Editorial: Happy with your job?

by Michael Power

MM&D MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 PRINT EDITION:

When talking salaries and careers, it’s easy to assume money trumps all. If you pay people well they’ll be happy. I mean, who doesn’t want more money?

If you look at the 2011 Salary Survey report, you’ll see salaries have indeed gone up. Overall, the average salary for supply chain professionals hit $82,800 this year. That’s more than last year’s average of $81,000, representing a 2.2-percent increase.

But the rise doesn’t mean an enormous jump from the previous year; it appears to be an increase in line with the cost-of-living rise many employees see each year. Not surprisingly, those who made more money were happier with their salaries. But one thing that really struck me among respondents was that 87 percent said they were satisfied (with 27 percent saying “very satisfied”) with their supply chain positions overall. That’s up marginally from 2010, when 86 percent said they were satisfied (and 24 percent said “very satisfied”).

That strikes me as a pretty impressive number of people who like what they do. My guess is part of the reason for the high satisfaction is the growing recognition the field now garners from the executive levels. All told, 76 percent of respondents said their organizations now realize business couldn’t function without them. Also, 71 percent said during the last year the supply chain role has increased in influence with senior management—up from 57 percent in 2010.

The more recognition you get, the more satisfied you’re bound to be. What better recognition than senior management realizing that what you do has intrinsic value?

I predict the recognition supply chain professionals have seen will continue to grow. The field has become more complex, the demands higher. Just as much as salary, supply chain professionals should look to that recognition as evidence of the rising profile of their profession.