Why choose logistics and supply chain management as a career?

career advice logistics Apr 02, 2022

Logistics and supply chain graduates are in demand in a sector that relies on delivering goods to customers in a timely manner.

Delivering products and services at the right time, right place, right cost, and at the right quantity and quality is at the heart of logistics and supply chain management and in the retail sector, perfect order deliveries, customer responsiveness and cost efficiency are key competitive priorities.

Every retail organisation has a supply chain, so this is an area where there are multiple opportunities for employment.

Logistics and supply chain management is regional, national and global - it is everywhere. Without it, the wheels of industry and ultimately the economy would grind to a halt. 

Once considered 'trucks and sheds' and a low-skilled industry, logistics and supply chain management today is emerging as a highly desirable sector for employment providing an exciting high-tech career. This is due to the deployment of cutting-edge technologies in many of the key areas. Amazon and Ocado are examples of companies that are utilising innovative cutting-edge technologies in their logistical operations.

What skills do I need?
People with inquisitiveness and a desire to understand patterns and trends within data are particularly employable. Simulation, modelling, forecasting, problem solving and negotiation skills are extremely useful, as is the ability to think on your feet when under pressure. Being able to respond to new situations in a calm and considered way is also important.

Roles in Logistics include

- Manufacturing
- Inventory
- Distribution
- Retail
- Customer relations
- Operations research
- Production management
- Warehouse management

You would need to understand the increasingly complex technical aspects of supply chains and be able to communicate these to non-technical colleagues and customers in a clear and succinct way. Graduates who have grown up in the age of the internet will be well placed to understand the dynamics of internet shopping and to contribute to the growth of e-retailing. Discover how to get a job in online retail.

Managers of the future will not just need in-depth expertise in one area but a range of soft skills such as leading change, building effective teams, persuading, influencing and relationship management. Additionally, language skills may be an advantage when working in global networks.

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