Welcome to the Project Economy! Products aren’t made, packaged and stored in one place anymore. They’re built in pieces all over the world, and the parts, packaging and people come together in many different ways. To keep up, Project-ready companies need people who constantly scout out new sources for materials and components, and connect company supply lines on the fly to keep costs low and turnaround fast. The agile supply chain worker keeps on top of this creative chaos, and continuously tweaks the company’s inputs and outputs. “Agile” in this case refers to the supply chains that can quickly respond to any changes in order to speed up delivery for customers.
Building customizable products is the new reality in the global marketplace, where Beijing and Toronto are ‘right next door’ in cyberspace and shipping costs are low. 3D printing works for some products, but the majority of consumer goods are still manufactured—just not in the traditional way. This week it might be cheaper to import train wheels from Kazakhstan than to build them here. Next week may be different. It’s a demanding but creative and rewarding job.
You can qualify for this role by studying Supply Chain Management or Transportation and Logistics at an accredited business school. You might study freight logistics, logistics operations, purchasing and supply, or come to the position real-world experience gained through a junior management position.