Black-eyed Susans are blooming outside the Haworth College of Business

Career Pathway: Supply chain management

The top-ranked supply chain management program at WMU will prepare you for challenging and high-paying careers with leading companies.

An ISM degree means you'll be involved in every step of the process of providing goods and services to consumers, from inception through consumption and redemption. Expect a curriculum that combines the strength of supply chain and information technology, along with skills in team management, communications and problem solving.

  • Where do I start for a career pathway in supply chain management?

    Start by making an appointment with the Zhang Career Center, which can assist you in discovering your career interests and values. The supply chain management industry includes employees who tent to be conventional, enterprising and realistic. They value achievement, working conditions and support according to O*Net. Find out if your preferences match careers in supply chain management by taking the Focus2 assessment.

    What is supply chain management?

  • What skills are supply chain management employers seeking?

    Technical skills are part of the proficiencies that are required for a job and may be developed in your major coursework. ISM-oriented technical skills desired are experience with project management, inventory management, warehousing, production planning, transportation logistics, Microsoft Excel, access and pivot tables, SQL programming language and ERP software.

    Interpersonal skills enable you to succeed and are often developed outside of the classroom. ISM-oriented interpersonal skills include multi-disciplinary teamwork, multitasking capabilities, systems thinking and global orientation, influential leadership, technical aptitude and transformational capabilities. 

    What careers involve these integrated supply management skills?

  • How can I obtain an internship?

    There are many different ways to acquire an internship, online or in person. Visiting the Internship Catalog and the Career Outcomes Report can help you learn about the companies that have previously employed supply chain students.

    Handshake is WMU’s employment website. All students should set up an account and publish a resume. Resumes made public by the student are searchable by employers.

    Students use their Handshake accounts to view internship and full-time job opportunities posted by employers and sign up for on-campus interviews. For more information, visit the Zhang Career Center.

  • Student groups and supporting events at WMU Haworth

    Supply chain student groups include the Supply Chain Management Association. Other groups include Business Association of Mentors, DECA at WMU, Delta Sigma Pi, Leadership and Business Strategy, Phi Chi Theta and Women's Business Network.

    Events supporting the major include the following:

    • SCM Interviewing Workshop
    • SCM Career Night
    • Business Career Day
  • NACE Career Readiness Competencies

    The Zhang Career Center at the Haworth College of Business empowers learners to launch successful business careers by engaging them in innovative programming focused on professional readiness, while developing partnerships with global, regional and local leaders who hire students. As pioneers in career readiness programs and experts in customer service, staff members in the career center strive to meet the needs of all students and employers.

    Career readiness competencies include:

    • Career and self-development
    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Equity and inclusion
    • Leadership
    • Professionalism
    • Teamwork
    • Technology

    Visit the NACE competencies online to learn more.

Tasks and processes

Tasks and processes in supply chain management:

Buying and selling, continuous improvement, contract negotiations, cost reduction, customer relations, customer satisfaction and service, data analysis, data mining, database management, decision making, demand planning, distribution management, forecasting, inventory control, lean management, logistics planning, management information systems, materials planning, operations, performance improvements, procurement, production and costs, profit and loss, project management, purchasing, retail, route management, Six sigma certification, strategic management and planning, supply chain optimization, transportation, warehouse management and experience with wholesales.

Forecasting and planning:

  • Expeditor
  • Materials planner
  • Production planner
  • Master scheduler

Inventory management:

  • Expeditor
  • Inventory planner
  • Inventory manager


  • Logistics analyst
  • Logistics coordinator
  • Logistics manager
  • Logistics specialist


  • Operations manager
  • Manufacturing manager
  • Production manager

Procurement and purchasing:

  • Buyer
  • Purchasing manager
  • Procurement manager
  • Category manager

Supply chain:

  • Supply chain analyst
  • Supply chain coordinator
  • Supply chain manager


  • Transport coordinator
  • Transport scheduler and planner
  • Transport manager

Warehouse and distribution:

  • Shift manager
  • Warehouse supervisor or manager
  • Business development manager
  • Distribution manager

Business Externship opportunities

The Business Externship Program provides career exploration opportunities that connect students in Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business with mentors, many of whom are WMU alumni. Current supply chain management externship opportunities include AGCO, John Deere, Navistar, Stryker and many more. Learn more about the program.

Major research tools

Book an appointment

Zhang Career Center

To schedule an appointment, book with online portal or call (269) 387-2711 today.