What exactly does a Supply Chain Operations Manager do? What are their daily tasks? What challenges do they face? I’m Mahmoud Asaad, the Supply Chain Operations Manager at ROYD Tool Group and I’m going to give you a brief insight into my role.
What does a typical day look like for a Supply Chain Operations Manager?
There isn’t a single day that’s the same for me, so my role is very diverse which I like. This is because every day we do something different based on the direction that the company is heading.
Being a Supply Chain Operations Manager essentially involves managing the inbound and outbound operations and reverse logistics functions of the business. This is to ensure that the products are available in the right quality, in the right quantity, at the right price, in the right place and at the right time to meet or exceed customer demand.
This typically involves continuously looking at what challenges we are facing today and potential issues we might face a month, two months or a year from now. We try to be both proactive and reactive to what’s going on so that we ensure the safety of supply and that the product quality meets customer demand.
Typically, I start my day by looking at various metrics. Through business intelligence, I am able to measure the performance of our own operations as well as the performance of our Suppliers. Data plays a key role in decision making and we have grown ever richer by its use.
As a result, I am able to stretch the organisations boundaries and capabilities much easier. For example, when planning inventory and based on the strategic decisions made by our senior board, I am able to change structure on demand. So, what would perhaps take days can now be done within minutes.
My role requires quite a lot of planning, monitoring and re-planning which can include planning inventory, human resources, new development projects, sourcing new suppliers, inter branch transfers, warehousing and much more. Sometimes we would be working on a new assembly product that goes from country to country to subassembly and assembly and it can get quite complex when you have to plan for a constant flow for a product that goes through many transformations.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m always on a project, whether it be an exploration project to understand ourselves as a company, or an improvement project. However, a few projects I’m currently working on at the moment are digital transformation of the business, new product launches for 2021, new carrier integrations and continued EDI and API developments. This is for the communication between systems on a B2B basis and it’ something we’re always striving to improve.
What skills do you need to become a Supply Chains Operation Manager?
In order to perform very well in this role, there are four core areas you should have a great understanding of. These include an understanding of operations management, logistics management, procurement and statistics. And of course, supply chain management which encompasses all of them. And if you understand a bit of IT then you can be a master.
In my view there are sub disciplines which are also crucial to the role, such as analytics. You want to know when things go wrong, and you want to know immediately. Therefore, knowing how to structure and connect data points live is quite helpful.
Business process management is another key element to the role. Every business has processes and mapping your most important processes will help you in business improvement projects. the subject bridges the language barrier between business and IT.
Project management is just as important too because you’re always keeping busy with different business initiatives.
What do you like most about your role?
Everyday I’m faced with new challenges and each day becomes more complex and demanding, but that’s what makes my role amazing. My role is very dynamic so managing my time and allocating the attention to the right areas at the right time is very important.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to do your role?
One piece of advice I would give to anyone looking to do this role is continuous learning. Once you’ve graduated from University and have a business background, that doesn’t mean it’s the end. This role is a real marathon and it’s a very big subject, so you really need to understand multiple disciplines in order to be good at it.
Secondly, be courageous! This role will require you to step out of your comfort zone all of the time and take decisions that you have never probably taken before. Embrace it, you’re not always going to have the same tasks and ultimately you will develop good intuition.
Be a responsible leader. You will bear great responsibility and like all difficult positions it will require sacrifice, be ready.
Finally, look for ethical and sustainable business models as a true goal. A business organisation if for profit does not necessarily mean that profit is its only aim. We nurture and help grow our communities and those of our partners providing a benefit to society.
Want to get an insight into other roles? Take a look at Christine’s Day in the Life as an Internal Sales Manager.
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