What Qualifications are needed to work in the Purchasing and Supply Chain Industry?
Vacancies in the Purchasing and Supply Chain industry are open to all, but it’s common to hold a degree, an HND (Higher National Degree), or a foundation degree in a relevant subject such as:
Supply Chain Management
Transport, Distribution or Logistics
Starting salaries for supply chain managers are between £20,000 and £25,000. With increased responsibility and managerial duties, salaries can increase to between £25,000 and £45,000. Larger companies may pay more and advancing will depend on experience. Middle to senior managers can earn up to £60,000. Top executives and directors, at the most senior level, can earn more than £100,000 annually.
You can enter the industry through a variety of career pathways. There are entry opportunities through standard apprentices, as well as a wide range of degree apprentice roles. From here, you can progress across all sectors to senior management and to board level. The sector is characterised by career pathways that lead directly to senior management roles for those who have the right skills and determination.
There are postgraduate degrees available in transport planning, supply chain management and logistics. Qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) or the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK) might be necessary to advance your career. CIPS run qualification and training programmes equipping new students with the knowledge and skills needed to practice proficiently, successfully and confidently.
Level 2: GCSEs (5 C-A*)
Level 3-4: A-Level, BTEC, Diploma, Apprenticeship
Level 5-6: Degree Apprenticeship, University Degree, Foundation Degree, HND, Intermediate Professional Qualifications
Level 7: Masters Degree, Institute Membership – CIPS, CILT.
Become a Purchasing & Supply Chain PROFESSIONAL
A purchasing and supply manager, a business service buyer, or procurement professional purchase goods and services and take a strategic approach to business goals. Whatever the organisation needs – whether it’s raw materials for manufacture, obtaining marketing services or getting more profitable agreements in place, it is their responsibility to get the best goods, at the best price, while maintaining good relationships with suppliers in a sustainable and ethical way.
A day in the life of A PURCHASING & SUPPLY CHAIN PROFESSIONAL
Your tasks will vary depending on which sector you work in, but typically include:
Deciding what goods, services and equipment is needed
Monitoring and forecasting stock levels
Researching and identifying new products and suppliers
Assessing tenders from potential suppliers
Negotiating prices and agreeing contracts
Making sure that suppliers deliver on time
Processing payments and invoices
Keeping up with market trends
Managing and motivating a team of supply chain staff
Improving the overall supply chain performance and look for any possible innovations to the process
Implementing new technologies and staying alert to new trends in the sector.