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logistics-manager-job-descriptionWhether your company is small or large, all companies have to apply significant resources to supply chain management.  A logistics manager plays a big role in that team.  He has to oversee that the goods get distributed and then transported from the manufacturer or producer to the end user or consumer.  This includes acquisition, distribution, internal allocation and shipment.

Any company that provides products to customers needs a logistician to ensure the successful function of the company. Below we speak to a logistician who explains what life is like being a logistics manager.

What are the duties of the logistics manager?

By using different IT systems a logistics/distribution manager organises the storage of goods and the distribution of the goods. I organise as well as manage the movement of the goods in the supply chain.  I also liaise with many individuals such as the suppliers, the manufacturers, the retailers and the consumers.

I make sure that the goods get distributed and then transported from the producer to the consumer.  My other responsibilities include the purchase of materials, internal allocation, shipping and distribution. Planning, implementation and control are needed in order to make the flow and storage of goods effective.  If you want to be a good logistics manager, your organisational as well as your interpersonal skills have to be top notch. You will rely on people to perform according to your needs so excellent interpersonal skills are a must for a good logistician.

Tell us how your career has progressed and what training have you had

I started out by doing an IT degree at university and had a part time job that was close to the campus in a furniture manufacturing company and assisted in the day to day running of the operations department.  After first year I decided that this was not for me, but I really enjoyed my job. I did some enquires and found out that I could do a Bachelor of Business with a logistics and supply chain major.  I decided to switch to that course, while still working and gaining valuable work experience. Logistics still had that systems and IT components to it, and now that it had a logistics and supply chain management component, I was a lot more enthusiastic. You do not need a bachelor degree though, you can also get diplomas and the work experience to kick start your career in logistics.

Can you describe your typical day?

In a typical day I do a variety of different tasks to guarantee the smooth operation of the supply chain process, which will vary depending on the needs of the business.  My daily activities range from monitoring the movement and the storage of the goods, analysing data, managing the staff, liaising and negotiating with the clients as well as with the suppliers, and the planning of future projects.

If you could give an aspiring logistics professional any piece of advice, what would it be?

Be willing to start at the bottom and accept entry-level job offers.  By doing this you will be able to build your experience for your CV and gain invaluable practical knowledge. Advancement up the ladder in the supply chain environment can be very fast with more and more responsibility added. If you want to move up the supply chain ladder then be prepared to accept responsibility.  Remember that most employers will look more favourably on strong skills, rather than a long list of formal qualifications.  This is one of the best ways in which you can reach your career goal and become a logistics manager.