Top Supply Chain Companies
July 21, 2022
Who are the biggest supply chain employers in the United States? This article explores that question, listing some of the roles you'll find with Walmart, Deloitte, the US Army, and others.
The ever-expanding field of supply chain management (SCM) focuses on ensuring products and services move from point of origination to final destination. Whether the products are raw materials or finished goods, the best supply chain professionals understand the critical nature of their work and continually look for ways to improve outcomes and limit disruptions.
The entire supply chain has shifted in recent years as more consumers turn towards digital purchasing. As companies look for ways to embrace a changing ecosystem, individuals with advanced supply chain knowledge of inventory management and insightful metrics will be in demand.
Who are the top employers of supply chain managers? This article explores that question.
Top employers of supply chain managers
Subscription-based labor market data provider Emsi offers an up-to-date list of top employers for supply chain professionals based on the number of online job listings. Employers highlighted in this section represent governmental entities and corporations alike, providing a wide spectrum of graduate pathways.
Army National Guard
The Army National Guard relies heavily on effective supply chain management to support active duty troops when responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises, combat requirements, and other missions. Whether ensuring frontline troops have access to critical food and fuel or coordinating lifesaving supplies after deadly mudslides, supply and logistics specialists make the difference when it matters most.
The National Guard hires supply chain professionals from three main military occupational specialty (MOS) areas: enlisted, officer, and warrant officer. For instance, someone at the officer level may qualify for the role of quartermaster. In these positions, guard members manage the supplies of materials and equipment and identify the best ways of distributing these items.
As the largest retailer on the planet, Amazon lives or dies by its ability to properly manage supply chains. After growing sales by nearly 70 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic and hiring more than 800,000 new employees, the company understands the need for professionals who know how to get products to clients in a timely fashion.
At the time of publication, Amazon has nearly 700 open positions across the world in supply chain and transportation management. Opportunities abound in this ever-expanding corporation, from materials manager in Singapore to director of country logistics in Shanghai to transportation operations manager in Phoenix,.
In business for more than 85 years and relied on by more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies, Ryder plays a vital role in the world of supply chain solutions. In addition to providing end-to-end strategies, the company also provides transportation logistics, e-commerce fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, last mile delivery, and technology and innovations. The company currently employs nearly 300 supply chain engineers in addition to business professionals focused on logistics.
Jobs titles commonly posted include supply chain engineer (distribution or transportation management), transportation manager and analyst, freight brokerage account executive, and supply chain data analyst.
More than a quarter of a million Americans currently serve as active and reserve members of the U.S. Army, making it the largest branch of the Armed Forces. The U.S. Army functions within the Department of Defense, which uses more than 100,000 suppliers to provide its nearly $93 billion inventory. For members of the military who want to work in supply chain management and logistics, opportunities abound.
Posted under the heading support and logistics, some of the roles available in this area include ammunition stock control and accounting specialist, automated logistical specialist, combat documentation and production specialist, and transportation management coordinator. Qualifications for these roles vary, with some seeking candidates with specialized supply chain management training.
Operating as a worldwide security firm, Lockheed Martin works with small businesses and large corporations alike as well as with the U.S. Armed Forces. The company has more than 4,000 employees specializing in supply chain management who work with nearly 30,000 global suppliers. Interested professionals can choose from several U.S.-based locations for work, including El Segundo, California; Fort Worth, Texas; Marietta, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky.
In recent years, Lockheed Martin has placed significant value on sustainable supply chain management and environmental stewardship. Individuals interested in combining their passions for both can use their time at the company to work in areas such as waste reduction, limiting counterfeit parts, disclosing conflict minerals, completing supplier sustainability volunteer assessments, and registering, evaluating, authorizing, and restricting chemicals (REACH).
Deloitte employs more than 330,000 professionals working in 150 countries and territories and works with 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The company focuses on providing consulting services to their clients, including in areas of supply chain management and logistics—specifically in the areas of automotive services, industrial products, chemicals, retail industries, and consumer products.
Professionals at the organization focus on the optimization of supply chain strategies, planning, sourcing and procurement management, operations excellence, and analytics. Deloitte maintains 112 offices within the United States as well as several hundreds more throughout the world. Titles supply chain leaders may come across at Deloitte include supply chain dynamic fulfillment consultant, digital supply chain solution architect, supply chain risk manager, and government sector supply chain senior consultant.
Six decades ago, two brothers started a store based on low prices and high volume. Today, Walmart is the largest company in the world based on revenue and maintains more than 11,000 stores in 24 countries. The corporation works with more than 100,000 suppliers internationally and maintains supply chain practices for those it works with, including work around environmental sustainability, worker dignity, and economic opportunity.
More than 200 million customers shop at Walmart and its subsidiaries each year, both in-person and online. To keep products moving in real time, Walmart relies on a small army of professionals to maintain and improve efficient supply chains. Areas of employment within supply chain management include project management, industrial engineering, data science, replenishment, and planning.
Functioning in a similar space as Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman focuses on global aerospace, defense, and security. Given the technical nature of their clients, it should come as no surprise that Northrup Grumman focuses on the digital transformation of global supply chains through automation, virtual and augmented reality, advanced forecasting, and robotics.
At the time of publication, Northrup Grumman had nearly 300 positions in global supply chain operations available. Roles job seekers can apply for include principal supply chain business operations and compliance specialist, supply chain planning specialist, procurement manager, and purchasing supplier performance specialist. Positions exist both domestically and internationally.
Should I get a supply chain master's degree?
To maintain competitive advantage over their peers, some supply chain professionals decide to complete an advanced degree. This process allows them to sharpen skills, build knowledge, and signal to prospective employers their commitment to continued learning and growth.
Individuals who decide to pursue this path can choose from two options: an MBA in global supply chain management or an MS in supply chain management. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) offers both of these programs (the former in the Executive MBA format for experienced managers). Initiatives and outcomes for both programs include developing both theoretical and practical skills, identifying areas where supply chain management can increase company value, and building cultural competencies to interact with diverse workforces.
UTK's MS in supply chain management takes 18 t0 24 months to complete, while learners can complete the Executive MBA in just one year.
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