Key competencies & skills for new era Supply Chain Managers

Ian Murphy 10.03.2017

Over the last 18 months we have seen a consistency in the requirements for Supply Chain Managers develop.

As companies continue to invest in their supply chain teams, a core set of competencies are essential for the success of the applicant for the role. Companies are now screening for these 9 competencies when conducting interviews. 

These core competencies are in high demand and those who master all of them are set up for success. 

Companies are now looking for a core set of 9 skills: 

  • Project management
  • Technical understanding
  • Cost accounting skills
  • Ability to understand financial statements
  • Understanding of E-business / E-procurement systems
  • Troubleshooting, problem solving
  • Understanding of cross-cultural / global issues
  • Business ethics
  • Understanding of the legal issues involved in managing contracts


This list is also supplemented by soft skills such as:

  • Ability to communicate effectively through presentations, email, one-on-one, and team discussion
  • Ability to logically organise thoughts
  • Ability as a natural facilitator to enable team-based decisions
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Understanding of customer’s expectations
  • Vision – creating the environment
  • Desire to learn
  • Ability to present oneself with confidence
  • Ability to think on ones feet
  • Ability to pass on knowledge and mentoring


While most Supply Chain Managers have some of these competencies, very few have perfected all of these. Those who have mastered this skill-set are progressing rapidly in their career and are progressing from Supply Chain Manager to Director very quickly. 

As supply chain in Ireland continues to develop into a “value-add” function, we anticipate to see these skills becoming a requirement.  

If you are a Supply Chain Manager and possess 7 of the 9 skills, and looking for opportunities to round out the skill-set, please feel free to get in touch with myself or any of the supply chain team

Ian Murphy's picture
Consultant | Supply Chain & Procurement Recruitment