For those looking for lots of opportunity and action, supply chain management is a terrific focus for an IT career. Gartner estimates that the total supply chain management market for software topped $13 billion in 2017, up 11 percent from 2016. This includes an abundance of software applications designed for the supply chain, the web of vendors and suppliers who design, build, ship, and deliver component parts and finished goods of all kinds.
IT professionals can find jobs in managing systems and tracking activity, quality, and schedules across the entire supply chain. Plus, there is plenty more work to be found building and maintaining systems to manage that supply chain, from raw materials all the way to post-delivery customer support and service.
In general, supply chain management (usually abbreviated as SCM) breaks down into several separate but interlocking disciplines, including:
- Planning and procurement
- Logistics analytics
- Visualization and reporting
- Sales and operations
Throughout the entire SCM lifecycle, analytics (big data) plays an important role. Such analytics support improved strategic decision-making, help organizations improve their market positions, and offer optimized returns on investment that often lead to accelerated growth and higher profits. Because there’s big money in the supply chain, there’s also lots of opportunity, particularly for those who possess the technical skills to extract analytical insights from the wealth of data involved.
When evaluating prospective SCM IT candidates, employers increasingly look to certification as a measure of interest and excellence as well as a commitment to formal processes and quality controls. In this article, we dig into five SCM-related certifications we consider to be leaders in this field today. They are: