Logistics refers to the procedures for managing the physical resources of a business, including how these materials are acquired, stored, and transported, both within the physical confines of the business and prior to and after leaving the business premises. Making these supply chain procedures efficient and cost effective can logistics translate directly to an organization’s bottom line.
If you’re interested in starting a career in the logistics field, at the minimum you should really plan on obtaining a degree in a related field like transport or supply chain management. Even better yet, consider getting your masters in either of those fields or logistics itself. A successful candidate also needs the ability to analyze large quantities of diverse data and an insight into all facets of business including transportation.
What are some of the specific positions available in the logistics field? Well, new opportunities are opening up all the time, but some of the more popular current job possibilities include:
Logistics Manager: Must possess geographical, analytical and math aptitude, and be able to make quick decisions on a daily basis. Customer service, management, and people skills are required. The position frequently involves the necessity of working under short timelines and strict deadlines. As in all logistics positions, a familiarity with today’s technology, such as e-mail, computer software and Internet usage are required.
Logistics Analyst: this position requires analyzing all facets of the logistical procedures in place with an eye towards possible improvements in efficiency and/or reduction of cost. The ability to write clearly and comprehensively and the knack for interfacing with all departments of the organization are requirements for this position.
Supply Chain Manager: will manage the organization’s entire supply chain from beginning to end. Requires expertise in employee supervision, customer service, purchasing, and all facets of warehousing.
The term logistics is thought to have come from the ancient Greeks and Romans, who assigned certain members of their armies to make sure that supplies and arms were transported to the locations where they were needed by the military. These officers were supposedly called ‘Logistikas’. Today’s military still has need for logistics officers, so if you’re inclined towards a military career, you’ll find plenty of opportunity there.
Once you get some experience under your belt, you might be interested in becoming a logistics consultant. These individuals are engaged on a contract basis by companies who are considering implementing a logistics program or improving their current logistics situation. A consultant might be employed by one of the third party logistics providers (3PLs) or he could be in business for himself, which will appeal to those of you with an entrepreneurial bent.