall operations for private or public companies
  • Coordinates production, sales, and distribution
  • Measures operational productivity
  • Identifies potential cost reductions 

Supply Chain Manager

  • Procures parts and raw materials needed to produce the company's goods
  • Evaluates suppliers and negotiates contracts with vendors 
  • Controls inventory levels for cost effectiveness 
  • Negotiates shipping prices and transportation arrangements with contracted providers

Industries that Employ Supply Chain Professionals

If you're wondering which industries are hiring supply chain and logistics professionals right now, the answer is “nearly all of them.” Whether you want to provide blockchain expertise to a healthcare organization, streamline an e-commerce company's end-to-end supply chain, or help an oil and gas firm create a more environmentally-sustainable business approach, you have plenty of options in front of you. 

And, thanks to advancements in digital technology and an increased focus on supply chain risk and globalization, supply chains are expanding in scope and the need for top talent has increased with it. With big data driving insights, many companies are seeking analysts with mathematical and data driven backgrounds to determine how to best use data to predict trends. [1]

This all points to even more opportunity for new and existing supply chain and logistics professionals who are exploring their career options.

The APICS study focuses on understanding the common career pathways. The study calls for an analysis of backgrounds, education, job experiences, and responsibilities of supply chain professionals. The results, as seen in the Infographic: Paths to becoming a supply chain manager, reveal that there are many ways to gain the knowledge required for a supply chain manager position. It turns out that successful supply chain professionals come from varied backgrounds with diverse levels of education and experience.

Negotiating Your Salary

Congratulations—you got a job offer! You made a great impact, had a successful interview, worked with a recruiter, or used another strategy to make it over the finish line. Now it's time to negotiate your salary. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Don't rush in too soon. Make sure you understand all the details of the job offer.
  • Understand your worth, based on your experience level, the organization's size and budget, and your geographical location. 
  • Find out how much the job itself is worth. By researching related salaries, for example, you can be prepared to state your case and get a reasonable offer. 
  • Don't just focus on salary alone. Be sure to factor in benefits too. A good health plan, for example, may be more valuable to you than a few thousand dollars in salary. 
  • When you sit down to negotiate, convey the value you'll bring to the organization (versus talking about how much money you “need”). 
  • Ask for the offer summary in writing (including any revisions you may discuss on the phone or in person). 

Remember that during the negotiation process your goal is to get paid appropriately for your experience and skills, while your employer will likely want to pay the lowest possible salary for the highest-value employee. You'll have to meet somewhere in the middle, so put your best foot forward during this back-and-forth process and you'll come out a winner. 

Work With Us

If you are interested in searching available supply chain jobs or learning more about how to work with a recruiter to find the SCM job you are looking for – we have you covered at Ajilon.


[1] Burnson, Patrick, High Demand for Supply Chain Professionals in the Manufacturing and Retail Industries, SupplyChain24/7,

Advice and Resources

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