Customer Supply Manager

Customer Supply Manager jobs

Maintaining a supply of stock is vital in retail and manufacturing. With retail, a lack of stock can result in empty shelves or inability to monopolise on promotions. In manufacturing, failure to supply vital components can bring a production line to a halt, with potentially disastrous results for supplier and manufacturer alike.

The customer supply manager’s job will be at the bare minimum to ensure that such events never happen. But it will also be about much more. It will be to ensure regular and timely delivery to meet the customer’s needs, communicate with the customer regularly to be updated on shifting needs which can either be predictable (e.g. seasonal demand or national festivals) or in reasonably short timeframes (e.g. something sparked by unseasonable weather or product recall replenishments). It will also to ensure that efficiency is built into the whole process.

Modern supply management can involve a good deal of automated ordering via direct-channel communication between sales departments, stock rooms and supplier. It is still essential to keep on top of the supply needs and manage forecasts and fine-tuning however, and since this might form only a part of the supply effort, there could be a good deal of juggling between this and the traditional means of identifying supply needs.

The skills required

With regular contact with customers an essential part of the job, the customer supply manager will need to possess first rate communication skills over any channel or face to face. Errors in ordering that are down to bad communication or overly complex instructions will not be tolerated in almost any supplier/customer relationship.

Since you might have a good deal of autonomy in the role, you’ll need to demonstrate an ability to make actionable decisions and see them through to fulfilment without constant reference to senior management. In high volume customer supply, such as in supermarkets, the supplied goods could be diverse and numerous, so you’ll need to be on top of all their stats from an early stage.

You’ll also need to be completely at ease using software solutions that are relevant to the type of supply you’ll be engaged with. A good all-round ability to pick up and master novel IT solutions will stand you in good stead, as many suppliers will have their own systems in operation.

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