How Would You Complete This Sentence? Supply Chain Professionals Would Make Great __________.

How Would You Complete This Sentence? Supply Chain Professionals Would Make Great __________.

From filmmaking to crisis negotiation to climbing Mt. Everest, here’s where supply chain professionals could apply their unique skillsets.

Survivors on a desert island. If there’s a single role that consistently just figures it out, it’s supply chain professionals.

–Keith Moore

Lost on a desert island companions. If a plane crashes, who do you want by your side? You want someone who is great at math, problem solving, prioritizing, and can get things from A to B. Supply chain professionals are the best executors out there, and like Jeff Bezos famously said, “It turns out ideas are the easy part, execution is everything.”

–Ross Williams
DSJ Global, a Phaidon International brand

Wedding planners.

Our extreme attention to detail, coordination across multiple parties, and ability to foresee and mitigate risks, and solve problems ensure that a supply chain is well orchestrated, much like a seamlessly executed wedding where everyone has a wonderful experience.

–Allen Jacques
Industry Thought Leader

Both wedding planning and supply chain management require logistical expertise in the sourcing, scheduling, and delivery of various components, management of multiple vendors, focus on customer satisfaction, ability to stay within budget, adherence to timelines, troubleshooting all manners of problems quickly, and meticulous attention to detail.

–Rebecca Wilson
Group Vice President, Human Resources

Crisis negotiators. This work demands a profound ability for optimizing outcomes, maintaining adaptability in light of emerging information, adeptly executing strategies (maximizing time and risk vs. reward analysis), fostering intrinsic motivation for improvement, and embodying negotiations expertise.

–Evan Rago
Sales Director
Gather AI

Social workers help individuals, groups, and families prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Supply chain professionals constantly do the same work with a host of different companies to prevent and cope with delays in the everyday movement of cargo.

–Stephen Lyman
Executive Director
Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ

Soccer athletes. Both professions demand team players and require strategic thinking, team coordination, and agility to pivot when faced with unexpected obstacles. Superior communication skills and a focused drive to achieve their goals are also essential qualities shared by both.

–Jose Barahona
VP Sales

Game designers. Supply chain professionals’ knack for problem-solving, optimizing processes, and foreseeing outcomes makes them adept at creating engaging, strategic games or puzzles that challenge and intrigue players.

–Dennis Moon

Band members possess unique skillsets and manage complexity while adapting as a team to deliver on the customer experience. This requires deep expertise, a strong familiarity with what is being performed, and maybe most important, a quality of service and devotion to the craft. At our best, supply chain professionals create great music together.

–Laura Sheehy
Chief Human Resources Officer
Odyssey Logistics

Movie producers due to supply chain professionals’ adeptness in coordinating and orchestrating complex processes. Just as they manage the flow of goods and services efficiently, they can oversee the intricate logistics involved in film production, from sourcing equipment and materials to coordinating locations, schedules, and budgets. Their ability to anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions aligns with the unpredictable nature of filmmaking. They also excel in collaboration and communication, essential qualities for leading diverse teams of cast and crew.

–Inna Kuznetsova

Army generals because they constantly weigh their strategies against risk and reward. They also know all about combined operations.

–Tom Moore
CEO and Founder

Historians because origins, tracking, and transparency are vital for business growth. With B2B customer demands for digital compliance, ensuring digitally enabled origin and supply chain data is crucial.

–Sebastiaan Verhaar
Sana Commerce

Aviation control tower chiefs. Like chief controllers who must consider vast amounts of data from multiple sources to make timely, critical decisions, supply chain managers possess the unique ability to oversee complex networks to ensure the seamless flow of goods.

–Lilian Bories
Chief Marketing Officer

NBA general managers, handling player transactions, contracts, coaching hires, and serving as a link to ownership. Likewise, supply chain pros oversee all aspects of supply chain operations, from procurement to production, ensuring efficiency and communication with upper management. In both roles, seamless execution is key to success.

–Itamar Zur
Co-Founder, CEO

Chefs. You have to ensure the right ingredients get to the right place at the right time. A complex dish can require a lot of different processes, and one bad egg can spoil the batch. These are realities that everybody in a supply chain closely understands. Everything is about timing.

–Bryan Gerber
Founder and CEO
Hara Supply

Acrobats. In the supply chain, we constantly seek balance for our customers from beginning to end. Not only are flexibility and speed vital to success in both professions, but we have to be daring and innovative while working interdependently with a low margin for error.

–Sarah Damschroder
Vice President of Human Resources
GEODIS in Americas

Chess players. Like chess champions, supply chain professionals must think a few steps ahead to get inventory in and out of the warehouse and to their final destinations in a timely and efficient manner.

–Steven Hyman
Global Messenger and Logistics

Adventure tourism leaders. Supply chain professionals possess the skills to lead adventure tourism and expedition planning services. Their attention to detail and strategic planning abilities make them ideal leaders for orchestrating high-stakes expeditions. For example, trekking up Mt. Everest, a supply chain pro could coordinate how exactly to get you and the supplies to the peak.

–John Donigian
Senior Director–Supply Chain Strategy
Moody’s Analytics

Parents. Parenting is problem solving in the face of constant change, many unknowns, and zero chance of perfection. Raising resilient children and managing supply chains have many parallels. Supply chain professionals are constantly applying capabilities such as generalization, abstraction, and subjectivity to complement technology.

–Elton Brown

Space ship controllers because we are used to real-time events, with constant changes, and “failure is not an option” mindsets. We move all of the goods that are around us, day by day, decade upon decade.

–Danny Schnautz
Clark Freight Lines

Backpackers. Supply chain professionals are amazing problem solvers, even when hindered by limited resources. We’re also used to moving and working under weighty conditions. Whether we’re loaded down with gear and supplies, or carrying the even heavier expectations of our customers and fellow departments, we know how to keep moving forward when the going gets tough.

–Jessica Windham
Solving Work

Robot programmers. When programming a robot, you need to do so with an eye on what the ultimate endgame is. You need to plan from the start where you want things to end up, before you direct each of the steps it takes to get there. Supply chain professionals do this every day—coordinate several moving parts to reach the ultimate goal of getting something from A to B.

–Alejandro Suarez
Director of Strategic Engagements
Realtime Robotics


They have to deliver what some would think is impossible every day. They must seamlessly coordinate complex processes, anticipate challenges, and adapt to changing circumstances. They need to juggle multiple elements at the same time and perform flawlessly or their organization fails.

–Stephen Dombroski
Director, Consumer Markets

Because they make the impossible seem possible. Crafting a magic act involves careful planning to ensure each trick flows seamlessly. Supply chain pros are strategic planners, designing and executing plans. The behind-the-scenes “magic” of supply chain makes complex processes look effortless.

–Karin Stevens
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer

Both require logistical expertise, with the former strategizing the movement of goods similar to how magicians plan their tricks. While supply chain professionals may not use sleight of hand in the literal sense, they do need to be skilled at efficiently handling goods and managing items with precision to keep customers happy.

–Eric Allais
President & CEO
PathGuide Technologies, Inc.

Air traffic controllers.

Both jobs require exceptional critical thinking and decision-making abilities to solve complex problems in high-pressure situations. The stakes differ, but the skill sets are very similar.

–Carlyn O’Hanlon
Senior Talent Acquisition Manager
Arrive Logistics

Each profession orchestrates complex operations to reduce disruptions. In addition, each must anticipate and respond to changes with safety and efficiency as their top priority. Precision, strong communication, and planning are critical skill sets in both roles.

–Mike Trudeau
Executive Vice President of Business Development
Montway Auto Transport

Supply chain professionals must have the aptitude to see the big picture and detect deviations in the orderly flow of goods and services. For this, they need visibility—provided by a business network and sometimes a very tall control tower. They also need to make timely mid-course corrections to mitigate risk and keep the components of their respective cargoes safe.

–Tony Harris
SVP & Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer
SAP Business Network

Event planners. The skill set required in supply chain management parallels the expertise needed in event planning. Both roles demand meticulous planning, coordination, attention to detail, and organizational abilities. Both fields also demand working under pressure to ensure seamless coordination and mitigate potential issues.

–Fernando Correa
CEO and Co-founder

Customer experience strategists. Their deep understanding of the intricacies of supply chains allows them to identify critical touchpoints and leverage these for enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. By optimizing these areas, they can significantly impact the overall customer experience, driving retention, and fostering positive brand perception.

–Nishith Rastogi
Founder and CEO,

Business leaders as many possess a unique skill set equipping them for leadership success. Their proficiency in managing resources, optimizing processes, and navigating complexities allows them to lead with efficiency, strategy, and resilience in dynamic business environments—which is particularly crucial in today’s uncertain economy.

–Joe Galvin
Chief Research Officer

Supplier marketers. In an era of global instability, the need for enterprise to be the “customer of choice” for its suppliers is urgent. By applying marketing ideas to suppliers to build strong relationships and create value to capture value, pros can become a guiding force in a complex procurement ecosystem. As technology continues to explode, one outcome will be the rise of supplier marketing.

–Anthony Payne
Chief Marketing Officer, HICX

Innovators. Amid complex logistics, rising shipping costs, port congestion, labor shortages, and fluctuating unloading rates, supply chain experts benefit greatly from leveraging the latest robotics technology. Robots excel at hazardous and labor-intensive tasks like truck unloading freeing resources to focus on other priorities, thereby enhancing operational agility and predictability.

–Mike Fair
Director, Product Management
Boston Dynamics

Emergency room physicians. They are proactive and constructive but also have to be great in the face of chaos. They are also problem solvers with agility and the ability to pivot when faced with challenges, all while leaning on their training and experience to manage critical opportunities.

–Mark McEntire
Princeton TMX

Crisis managers. They need strong problem-solving skills, the ability to work under pressure and the dexterity to collaborate with a diverse set of stakeholders.

–Nina Reinhardt
Chief Communications Officer

Orchestra conductors.

“Conducting” suppliers, “rehearsing” logistics, and “tuning” end products to match demand. Similar to musicians in an orchestra, raw materials and manufacturers must harmonize and synchronize to create the desired end products and ensure on-time in-full deliveries.

–Nirav Patel

In both roles, there are an incredible amount of moving parts that all have to be coordinated and “played” at the same time in order to be successful. Many specific actions may seem out of place when viewed alone. But when all of those actions are integrated, and “played together” a supply chain can sound like a beautiful symphony.

—Josh Dunham
CEO and Co-founder

Just like conductors harmonize the various sections of an orchestra for a flawless performance, supply chain pros expertly coordinate logistics, inventory, and replenishment to keep the business symphony playing smoothly. Plus, they’re always ready to improvise when necessary!

–Laurence Brenig-Jones
VP of Strategy & Marketing

Because of their knack for orchestrating complex systems. Like conductors interpreting a composer’s vision, they understand overarching goals and coordinate diverse talents within teams. Their leadership skills allow them to harmonize individual elements into a cohesive symphony of efficiency, ensuring flawless execution and desired outcomes.

–Omer Abdullah
The Smart Cube