Supply Chain Consulting Career: 5 Steps to Success

To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, small and medium-sized manufacturers, distributors, and retailers often seek outside help from consultants. They are likely overloaded with operational details and need help with inventory strategies, warehouse locations, and transportation management needs. This is where the supply chain consultant steps in.

Consultants are needed to help clients manage their supply chain needs – planning sourcing, manufacture, delivery, and return of their products. A supply chain consulting career is great for business professionals with experience in supply chain/logistics, manufacturing, distribution, or retail industries. They should also have strong technical skills and a desire to own their own business.

Leverage Your Experience

Many supply chain executives gain their experience from the ground up, learning every aspect and challenge of their company’s supply chain. You know the reality of negotiating last-minute order changes due to new customer requests, building a budget, and reviewing network structures for new emerging markets.

Military veterans who gained valuable logistics skills while serving their country also may want to continue their careers in the supply chain industry. Veterans have on-the-ground experience that can easily transition to a consulting business.

The experience you bring to the table is a valuable tool for your success in a supply chain consulting career. The next step is to support that experience with comprehensive technology.

Embrace Technology

You don’t need to be an IT wizard, but you do need to embrace the importance of technology and its application in business. Technology is the key to helping your clients develop cost-effective solutions for the different functions that make up their supply chain. That includes warehousing, purchasing, and distribution. Clients need consultants to help them find ways to improve operational effectiveness and profitability.

Supply chain software has become the driving force to help clients develop cost-effective solutions for the different functions that make up their supply chain. Many supply chains represent a delicate balancing act, so it is crucial that you know how any change on your side will affect other parts of the organization

Nexterus is one such provider that is changing the game for supply chain consultants. They are an industry leader in evaluating available supply chain resources and how well they’re being utilized, how a business is structured, and how to best maximize those resources. Their exclusive Fusion Center proprietary supply chain management software platform helps supply chain consultants understand the needs of their clients and make them more profitable. It provides an automated way to strategically manage all product movement around the globe. Fusion Center is a centralized hub for all quoting of freight, automatic dispatch, and state of the art tracking. Using all modes, all directions, client’s rates or Nexterus’ rates – get the best of both worlds!

Identify Supply Chain Opportunities in Your Network

Turn your expertise into profits by tapping into your community and professional network. Opportunities exist in all kinds of businesses, professional associations, and local communities. Ask former coworkers, LinkedIn connections, family, and friends for referrals. This can help you develop a list of potential clients for a successful supply chain consulting career.

You may want to start with an industry you’re familiar with like retail, manufacturing, distribution, or the finance sector, as CPA’s/Bankers have connections with companies you’d be servicing! After getting a foothold consulting in an industry where you have lots of experience, start looking for similar opportunities in other industries and expand your supply chain network.

Follow Trends in the Supply Chain Market

In today’s economic environment, businesses are under pressure to contain costs and produce results despite challenging circumstances. As a supply chain leader, focusing on how the industry is changing will help you be prepared when a client wants to expand their business. Market requirements, regulations, technology, and business objectives can all change frequently, transforming supply chain roles as a result.

As a supply chain consultant, you can help customers transform their businesses, rather than simply improving operations. That means keeping up-to-date on philosophies, methods, and processes that will make your organization best-in-class. Don’t get too comfortable with the status quo. Stay on your toes to help customers pursue more profitable opportunities when they arise.

Partner with a Respected Organization

Supply chain management is so important because modern commerce exists in a networked global economy. If you want to start a supply chain consulting business, but don’t want to strike out on your own, you may want to find partners who can help you develop a business plan to serve as your guide to success.

Now could be the time to explore a supply chain franchise. As a franchise owner with Nexterus, you are part of a larger team that has been providing solutions and expertise since 1946. Their business model includes proprietary technology, ongoing training, help with marketing, lead generation, and sales support.