A career in logistics and distribution may suit you if you enjoy coordinating and overseeing a process to its completion
Logistics and distribution managers organise the storage and distribution of goods. In this role you would ensure the right products are delivered to the right location on time and at a good cost. You may be involved in transportation, stock control, warehousing and monitoring the flow of goods.
Understanding the whole supply chain is important so you can coordinate it effectively and liaise with suppliers of raw materials, manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
As a logistics and distribution manager you'll need to:
- use IT systems to manage stock levels, delivery times and transport costs;
- use associated information systems to coordinate and control the order cycle;
- use data from IT systems to evaluate performance and quality and to plan improvements;
- allocate and manage staff resources according to changing needs;
- manage staff;
- liaise and negotiate with customers and suppliers;
- develop business by gaining new contracts, analysing logistical problems and producing new solutions;
- understand, work with and possibly help to develop e-commerce;
- continually try to improve and develop business performance within the constraints of legislation, fuel costs and rising environmental pressures.
You may also be required to:
- implement health and safety procedures;
- manage staff training issues;
- motivate other members of the team;
- project manage;
- set objectives;
- plan projects;
- work on new supply strategies;
- plan vehicle routes;
- use specialist knowledge, such as mechanical-handling systems, to provide consultancy services.
As a logistics and distribution manager hours of work may vary but are generally around 60 per week. Companies that offer a 24-hour service may operate a shift system, in which case weekend and evening work may be required.
What to expect
- The working environment ranges from the office to the warehouse or shop floor, and dress standards reflect this. Office wear is most usual.
- This industry is fast moving and work may be stressful.
- Part-time work may be available and freelance work and self-employment on a consultancy basis is sometimes possible, once experience has been gained.
- This is still an occupational area that attracts more men than women, particularly in storage and transport. However, the imbalance is slowly improving with increased graduate entry. Women are becoming better represented in management roles, especially in the retail sector.
- The role occasionally involves travel away from home. In the early stages of training you may be expected to be mobile. For some, considerable overseas travel may be required.
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