Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

The DNA of Supply Chain Executives

Who are the professionals who make supply chain management the engine of the firm? We find that many roads lead to Rome: The diversity of supply chain talent resembles the extraordinary, cross-functional nature of the supply chain profession. Here is an overview of the education, career paths, and success factors of supply chain executives.

By ·

The daily life of supply chain managers is full of challenging tasks: negotiating last-minute order changes with sales due to new customer requests; defining working capital requirements with the CFO for the next budget period; or reviewing network structures for new emerging markets with suppliers. This diversity is particularly driven by the cross-functional nature of the job: Supply chain managers interact with many departments and people within and across the firm. In a recent discussion, a plant manager in the machining industry, a passionate athlete, shared his view on the role of supply chain managers. “I am an operations guy,” he said. “I really need tenacity to bring my production forward and achieve my annual cost reduction target; I need a limited set of capabilities, in particular, staying power like a marathon runner. A supply chain manager is a different type of athlete. He needs all these cross-functional skills, should be versatile, and must coordinate well with all departments. I admire people with these skills. In athletic terms, a supply chain manager should be a like a decathlete—the king of the athletes.”

Still, little is known about the backgrounds, careers paths, and success factors of these “decathletes” who intend to make supply chain management the performance engine of the company. In a joint project, our research group from KÜehne Logistics University and McKinsey & Company intensively analyzed the gene pool to shed light on supply chain professionals’ origins and evolution. We studied the career paths and educational backgrounds of thousands of supply chain managers and hundreds of supply chain executives. In addition, we conducted numerous interviews with supply chain executives.

In this article, we provide an overview of our findings. We summarize the educational backgrounds of supply chain professionals, detail the careers that led professionals into a supply chain executive position, and present factors that enable a successful career in supply chain management (SCM).

This complete article is available to subscribers only.
Click on Log In Now at the top of this article for full access.
Or, Start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.
By ·
Download Article PDF

The daily life of supply chain managers is full of challenging tasks: negotiating last-minute order changes with sales due to new customer requests; defining working capital requirements with the CFO for the next budget period; or reviewing network structures for new emerging markets with suppliers. This diversity is particularly driven by the cross-functional nature of the job: Supply chain managers interact with many departments and people within and across the firm. In a recent discussion, a plant manager in the machining industry, a passionate athlete, shared his view on the role of supply chain managers. “I am an operations guy,” he said. “I really need tenacity to bring my production forward and achieve my annual cost reduction target; I need a limited set of capabilities, in particular, staying power like a marathon runner. A supply chain manager is a different type of athlete. He needs all these cross-functional skills, should be versatile, and must coordinate well with all departments. I admire people with these skills. In athletic terms, a supply chain manager should be a like a decathlete—the king of the athletes.”

Still, little is known about the backgrounds, careers paths, and success factors of these “decathletes” who intend to make supply chain management the performance engine of the company. In a joint project, our research group from KÜehne Logistics University and McKinsey & Company intensively analyzed the gene pool to shed light on supply chain professionals’ origins and evolution. We studied the career paths and educational backgrounds of thousands of supply chain managers and hundreds of supply chain executives. In addition, we conducted numerous interviews with supply chain executives.

In this article, we provide an overview of our findings. We summarize the educational backgrounds of supply chain professionals, detail the careers that led professionals into a supply chain executive position, and present factors that enable a successful career in supply chain management (SCM).

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
2019 Top 5 Trends of Enterprise Labeling
This year’s sixth annual Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling report outlines significant shifts in labeling that are impacting businesses and global supply chains at an unprecedented level.
Download Today!
From the January-February 2019
If history is our guide, economies take a turn every nine years. Yet time and again, a strong business cycle and fading memories convince us the good times will go on forever. Ten years after the great recession, we surveyed 100 manufacturing firms to find out if businesses are ready to fight through the next recession.
Truck Driver Shortage: No one behind the wheel
Intermodal to the rescue
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) in Manufacturing
Is Digital Transformation a risk or an opportunity? This webinar will detail Manufacturing industry challenges and how using IoT can address these challenges through optimizing logistics, improving processes and gaining meaningful insights.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chain Management Issues Confronting Us This Year
A variety of fresh challenges will surface for global traders in January and beyond
Global Supply Chain Pricing May Face New Pressures in 2019
The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronized growth, but the momentum faded as the year...

IHS Markit’s New Economic “Predictions” for 2019 and Impact on Global Supply Chains
The U.S. will remain “above trend,” while other key economies will experience further...
Global Kuehne + Nagel Indicators Signal Global Supply Chain Resilience
So far this year, international merchandise trade has risen by 10.6%. Emerging markets and North...