People working in supply chain management love their jobs and their earning potential is up. However, employers are placing more emphasis on professional development in the supply chain profession, which has been in the public eye more than ever since the pandemic and other recent disruptions.

 These are some of the findings of the 2022 Supply Chain Salary and Career Survey Report conducted by the US-based Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), of which SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management in Southern Africa, is a Premier Elite channel partner.

 “The COVID-19 crisis and other disruptions highlighted the importance of supply chains to everyone. From being a field that was not well understood and sometimes undervalued, working in the supply chain profession is now something to aspire to,” says SAPICS president MJ Schoemaker. “During the pandemic, supply chain professionals were responsible for keeping essential goods on shelves, distributing PPE (personal protective equipment), medical oxygen, ventilators, lifesaving medicines and vaccines. When supply chains failed, there were shortages and stock outs. Suddenly, everyone was talking about supply chains, and the interest of our youth was piqued, too. The rise of supply chain management has the potential to help fight South Africa’s dire youth unemployment crisis, while at the same time address a deepening supply chain skills shortage across many sectors.


More demand for supply chain professionals

“Those interested in pursuing a career in supply chain management today will find that there is more demand than ever before for supply chain professionals,” Schoemaker asserts. She notes, however, that there is also more emphasis than ever on suitable supply chain qualifications and continuous skills development. “Supply chain management is a constantly changing and evolving profession. More than two and a half years of volatility stretched supply chains to breaking point and highlighted the need for forward thinking supply chains than can anticipate disruptions, and for skilled, proficient supply chain practitioners. ‘Forward Thinking Supply Chains’ is the theme of the 45th annual SAPICS Conference, which is Africa’s leading education and networking event for the supply chain profession,” Schoemaker reveals.

 “It is vital for all supply chain practitioners to keep updating their skills sets and knowledge and honing their expertise,” she stresses.

Respondents in the 2022 Supply Chain Salary and Career Survey Report echoed this. The survey revealed that supply chain salaries and compensation are up, but employers are placing more value on professional development.

The survey respondents reported an average 9% pay increase. Overall compensation grew by an average of 12%. Employees with just one certification, certificate or credential earn 17% more than those without, the survey found. APICS certification is particularly in demand, as people with at least one APICS certification earn 25% more than those without. Additionally, more than just a supply chain degree is needed to increase one’s value in the field, the survey revealed. Professionals with a BA in supply chain and an APICS certification earn 18% more than those with a supply chain BA alone.

Fit-for-purpose education

Through SAPICS, Southern African supply chain practitioners have access to the internationally recognised APICS certifications. Schoemaker elaborates: “As The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, SAPICS ensures that supply chain professionals are equipped with fit-for-purpose education, training, knowledge and know-how. SAPICS is the South African custodian of a variety of internationally recognised certifications, including the APICS CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management), CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) and CLTD (Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution). These are offered by SAPICS in association with its American affiliate, ASCM. A suite of designations from the Demand Driven Institute in the USA are also highly sought after as well as the popular Certified Professional Forecaster from the Institute of Business Forecasting (IBF) and Certified Supply Chain Analyst from the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA).

The CPIM is considered the premier certification for internal supply chain business operations, and more than 74 000 professionals have been certified worldwide. The CLTD programme addresses the burgeoning need for standard benchmarks in the rapidly changing logistics, transportation and distribution industries.

SAPICS is also spearheading the drive to professionalise the supply chain management profession in Southern Africa and this process is now well underway, with the first designations – of Supply Chain Management Advanced Practitioner and Supply Chain Management Executive – awarded to an elite group of supply chain professionals.

“By professionally designating individuals, SAPICS will increase supply chain management competence, knowledge and skills, and industry professionals will have prescribed values and ethics to uphold. Until now, the supply chain field has been unregulated in terms of levels of competence, skills and ethics. The ongoing professional development required to maintain designations will ensure that African supply chain management keeps pace with global best practice,” Schoemaker concludes.


SAPICS’s mission is to elevate, educate and empower the community of supply chain professionals across Africa.

Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has become the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in Southern Africa. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide community of accomplished industry professionals. This community is ever expanding and now includes a multitude of associates in other African countries as well as around the globe. SAPICS is proud to represent the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) as its exclusive premier channel partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The annual SAPICS Conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals. The 2023 SAPICS Conference takes place from 11 to 14 June 2023 at Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.


Other posts