For the past two or three decades, you have poured your heart and soul into some aspect of supply chain management. Perhaps you were a plant manager or a highly successful account executive for a logistics service provider (LSP), or maybe you sat in the big chair and ran global supply chain for a Fortune 500 company.
Supply chain takes on myriad business disciplines from sourcing to manufacturing, inventory optimization to logistics. The funny thing is, if you ask most people who have spent their careers in supply chain, one thing is almost always true: Nobody planned to get into this business. But once they were in, it penetrated their DNA, and leaving never became a consideration.
Then one day, the company that you gave your blood, sweat and tears to closed down for economic reasons or was acquired and your facility was shuttered by the new parent company. You found yourself on the back end of your career, wondering what to do next.
The kids are in high school. You and your spouse are entrenched in the community you have lived in for years. Do you really want to move at this stage of your life? What comes next? Do you take another job with a big company that will eventually downsize you again? It doesn’t sound very appealing.
Is A Supply Chain Management Franchise Opportunity Right For You?
What if you could start your own business and stay in your own community and put your supply chain expertise to work for your family?
There are several supply chain franchise opportunities worth considering. All of them come with some form of technology product from which you can run your business and offer customers mission-critical features such as electronic shipment rating, dispatch and tracking. These systems are one-shipment-at-a-time models. They are useful but not very strategic.
Given your background in managing supply chain for a large company, you are likely used to coming at it from a more strategic level. The technology you’re accustomed to does more than the basic TMS. It models global networks, inventory and transportation positions. This is the toolset you are used to.
Why dumb it down and learn something so one-dimensional? Look for a franchise system that enables you to put your experience with supply chain and its related technology to work for you.
While supply chain management has been slower to adapt to modern technologies than other business models, the industry as a whole is slowly starting to modernize. Automation and robotics are gradually taking over for human links in the supply chain.
This industry keeps getting younger, with the next generation of workers taking management roles in established supply chain companies. These millennials are largely reliant on technology in their everyday lives, and they are integrating it into their new career path as well. If your business cannot offer the depth and breadth of technology these young managers are seeking, you will be nothing more than another flat squirrel on the highway of innovation.
You’ve Decided to Make the Leap. Now What?
If you’ve decided to take the next step and establish your own supply chain franchise, there are several elements from your past career you will be able to take on your new journey.
Ideally, you have the proper funding in place to start a supply chain management franchise. If not, networking and selling yourself is key to secure the capital needed to pay franchising fees. Compared to other franchise opportunities, a supply chain management franchise is quite affordable.
In the past, you established a stronger work ethic than your competition and built trust with your customers along the way. In this regard, your customer base is close to established, because people buy from those with whom they feel most comfortable. Comfort and trust are developed through conversation that is both genuine and meaningful.
With a supply chain management franchise, your customer base can be as large as you want to make it, or as small and intimate, in order to ensure more hands-on care. With your own franchise, you can also choose from which skills to specialize, potentially attracting a unique population of customers that you previously would have been unable to reach. You can control your own destiny and craft your own future.
With your supply chain management experience, you know the ins and outs of the business well enough to write a strong and compelling business plan. This business plan will serve as the backbone of your new career. Be sure to keep it constantly updated, because the only thing that is constant in today’s world of supply chain management is change. While you might not have all the answers, if you’re nimble, you’ll be able to consult with your team and do what makes sense in the moment.
Throughout your supply chain career, you were the in-house expert, a de facto consultant who got things done efficiently and economically. I’d recommend aligning with a supply chain franchise system that lets you keep being the expert for your clients. They will love you for it, and no one will ever downsize you again!