Survival Tips for Supply Chain Professionals

Good manufacturing jobs are still abundant, but they are becoming more complex — due mainly to the increased focus on boosting productivity and efficiency — and the people who succeed in the field need advanced training, education and support.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, manufacturing output in the United States rose by 58 percent between 1993 (the year NAFTA was approved) and 2006, a greater rate of growth than the 42 percent increase in the 13 years prior to the passage of the trade deal.

As U.S. manufacturers face ever-increasing competition from the global market and a declining economy, workers need to ensure that they are secure in their jobs – and that their companies are successful.

Recently, APICS The Association for Operations Management released a report outlining the top five ways manufacturing and supply chain professionals can succeed at their jobs and gain job security:

1. Keep your training up to date

Today, businesses must have employees who are continually enhancing their knowledge and discovering new ways to execute their jobs with greater productivity and flexibility. To stay ahead of the curve on innovation, technology and best practices, make sure you are up to date on all of the training and latest certifications that are available to you. Many times, your organization will even pay for you to receive the training or latest certification you need to ensure their business stays at the forefront of technology and best practices.

2. Network

Reach out to other professionals in your field to find out what they are doing to keep ahead and succeed. Through venues like conferences, local chapters and forums, organizations like APICS provide many opportunities for professionals to network with their peers. Networking will help you keep up to date with the latest trends in your field and your expanded network of relationships will both help you succeed at work and advance your career.

3. Communicate your ideas

If you think you have a good idea to improve efficiency or productivity, the most important thing you can do is share it. Successful managers are always looking to improve efficiency and improve the bottom line and most are happy to give credit where it is due. Sharing your ideas not only lets management know you care about your job, it tells them that you are engaged and a valuable member of the team that works towards bettering the work environment and the company’s bottom line.

4. Become an expert

Today, companies are looking for motivated individuals who contribute on multiple levels. Familiarize yourself not only with what your company does, but also deepen your knowledge of the whole industry. By becoming an expert in your office on the latest trends, your competition, and the sector as a whole, you will be relied upon by your peers and management to provide valuable insight and will be on your way to becoming an indispensable part of your workplace and your organization.

5. Take pride in what you do

Now that you have invested the time to get the latest training and education, show your organization that you are proud of your accomplishments. Share your expertise with co-workers and management and accomplish your tasks knowing that everything you do reflects on you. Whether you are sharing ideas, being a mentor at work or showing others how to get the latest training and information, when you take pride in what you do, you will become a leader in the workplace and a valued member of the organization.

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