Learning supply chain: a student's perspective
We talk to Aaron about why he chose to study supply chain management and how it's expanding his career.
The demand for qualified professionals in supply chain is growing fast in Australia and globally. As well as playing an important role in driving efficiencies across any business’s value chain, in an increasingly digitised economy, employment opportunities are opening even more.
For Aaron, whose role is primarily logistics-based, working in procurement for bulk earthworks projects, supply chain was something he knew little about but wanted to understand better while increasing his skill base and career options.
“It's very easy to work in a particular role without fully understanding the ramifications of what's going on around you. Knowing how supply chain works allows you to understand processes at a wider level and you can say, right, that relates to that, and so on. You can see the start point and the end point as opposed to just directly what you're focusing on.”
Enrolling in the Professional Certificate in Supply Chain management – which provides a foundational understanding of the supply chain discipline, now and into the future – was a way to do that.
Delivered fully online, the course covers how to set up and operate supply chains for maximum efficiency, value creation within the supply chain, challenges and decisions around technology, procurement and culture.
One of the things he’s enjoying most is the focus the course places on sustainability and ethics.
“There is endless pressure to make things cheaper and more available. That often comes from price pressure all the way down the supply chain, which means less, and less money gets back to the other end. A very big issue and a popular topic now in supply chain management is how we look after the people on the other end.
“In this course we’ve been focusing on this social element a lot. If clothing is produced in Africa, for example, it might then go to China, or Europe, then Australia, America. We learn how to make sure the people all along the supply change aren't being taken advantage of to a point where it's not sustainable, and they can survive.”
Gaining an understanding of the wider supply chain has also been a major benefit. “Before, I had a limited understanding, but I can now place what I'm doing and what my contribution is into a larger context. This is probably one of the most valuable things for me.”
The course has also boosted Aaron’s confidence, which is helping him participate in high level conversations in his current role. “I'm now happy contributing to complex, big picture conversations because I know my knowledge base is stable, and that I have a very valid contribution.”
In one tangible example, new knowledge allowed him to input into conversations with management about how contracts are structured. “I suggested introducing incentives as a way to add more to our business. The knowledge I gained in contract negotiations was particularly useful.”
In terms of career enhancement, Aaron sees the course expanding his options. “Right now I work in a service-based supply chain, directly with our customers. So, learning the manufacturing side means in the future, if I decide to move into a different role, or a different industry, my options are certainly more open.
"Understanding the wider supply chain and the bigger picture has also encouraged me to think about my own role and whether I want to expand where I'm going or change direction.
“Any business that delivers a service or produces a product will have, or contribute to, some form of supply chain so it's a very multi-modal discipline. The knowledge from this course can be applied anywhere. I've actually discovered a real passion for it.”
If you want to move into the supply chain and logistics field, or accelerate your career trajectory in the sector, this certificate equips you with the toolkit you need.
Apply for the Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management now.