project overview

Supply chains are all around us and fundamental to how we live.  The food we eat, clothes we wear, buildings we inhabit, transport and equipment we use each and every day are all examples of how we use and benefit from multiple supply chains.

New technologies, automation, big data and sophisticated analytics are rapidly changing how supply chains operate and quickly evolving the job roles and skills needed by individual workers.  Although many of these new skills are specific to a particular industry, many are transferable between industries or different elements of a supply chain.

The Cross Sector Supply Chain Skills Project is a national initiative led by a range of unrelated industries that have come together to identify the supply chain Skill Sets common to those sectors.  By formally recognising this commonality, these industries are increasing the portability of skills and the mobility of the Australian workforce. 

The 10 new Skills Sets developed by the project now mean that those working throughout the many types of supply chains can all be skilled to the same world class standards and as a consequence, increase the efficiency and productivity right across those industries.

The Project Reference Group that led the work comprised representatives from industries including mining, business services, advanced manufacturing, printing and graphic design, transport and logistics, humanitarian aid, forestry, textiles, clothing and footwear manufacturing. 

The project has been commissioned by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) with oversight has been by the Transport and Logistics Industry Reference Committee.   Technical expertise and project management has been by Australian Industry Standards

Careers in supply chains

Supply chain roles and responsibilities now encompass a broad range of occupations such as demand planning, inventory control, customer service and fulfilment, logistics, freight, warehousing, production, planning, purchasing, sourcing, supplier management, operations, sales, IT and finance to name but a few.

Supply chain career paths are changing with plenty of new and exciting opportunities available! The development of digital systems and applications throughout the domestic and international supply chain eco system will see many more diverse and different supply chain careers becoming available.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the benefits of a diverse supply chain workforce that is well educated and technologically adept will be critical to the success of Australia’s businesses.

There are so many different types of supply chain jobs available at every level. If an exciting career with plenty of opportunities is what you want, then a career in the supply chain industry is for you! 

Manufacturing Supply chains begin with the process of manufacturing and end with consumers purchasing  products. The production environment is an important part of the supply chain so it is possible to enter the supply chain profession by way of a manufacturing job. One of the most popular roles within manufacturing is that of production manager. Among other duties, production managers are responsible for coordinating production schedules, determining how long the manufacturing process for a product will take and keeping track of  finished product inventory. Supply chain roles in manufacturing can include:
  • Engineer
  • Maintenance operative, supervisor and manager
  • Materials analyst
  • Materials scheduler
  • Production operative, supervisor and manager
  • Production planner
  • Production warehouse manager
  • Purchasing manager
  • Quality manager
Supply chain planning Planning is required at every stage of the supply chain. Planners typically monitor and manage inventories, forecast sales and production levels, undertake capacity planning, map out material requirements and track delivery performance. Planning roles available in supply chains include:
  • Capacity planner
  • Demand planner
  • Load planner
  • Logistics resource planner
  • Production planner
  • Supply chain planner
Data analysis With the increase in digital systems and applications in supply chains the analysis of all the data that is collected is going to be critical to meeting domestic and international business requirements. All of the processes involved in meeting consumer requirements will be data driven. Data analysis roles in supply chains include:
  • Data acquisition engineer
  • Data administrator
  • Data analyst
  • Data manager
  • Statistician
Procurement Procurement, including sourcing and purchasing, can provide a fantastic grounding in how sales, services, inventory management and logistics interconnect throughout supply chains. Individuals working in procurement identify and purchase raw materials needed to create products, engage in commercial negotiations over product price and supplier service, make contractual agreements with suppliers and ensure that inbound transportation of all purchased goods is achieved within required time frames. There are a variety of opportunities in supply chain procurement including:
  • Buyer
  • Category manager
  • Commodities manager
  • Procurement analyst
  • Procurement officer, manager or specialist
  • Purchasing and inventory officer or manager
  • Strategic sourcing manager
Transportation and Logistics Logistics is primarily concerned with the movement of materials, goods and information. Getting products to where they are meant to go is the main goal of a supply chain and this would not be possible without transportation. The advantage of working in logistics is that an individual can start on the warehouse floor and from there progress into other roles. It is not uncommon to find that Chief Supply Chain Officers have typically spent time managing warehouses and/or transport operations. There are a wide range of supply chain career opportunities in logistics and transportation including:
  • Driver
  • Inventory controller
  • Logistics administrator
  • Logistics analyst
  • Logistics director
  • Logistics manager
  • Reverse logistics manager
  • Transport administrator
  • Transport analyst
  • Transport manager
  • Warehouse administrator
  • Warehouse manager
  • Warehouse operative
Customer service There are customer service career opportunities in supply chains ranging from entry level through to managerial roles. Customer service roles typically have responsibility for overseeing customer and/or client levels of satisfaction and the resolution of all complaints. Customer service roles in supply chains include:
  • Account specialist
  • Customer service manager
  • Resolutions manager
Other supply chain roles Other roles in supply chains that can provide exciting and satisfying careers include:
  • Supply Chain Solution Design Analyst:  This role is responsible for analysing supply chains and designing solutions to improve their performance.
  • Supply chain Finance Management: Larger businesses may require expertise in the financial management of supply chain expenses.
  • Supply Chain IT: Larger businesses often have IT departments that provide and manage the technology for supply chain functions.
  • Sales Roles: Ocean, air and overland transportation carriers, 3PL and 4PL specialists sell their services in support of supply chain operations. A sales role requires a good understanding of every aspect of the supply chains operation.
  • Project Management: Larger businesses can have a variety of supply chain projects requiring oversight to ensure KPIs are met.
  • Supply Chain Consulting: Consulting firms that specialise in supply chains offer a diverse variety of projects for consultants to work on. Consultants are generally expected to have gained experience in supply chain management before they take on a consulting role.
Supply Chain Director/General Manager Postgraduate
Supply Chain/Logistics General Manager Postgraduate
Supply Chain/Logistics Solution Design Manager Postgraduate
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain/Logistics Chief Analyst Degree
Supply Chain Operations Manager Degree
Supply Chain Chief Officer Degree
Planning and Scheduling
Demand Manager Diploma/Degree
Demand/Inventory Planner Diploma/Degree
Supply Planner/Scheduler Diploma/Degree
Supply Chain Planner Diploma/Degree
Procurement and Purchasing
Procurement/Strategic Sourcing Director/General Manager Postgraduate
Procurement /Strategic Sourcing Manager Postgraduate
Contracts Manager Degree
Category/Commodity Manager Diploma/Degree
Purchasing/Procurement Buyer/Agent/Manager Diploma/Degree
Procurement Analyst Diploma/Degree
Buyer Diploma/Degree
Purchasing/Inventory Officer Certificate IV/Diploma
Sales Director/Manager Degree
National/State Sales Manager Degree
Marketing Manager Diploma/Degree
Contract Account Manager/Executive Diploma/Degree
E-Commerce Executive/Manager Degree
Business Development Manager Diploma/Degree
Sales/Marketing Analyst Diploma/Degree
Sales Representative Diploma
Category Executive/Analyst Degree
Retail Manager Degree/Postgraduate
State/Regional Manager Degree
Replenishment Planning Manager Degree
Space Planning Manager Diploma/Degree
Store Manager Certificate IV/Diploma
Customer Service
Call Centre Director Diploma/Degree
Call Centre Manager Diploma
Client Relationship Manager Diploma
Customer Service Operator Certificate III/IV
Freight Forwarding
Freight Forwarding Manager Diploma
Freight Scheduler Certificate IV
Freight Allocator Certificate IV
Customs Brokers
Customs Manager Diploma/Licence
Account Manager Diploma/Licence
Customs Broker Diploma/Licence
Operations Superintendent Adv. Diploma/Degree/Postgraduate
Container Terminal Manager Certificate IV/Diploma
Automation Equipment Coordinator Certificate IV/Diploma
Shift Supervisor Certificate III/IV
Vessel Planner Certificate III/IV/Diploma
Yard Planner Certificate III/IV
Stevedore Certificate II/III
Stevedore Manager Diploma
Ship to Shore Automation Coordinator Certificate II/III/Licence
Ship Master/Captain Adv. Diploma/Degree/Licence
Marine Pilot Adv. Diploma/Degree/Licence
Marine Engineer Adv. Diploma/Licence
Deck Officer Certificate IV/Diploma/Degree
Ship Planner Diploma
Integrated Rating/Deck Hand Certificate III
Operations Manager Diploma/Degree/Licence
Duty Supervisor Diploma/Degree/Licence
Load Supervisor Certificate IV/Licence
Load Assembly Officer Certificate III/Licence
Documentation Officer Certificate II/Licence
Leading Hand/Store person Certificate III/IV
Network Operations Manager Certificate IV/Diploma
Network Controller Certificate IV
Terminal Operator/Manager Diploma
Network Operations Performance Officer Degree
Train Controller/Scheduler Diploma
Train Planner Certificate IV
Freight Train Driver Certificate IV
Project Manager Diploma/Degree
Line Haul Manager Diploma/Degree
Site/Depot Manager Certificate IV/Diploma
B Double/Semi Driver Certificate III/IV/Licence
Scheduler Certificate III/IV
Allocator Certificate III/IV
Delivery Driver Certificate II
Refrigerated Vehicle Driver Certificate III/IV/Licence
Warehousing and Distribution
Network Design/Optimisation Manager Postgraduate
State/National Distribution Manager Postgraduate
Distribution Centre/Warehouse Manager Diploma/Degree
Robotics/Software Engineer Degree/Postgraduate
Logistician Diploma/Degree
Logistics Resource Planner Certificate IV/Diploma
Inventory Analyst/Manager Diploma/Degree
Transportation Data Analyst Degree/Postgraduate
Warehouse Supervisor/Leading Hand Certificate III/IV
Freight Handler Certificate II
Load Planner Certificate II/III
Warehouse Assistant/Operative Certificate II/III
Forklift Driver Licence
Transport Planner Diploma
Customer Service Officer Diploma
Stock/Inventory Controller Diploma
Import/Export Officer Diploma
Storage and Distribution Manager Degree
Manufacturing and Engineering
Operations Director/Manager Degree/Postgraduate
Maintenance Operative/Manager Diploma/Degree
Production Manager Degree
Quality Manager Degree/Postgraduate
Production/Planning Operative Diploma/Degree
Reliability Engineer Degree
Lean Specialist Degree
Process Engineer Degree
Project Engineer Degree
Shift Supervisor Certificate III/IV
Graduate Engineer Degree
Materials Planner/Manager Diploma/Degree
Financial Controller Postgraduate
Accounts Administrator/Coordinator Diploma/Degree
Commercial/Financial Analyst Degree
Management Accountant Degree
Human Resources
Human Resources/Industrial Relations Advisor/Manager Degree
Learning and Development Manager Degree/Postgraduate
Learning and Development Coordinator Diploma/Degree
Workplace Health and Safety Manager Diploma/ Adv Diploma/Degree
Work, Health and Safety Consultant Certificate IV/Diploma
Information Technology
Information Technology Manager Degree/Postgraduate
Systems/Solutions Architect Degree/Postgraduate
Business Systems/Data Analyst Degree
Systems Engineer Degree
IT Support/Database Administrator Diploma
Whilst many of the basic functions undertaken in supply chains will continue the way in which they are performed will change due to the impact of technology. The application of digital technology will impact nearly every aspect of supply chain operations. We are already seeing change, for example:
  • Purchase orders will increasingly be managed
  • Businesses will track their goods electronically to review where and how quickly or slowly they are moving.
  • Advanced robotics, particularly those within manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, means that movements will be monitored, managed and adjusted from a central control
  • Analytics and big data will enable businesses to manage and review the information provided by applications used in the supply chain.
  • Control towers will enable oversight of all operations due to end to end digital integration of supply chains.
The impact of digital technology will continue to open up many new and interesting roles in the supply chain industry…….so watch this space! Career opportunities in digital supply chains will include, but are not limited to:
  • Business Creator
  • Demand Planner
  • Digital Supply Chain Architect/Engineer
  • Digital Supply Chain Blockchain Administrator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Compliance Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Consultant
  • Digital Supply Chain Contracts Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Customer Satisfaction Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Finance Analyst
  • Digital Supply Chain Information Systems Consultant/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Operations Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Process Improvement Coordinator/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Project Officer/Manager
  • Digital Supply Chain Risk Coordinator/Manager Digital
  • Digital Supply Chain Traceability and Ethics Coordinator
  • Distribution Centre Operative/Manager
  • Global Sourcing Coordinator/Manager/Analyst Inventory Control Coordinator/Manager
  • Inventory Specialist
  • 3PL/4PL Manager (Third/Fourth Party Logistics)
  • Process Manager Procurement/Sales/Data Analyst
  • Procurement/Sourcing Operative/Manager
  • Production Planner/Customisation Manager Project Coordinator/Manager
  • Quality Assurance Assistant/Coordinator/Manager
  • Resource/Sustainability Manager
  • Robotics Operative/Coordinator
  • Specialist Autonomous Delivery Coordinator/Manager
  • Supplier Relationship/Stakeholder Coordinator/Manager
  • Supply Chain Network Planner
  • Supply Chain Operations Support
  • Supply Chain Solutions Analyst
  • Supply Chain Tower Manager (Controller)
  • Transportation Coordinator/Analyst/Manager
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone) Operator

Digital supply chains