Supply Chain Management: a Prospective Career

Mobile technology has enabled online transactions to be processed quickly and easily at any time and place. It is inevitable that companies will continue to expand their online business. To succeed in the online market, business owners must ensure that the quality, specifications, availability, and delivery of their products meet the consumers’ expectations.

They need a system that can integrate the flow of information and the flow of products across their operation network, from the raw material producers, manufacturers, distributors, down to the retailers. Such system is known as Supply Chain Management (SCM).

No SCM, No Online Business

The Internet enables us to easily and accurately locate the best raw material producers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for a certain product. The Internet also allows fast and accurate delivery of information across the business network. Together with the advancement of logistics and transportation systems, products can now be purchased, produced, stored, and sold anywhere globally.

However, integrating a business network that consists of geographically spread companies requires a wide range of management skills. Companies need to have people who have the ability to design, plan, execute, and monitor the supply chain processes. These areas of expertise have evolved into a specialized field called Supply Chain Management (SCM).

The field of SCM has a very promising career in the future not only because it supports the growing online businesses that currently dominate the world’s economy but also because it is practically the backbone of almost all kinds of product-based (non service) businesses. Since SCM entails four major processes: sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and storage, professionals in this area also have a vast range of career options.

The rapid growth of online business has made skills in SCM very important for young people who wish to become the online entrepreneurs in the future. JNE, one of Indonesia’s largest logistic companies, generated more than Rp. 2.5 trillion of revenue last year with at least 60% of it coming from the online business (Asperindo), demonstrating the significant impact of online business to the SCM industry in general.

Career Prospect: SCM

SCM businesses, particularly logistics, promises a huge potential revenue of Rp. 2,000 trillion nationwide, but the current actual revenue is a mere Rp. 300 trillion, indicating plenty of room to grow. It is widely expected that the development of creative industries, online businesses, and the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would drive the SCM industry to grow between 15 and 20% per year. The Indonesian Logistics Association estimates that up to 17,000 people are needed to fill positions in the supply chain management and logistics industry every year.

Despite the huge demand, there has been almost no university in Indonesia that accommodates the need. Envisioning such big opportunity, Institut Teknologi Harapan Bangsa (ITHB) responded by opening the first IT-based Supply Chain Management undergraduate or Sarjana (S1) program in Indonesia. Not only does this program offer professional certification acknowledged by international logistics associations and collaboration with the industry, but it is also taught by widely experienced practitioners and academicians under the supervision of the Harapan Bangsa Industrial Engineering Department, which currently ranks the national top five (LKTI-UI 2016). The strong ties with the ITHB’s well known IT programs made the new SCM program very strong in terms of the development of skills to integrate product and information flows, which are the most essential elements of future businesses.

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