Tips and Tricks to survive as a Supply Chain Intern!

Fair Warning: The post is based purely of my experience working for Dell EMC as a Strategic Supply Chain Analyst Intern. I will try to highlight key aspects which helped me make my internship as fruitful as possible but this isn’t the all-information that you need to succeed. There are various others things you can do achieve accolades during your stint as an intern.

Working for Dell EMC – I worked on the following projects which included either me leading it, supporting it or just listening in to the conversations happening:

  1. Inventory Level Automation and Reporting
  2. VOI (Vendor Owned Inventory) Depletion In-Take Tool
  3. Aged Parts
  4. STBL (Shortage to Backlog) / COS (Continuity of Supply) Shortage File
  5. Cost of Upside
  6. MRB (Material Resource Planning) Escalation
  7. Inventory LOB-Levels Prediction
  8. Inventory Classification and Labels Correction
  9. Supply Chain Flexibility
  10. EOL (End of Life) Process Networking
  11. VOI Relief
  12. Monthly Ops Meetings
  14. VM Ware Automation
  15. Slide Creation
  16. Data Analysis

So here are the things I did during my time with Dell EMC:

  1. Understanding the business: In the supply chain world – it is imperative to understand the business model deployed in the specific company to ensure you grasp the right flow of information. This enables you to drive the right actions faster and focus tasks based on your company’s needs and vision.
  2. Understanding demand and driving numbers: Demand forecasting is a major factor in understanding how Supply Chain teams function and base their decisions on. Demand Forecasting facilitates critical business activities like budgeting, financial planning, sales and marketing plans, raw material planning, production planning, risk assessment, and formulating mitigation plans. Forecasting is the starting point for driving numbers of Supply Chain like raw material planning, purchasing, inbound logistics, and manufacturing. Better demand forecasts help optimize inventory levels and capacity utilization.
  3. Spend time on the shop floor: Communicate to shop floor workers, engineers, and other managers across the Production Plants and ask them about various technicalities involved in different products. See each part of each product for yourself. It adds confidence while negotiating and procuring these parts with suppliers.
  4. Automate Processes: Automated supply chain processes lead to better inventory and order tracking, decreased stock discrepancies, and improved demand forecasting. Try automating simple processes done on MS Excel to completely use Macros/R/Python to establish tasks that involve data manipulation.
  5. Revenue is KING: All decisions are based on how much money can the company and at the end of the day it is important to make decisions that try to raise the dollar value profit. So try to implement processes that save either time or money for the organization.
  6. Coordinate between different verticals: Maintaining communications across different peripherals is a key aspect to succeed in the Supply Chain role. The ability to quickly coordinate with different teams like Planning, Demand, Warehouse, Manufacturing, Marketing, or Finance resolve issues and get results at a faster pace.
  7. Networking and 1 on 1’s: Try to set up 1:1 with team leaders or team members. Understand their work and try to dip your hands in their work whenever you can. Involve yourself in ERGs and community work so that you build a good network before you leave the company.
  8. Diversified Supply Chains: Supply chain diversification is a manufacturing business terminology used to describe the act of increasing choices for when to order what supplies from whom to bring products to the market. In short, it describes the abundance and flexibility of the suppliers for a certain product. Try to drive actions so that the company can take decisions towards diversified goals.
  9. Learn Tools and Acronyms: The importance of MS Excel cannot be stressed enough. Learn the tool like it’s your best friend and try to implement it on all the data that you can find. Also, invest your time in learning other tools like SAP, Tableau, MS Powerpoint, and other ERP’s. Take time to learn the different acronyms used like COS, EOL, ENO, STBL, SChM, GCM, etc. That is the lingo of the Supply Chain world and it will be easier to understand and communicate once you get a hang of it.
  10. Enjoy: Finally, don’t look at your internship as a problem or a life-changing decision. Instead, look at it as a training ground for you to build your strength and develop as a professional within your field. As long as you are properly prepared, the internship will be a journey for you to discover your passions and interests in your career field. So breathe, and soak in the journey as well as you can!

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