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Careers in Supply Chain & Procurement | Distinct Recruitment

Careers in Supply Chain & Procurement

If you’re looking for roles within an industry that has ever-evolving job prospects, supply chain and procurement offer a breadth of opportunities. From entry-level positions and graduate roles to management and senior management jobs, this rapidly changing industry welcomes a wealth of skills and levels of experience.

Roles within supply chain and procurement are equally as diverse, covering planning, sourcing, storage, production and logistics - and they’re available in a wide range of sectors.

With the arrival of Covid, supply chain’s vital role in the movement and availability of goods has underlined just how essential its workers are. One example of this is Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), which covers high-demand items such as food and cosmetics.

Often, for many of the candidates we meet, supply chain and procurement was rarely discussed at school or college as a potential career option, however, with the ongoing growth of online retail there is an increasing need for sector specialists.

Read on to find out more about career opportunities within supply chain and procurement. We’ll be answering questions such as:


  • What types of jobs are in the supply chain?

  • Are supply chain jobs in demand?

  • What are entry-level supply chain jobs?

  • What supply chain jobs are available for recent graduates?

  • What are the highest paying supply chain jobs?

  • Is supply chain management a good career?

  • Why choose a career in supply chain management?


Alternatively, visit our candidate hub to find out how our specialists can help find your next career move in supply chain and procurement.


What types of jobs are in the supply chain?


Supply chain and procurement can provide vital support for an operation, ensuring its efficient day-to-day function across purchasing, manufacturing and distribution.

Supply chain covers a variety of crucial roles throughout a business’ entire operation; from the shop floor of a warehouse to the distribution centre or manufacturing line, through to the office, where the sourcing of goods, forecasting and planning of deliveries takes place.

One of the major functions of the supply chain is the movement of goods from A to B. This can include the delivery of parts or ingredients for manufacturing onsite, or delivery to end-users. This requires in-depth planning to ensure efficiency and meet tight deadlines.

The types of roles and opportunities in supply chain and procurement that we currently recruit for at Distinct Recruitment include:

Supply Chain Planning – ensuring the efficient sourcing and delivery of goods

Demand Planning & Forecasting – balancing the supply and demand of products 

Production Planning – utilising facilities and personnel to maximise capacity and efficiency

Materials Planning – the balancing of inventory with production levels

Merchandising – making goods available to consumers

Logistics Management – the planning and delivery of freight

Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) – covers various aspects of the supply chain, including marketing, production and new product introduction

Procurement & Purchasing – sourcing all the goods a business needs to function effectively

Retail Buying & Sourcing – identifying, evaluating and buying products for in-store and ecommerce

Supplier Management – ensuring cost efficiencies and compliance across supplier contracts

Category Management – delivering a segmented approach to procurement for greater efficiency


Are supply chain jobs in demand?


In the UK, supply chain and procurement are seeing something of a jobs boom right now, partly due to our increasing reliance on ecommerce. As of 2021, online shopping accounts for 30% of total retail sales, up from just 21.8% in 2019, according to figures from Statista, increasing the number of vacancies in manufacturing, distribution and logistics.

This has led to a growth in demand for a variety of skills within the industry. To ensure supply meets demand, the number of roles within data analysis, management and forecasting have increased, as the need to optimise businesses for efficiency has placed greater emphasis on digital knowledge and experience.

In addition, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the impact the goods and services they use have on the planet and the conditions of workers around the world. As a result, the supply chain now has a greater impact on sales, marketing and brand perception, leading to more rigorous compliance and sourcing procedures.


What supply chain jobs are available for recent graduates?


Junior roles within supply chain and procurement that are ideal for graduates include; retail buying and sourcing, procurement and purchasing, and merchandising. These types of roles allow individuals to get to grips with the processes and challenges involved in the supply chain, whilst also helping to develop essential skills such as planning and communication.

Many large businesses now provide graduate schemes that deliver on the job training to equip candidates with the skills and knowledge they need to take on management roles.

At Distinct Recruitment, we have in-depth knowledge of the industry and strong relationships with key employers in the East Midlands and the South, which enables us to help recent graduates find roles in the sector.

Contact Joel Stevenson to request our supply chain CV template, and check out our Jobs Board for the latest vacancies.


What are the highest paying supply chain jobs?


The highest paying jobs within the supply chain and procurement include:

  • Purchasing Manager

  • Compliance Manager

  • Demand & Planning Analysts

Roles in procurement are increasingly focused on efficiency and sustainability. This includes sourcing solutions to reduce product packaging and more renewable packaging options, transport planning that maximises efficiency, identifying ways to reduce fuel usage and changing to more sustainable forms of transport. 

Ever-changing demands from consumers mean they want faster delivery than ever before, with the option to access reliable tracking and visibility on goods they have purchased online. As a result, this places greater emphasis on the need for developing robust IT solutions and reliable forecasting procedures.


Is supply chain management a good career?


Supply management requires a versatile skillset and provides ample opportunities for progression. Around two million people in the UK work in logistics and supply chain management - that’s one in 12 of the working population. The growth of the sector as a whole also makes it a reliable career path that continues to develop and innovate. 

It is an attractive sector in which to build a rewarding career, with numerous opportunities for personal growth and development. The industry offers training opportunities at various levels, which is ideal for those who prefer on the job training and upskilling to classroom learning.

Take a look at our Jobs Board to see the variety of roles we recruit for in this sector. Or, to find out more about the opportunities and benefits of working in supply chain management, read Why You Should Consider a Career in Procurement from our Head of Supply Chain & Procurement Recruitment, Joel Stevenson.


Why choose a career in the supply chain?


There is a role for every skillset within supply chain and procurement, from entry-level positions for school and college leavers and graduates, to experienced senior-level positions. Individuals with any of the following skills will find themselves at home working in the supply chain:

Problem-solvers – the best-laid plans can go awry at any time. From late deliveries to damaged goods, supply chain management requires a cool head and excellent problem-solving skills to keep everything from production to distribution operating to strict deadlines.

Negotiators – a key skill required for many workers in the supply chain to ensure cost efficiencies across an operation is negotiation. Strong communication skills help to get the very best results when dealing with suppliers, buyers, and customers. 

Analysts – planning and forecasting are vital components in the efficient management of the supply chain in order to effectively balance supply and demand. Every purchasing decision impacts profitability, and analysts provide the insight needed to keep operations to budget. 

Detail driven – every operation requires compliance management to ensure it adheres to health and safety regulations, but also meets its own targets and policies. A keen eye for detail can help to identify areas where improvements are needed, and the actions required to make them. 

Contact us to find out how we can help you find rewarding supply chain jobs. Is your CV a bit outdated? We’ve got you covered. Get in touch with Joel Stevenson, our Head of Supply Chain & Procurement Recruitment, to request a CV template to get started.

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