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Top supply chain managers can expect to earn more than £80,000 a year, according to a new survey conducted by Michael Page Procurement and Supply Chain in partnership with Logistics Manager.

The survey reveals that supply chain directors can now expect to earn, on average, between £75,000 and £80,000 with some earning well in excess of that. Average earnings for logistics directors are a step behind on the £70,000 to £75,000 range.

The survey received 283 responses covering all the main functions in supply chain and logistics and covering a huge range of industry sectors. It was carried out during October and November.

FMCG accounts for almost 18 per cent of the respondents while ten per cent come from the third party logistics sector. Retail (8.5 per cent) and general manufacturing (7.4 per cent) are also strongly represented. Other notable sectors include healthcare, defence, automotive and consultancy.

The research also says something about the career structures within the industry. The earnings for a logistics manager can fall anywhere in a huge range from £20,000 to £80,000 depending on the business and seniority.

Graham Peck, manager – procurement and supply chain at Michael Page International, says: “It is clear that there remains a lack of clarity over job title and the associated level of responsibility associated with certain job titles. This can make it difficult to recruit roles, particularly the ‘operations manager’ job title, that varies dramatically depending on the company size and sector in which they operate in.”

This industry can appear confusing to a young person coming in and hoping to build a career. And looking at our table of average earnings suggests that a little agility may well be required to make it to the top.

Someone coming in as a warehouse assistant on £20,000 can start to build a career within the warehousing disciplines but there seems to come a point where a shift of focus becomes advisable. There are some very high earners among warehouse managers but the average is less than £30,000. That compares to the average for a logistics manager of more than £40,000. The survey also highlights the fact that the broader responsibilities associated with supply chain means that a supply chain manager earns an average of £5,000 a year more than a logistics manager.

The survey asks what additional benefits are offered by companies. The top three are, perhaps not surprisingly, pensions, healthcare and car allowances. The range of additional benefits is huge, including: bonus schemes, staff discount cards, profit shares, gym membership, childcare vouchers, and product discounts.

We also wanted to get a picture of how logistics and supply chain is regarded by companies so we asked whether the head of supply chain sits on the main board of directors. For some 40 per cent of respondents the answer is yes while 28 per cent say no. The size of supply chain teams is another issue. Some 23 per cent say they work in teams of ten or less, while 31 per cent work in teams of between 11 and 100. About nine per cent say they belong to a team of more than 100 people.

Despite the worsening economic conditions, some 38 per cent of respondents say they expect to recruit staff over the next six months while 45 per cent say they will not.

We also asked if companies are expecting to increase or decrease staff levels in supply chain functions over the coming year. Some 31 per cent expect the headcount to increase while 12 per cent are expecting a fall.

Peck says: “This is interesting, for every company looking to cut costs and reduce headcount, there will be another that is actively investing in new staff to improve processes and reduce operational costs in their supply chain.”



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