Holding steady

From the October 2018 print edition
A slight overall dip in salary, women still earning less than male counterparts and a well-paying natural resource sector are just some of the trends in this year’s Annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional.
Every year, PurchasingB2B surveys readers regarding their salaries as well as topics related to education, job satisfaction, as well as challenges and trends in the industry.
Overall, the supply chain professionals we surveyed reported an average salary of $89,334, down just slightly from last year’s $92,689. That’s worth noting, considering that last year’s average salary represented a 10-per cent jump from the previous survey in 2016.
Salary by region
The survey also breaks out salary information by province. The largest drop was in Alberta, where the average salary fell from $107,879 last year to $93,694—a 13 per cent drop. British Columbia also saw a decline, falling to $89,063 in 2018 from a high of $96,615 last year. The average supply chain salary in Ontario remained essentially the same: $91,991, which is a very slight increase from $91,845 in 2017. Quebec supply chain professionals saw an average salary of $83,581 (down from last year’s $87,793) while Manitoba/Saskatchewan reported a salary of $89,560—also down from $93,097 in 2017.
Portrait of our respondents
This year, the average survey respondent is 49.7 years old; 57 per cent of respondents are male while 41 per cent are female. Respondents work an average of 43.5 hours a week—a number unchanged from last year. They supervise an average of 5.3 people and their department’s overall supply chain budget is $58.3 million. The percentage of the total organizational spend under their department’s control is 55.4 per cent. Their departments place an annual sourcing volume of $52 million, while they personally place $23.5 million.
Gender gap persists
Over the years that PurchasingB2B has performed the survey, a consistent result has been that women report making less than their male counterparts. This year is no different, with female supply chain professionals reporting that they earned roughly $12,000 less per year than males. But while women saw their salaries increase in 2018 to $82,657 (up from $80,474 in 2017), men reported an average salary of $94,257, which is down from last year’s $98,796.
Salaries by company
Not surprisingly, the position that respondents hold within their organizations corresponds to whether they received larger or smaller pay packets. Those at the executive level reported an average salary of $119,770—up from $116,241 last year. Those with engineering/professional job titles saw an even larger jump, earning $86,721 on average. That’s up a whopping 18 per cent over last year’s reported average of $72,906. Consultants saw their salaries fall to $80,697, down 13 per cent from $93,241 last year. Other fields to see a decrease in 2018 included those with managerial, strategic and analyst positions.
Salaries by age
Age matters when it comes to how much a supply chain professional makes, with salaries generally climbing as years of experience increase. Respondents under 26 reported earning $62,000 while those 26 to 35 taking home $80,881. Between the ages of 36 and 45, respondents earn an average of $85,385, while those 46 to 55 earn $87,622. The largest jump occurred among respondents between 56 and 65, with a reported average of $97,135. Those over 65 saw their salaries decrease to $86,125, down about nine percent from last year’s average of $94,485.
Salaries by education
Generally, those with the most education receive the best pay. Those with a Masters degree earn an average of $107,586—the highest reported salary by education—while someone with an MBA received $104,698. Those with a Bachelor degree see an average of $93,113, while holders of a college diploma earned $90,636. At least some university education means an average of $84,712. Overall, those with a university degree (MBA/masters/PhD) earn a net average salary of $95,509.
How many respondents have a post-secondary education? Overall, 37 per cent said they have a university degree of some sort, which is down from 41 per cent last year. However, most respondents (61 per cent) felt the need for further education or professional development to progress in their careers, while 39 per cent did not. As well, 62 per cent said they plan to register for further education in the next 12 months—that’s up 59 per cent from 2017.
What education were respondents looking for? A total of 43 per cent said they needed industry-specific training to progress in their careers, while 38 per cent felt a professional designation was necessary. A total of 23 per cent felt they needed an MBA while another 22 per cent were looking for a Bachelor’s degree. Overall, 88 per cent of respondents felt the SCMP designation was relevant to their jobs.
Soft skills rule
The survey asks about what skills supply chain professionals feel they need to do their jobs. The top skills cited weighed heavily towards the so-called “soft skills,” indicating that procurement and supply chain professionals no longer work in isolation in back-office positions. Among respondents, 87 per cent said they felt interpersonal skills were critical in their jobs. That was followed by communication skills, with 86 per cent feeling that these skills were critical. Decision-making (83 per cent), negotiation (74 per cent) and analysis (73 per cent) were the next most-critical skills on the list.
Salaries by industry
Not all industries are equal when it comes to supply chain salaries and how much respondents make depends in part on what sector they work in. The natural resources sector came out on top and also saw an increase over 2017. Those in public administration earned the survey’s second-highest salaries, at $94,591. Educational services professionals took home an average of $92,10, a figure that was down from last year’s average of $97,121.
Salaries by company size
Companies with higher revenue also paid their supply chain professionals more. At an average of $112,883, employees at organizations with revenues greater than $1 billion earned the most. Those at companies with an annual revenue of $51 million to $1 billion earned $99,260 while companies with revenue of up to $50 million paid $74,240.
Similarly, companies with more employees offered larger salaries, and organizations with 500 or more paid an average of $94,898. An organization with 100 to 499 employees paid $93,160 while companies with one to 99 employees paid $72,911.
Job satisfaction
At 60 percent, the majority of respondents said their compensation had kept up with their job responsibilities. At the same time, 92 percent said they were satisfied with their job overall, while eight per cent said they weren’t satisfied. A total of 85 per cent said they were satisfied with their salaries.
The majority of respondents reported that they had seen salary increases—63 per cent noted a rise in their compensation, while only two per cent saw a decrease. A total of 34 per cent said that their pay has remained the same. Among respondents, 46 per cent saw an increase of two per cent or less, while 33 per cent received a raise between 2.1 and four per cent. At 64 per cent, the majority of respondents anticipated an increase next year, while 35 per cent did not.
PurchasingB2B fielded the survey between June 6 and July 27 this year and received about 400 responses, giving the survey a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Bramm Research Inc. conducted the survey.