Anyone interested in a career in any business could be a candidate for supply chain or operations management job. Every company that manufactures goods has a sales force, an accounting department, buyers, inventory control, customer service and shipping departments. All of these jobs and more are available in supply chain and operations.
The general idea about supply chains is that they involve raw materials brought into a plant, sent through a manufacturing line and then shipped to a customer. These are far from the only functions in a complex system today. IT experts, software users and programmers, logistics specialists and human resource managers are all part of today’s supply chain. Every one of those jobs represents a large number of entry level personnel who started answering phones or working on a machine.
To get the best idea of what happens in manufacturing, get involved with the machine line. Engineered products today are built using state-of-the-art, computer programmed milling and drilling machines, turret lathes and combination grinders. The materials and coatings used in cutting tools are revolutionary. There is a science in creating and mixing coolants for cutting and grinding exotic materials.
These machinery jobs are excellent starting points. Training is excellent in schools prior to employment and on the floor as a new worker. Still, manufacturing jobs have become fewer in this country, in nearly every industry. There are coalitions of business leaders today ready to try to “reshore” manufacturing jobs lost during the last three decades overseas, especially from China. These business people have gone to great lengths to prove that goods can be made competitively and much more safely in the United States.
When they add all the costs, including the cost for personnel, which is much more in the U.S., these people insist that products and the companies who make them are more effective and secure onshore.
The Reshoring Initiative (1) is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing back manufacturing and the jobs that go with it. This group lists and explains the reasons for reshoring various industries. This January, a group led by founder Harry Moser met at the White House to present a forum for American manufacturing. Stating that sending more jobs to China helps create waste, fraud and insecurity. China is well known for toxic products and lax regulations, as well as severe human rights violations. The big point, however, is that we can actually produce better products at competitive prices, all while employing Americans.
So, anyone starting out in business should take a positive attitude toward manufacturing with them on their job search. Car companies in particular have rebuilt and built new plants in several areas of the country. Along with direct automotive jobs come thousands of first and second tier jobs with companies of all kinds, making brakes and lights and more.
Hopefully, we are looking at a new era of competitive American manufacturing based on quality and technology. Our science and industry history has always led the world. Our military is the finest in the world due in large part to our untouchable manufactured equipment. Bringing manufacturing back could be the piece of the puzzle that starts another American industrial century.
To learn more about career in operations management here is a link to our recent article on MBA and its effect on earnings vs experience.
Operations Manager.com Education Specialist