How to Network in Supply Chain

Two men in a group shaking hands, Text reads how to network in supply chain
How to Network in Supply Chain - Photo by fauxels

Wondering how to network within Supply chain? If you want to expand your Supply Chain network, there are a couple steps you can take. Staying active and putting a little work in from time to time can go a long way.

I see many early career supply chain associates ask about networking within Supply chain. Many positions involve interacting with lots of people - from warehouse associates to carriers and suppliers. However, if you find yourself 'silo'd' or in a position where you don't get to meet a wide range of people, this article has tips for you - besides maybe looking for a new role. 

Find a Supply Chain group close to you

There are a handful of global supply chain organizations that can provide great networking opportunities. The two top associations for Supply Chain within North America are ASCM - Association for Supply Chain Management, and ISM - Institute for Supply Management.

Go to events they host!  For in person networking, you can find a local ASCM Chapter here or, you can find ISM's local chapters here. Typically you can find events like lectures and presentations on interesting topics that are local in your area.

If you get a certification from ASCM, attending an in-person class can also be a fantastic way to network with supply chain professionals outside of your industry. My own CSCP class had levels from fresh graduates to Supply Chain gurus in the industry over 15 years.  My classmates also represented over a dozen distinct industries. Overall, it was a great experience.

For online networking and education, you can also check out ASCM's webinar events and ISM Supply Chain Webinars for Members. I've seen quite a few interesting webinars from both organizations.

Add your colleagues on LinkedIn

As you progress through your Supply Chain career, it's important to nurture and keep connections. Adding your colleagues on LinkedIn can be a great way to stay connected, especially after you move on to new roles.

This is the same for peers, customers, vendors, and carriers. Try engaging with posts, liking job updates, etc. LinkedIn can get a bit spammy at times, so feel free to mute folks who repost memes.

Forums like Reddit

Forums can also be a good way to engage and network online. Below are a few that I hang out in regularly and try to engage and give good advice to those who ask. Engage by liking posts, asking questions, and answering any questions you might know the answers to. 

I feel like forum options for Supply Chain are pretty lacking, so if you know of more, please reach out to me here.



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