MBAclubindia once again brings to you career advise for budding professionals and students. This time it for those looking at careers in the sphere of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and SCM (Supply Chain Management).
We bring to you an exclusive interview with Professor Anupam Saxena.
At present, he is an Associate Professor at Fortune Institute of International Business, New Delhi. His book, "The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Firm Performance: The Capability Perspective" has been recently published.
1. Sir, You have been associated with ERP and SCM. How can MBA students make successful careers in these fields?
Both ERP and SCM are the powerful source for generating competitive advantages. The growth in ERP implementations and post implementation endeavors has created large number of job opportunities for ERP professionals. ERP consultants can opt for a career as a functional consultant / technical consultant. Coming to SCM professionals, they have wide range of career avenues opened in front of them: Almost every company deals with purchasing goods, inventory control, building products, moving freight, and managing relationships which creates a vast number of opportunities for SCM professionals.
Some of the places where SCM managers are required are encapsulated below:
Transport Companies: Transport companies provide freight delivery services. These companies exist in all modes of transportation (air, water, motor, rail or even transportation). In fact many transportation firms have expertise in multiple modes and provide intermodal transportation services to their customers.
Government agencies: An agency operating on behalf of a Federal, State or local government entity or municipality requires the management of supply chains. These entities are regularly confronted with supply chain management issues such as inventory analysis, procurement and transportation.
Universities and Educational Institutions: These entities provide expertise and distribute knowledge to clients or students with a desire to enhance their level of supply chain management knowledge. These types of organisations typically work to further the discipline in part by expanding on the knowledge base of the discipline by combining teaching, industry partnerships and research.
Service Firms: A service firm provides expertise to customers requiring assistance in particular area. Supply chain planning and execution is supported by firms offering professional service such as finance, commercial real estate or recruiting. As a result, supply chain job opportunities exist in the service sector with banks, hotels, restaurant chains and others.
3 PL Firms: A third – party logistics (3 PL) provider is a firm specializing in providing logistic services. Clients can employ these 3 PL firm to manage and or execute required logistics activities. 3 PL usages have steadily risen since the early 90’s as organisations have become more aware of the critical importance of effective logistics and supply chain management practices.
Retailers and Distributors: Retailers and distributors are product retailers. They act as a middleman in the supply chain, improving access to markets for manufacturers and creating wide product assortment for customers. Major retailers employ effective SCM managers and take great strides to effectively manage inventory, control transportation costs, and provide exceptional customer service through high in-stock availability.
Consulting Firms: A consulting firm offers knowledge and expertise to customers in need of supply chain management assistance. These firms can offer a broad range of services. These types of firms can help to engineer a specific supply chain network design, provide insight into how to optimize a function or simply review current supply chain practices and provide suggestions for improvement.
2. Are there any prerequisites for getting a job into ERP or SCM for MBA graduates, such as prior related work experience or added skills?
Apart from the required educational qualifications it is important to have soft skills like: coordination skills, active listening and oral communication skills, critical thinking skills, service orientation and time management skills, good quantitative skills, Problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, decision making and good interpersonal skills. Besides possessing above skills adequate work experience will be an added advantage.
3. Please suggest a few tools for an aspirant professional in the field of SCM and ERP and where can they learn them?
Aspiring professional should have knowledge about: Computer Hardware and Associated Software i.e. database reporting, database user interface and query, development environment, object or component oriented development, management systems, resource planning, human resources, accounting, analytical or scientific, map creation, electronic mail, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation)
4. You have recently written a book, "The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Firm Performance: The Capability Perspective". Please tell us something about it.
This book presents many useful insights for the managers. It demonstrated through research that deployment of enterprise systems resources are not a solution for integration and it is not associated with business flexibility (technical, managerial and organizational). The book tries to find out why enterprise systems resources are not having positive association with business flexibility capabilities and little association with business integration capabilities. It emphasis on the fact that by going live with enterprise systems resources would not help, but firms should make use of enterprise systems resources to enhance their capabilities.
It is simple, logical, concise and reader friendly presentation of my research.
5. Sir, you chose Teaching over Corporate Career. What inspired you to do so?
Working in Industries for four years facilitated me to discover that academic and teaching can act as a link between students and industry by building better managers. Academic was always my aspiration because I strongly believe academics is not only a profession but, it is a means of inculcating holistic development not only for the students but also for the nation.
6. What is your message for the Members of MBAclubindia:
Follow your dream but don’t forget your values.
By: Dipeeka Saboo