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What is a Logistics Manager?

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  • Written By: M. McGee
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A logistics manager oversees the storage and movement of goods and supplies. Logistics managers are relied upon for nearly every aspect of modern life, often without even knowing it. People in this position arrange the movement of raw materials and finished goods. These items go to processors and manufacturers that create everything from electricity to clothing to televisions. Managers also arrange the warehousing of goods and organization of logistics departments.

The term logistic manager originally referred to a military position. Military managers were in charge of making sure far-flung military groups had food and supplies, in order to keep up morale and fighting effectiveness. The term migrated into the private sector as long-distance transportation of goods became easier and more cost effective.

It is possible to enter a logistics management position through a number of different fields and educational backgrounds. Logistics managers typically have degrees in a business field, but those degrees vary widely. Formal education in logistics and supply-chain management are uncommon but highly sought after for manager positions. Additionally, many people in the field never had any formal advanced education; instead, they worked their way up through their department and received the job through experience.

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The position of logistics manager can be broken into three main areas: warehousing goods, moving goods, and managing staff. How often the manager will perform these jobs is based heavily on the size and composition of the company he works for. Companies based on transportation will often have a large number of employees that each have a small niche that they focus on, while smaller companies may have a single person do all three.

The warehousing of goods is a vital part of modern shipping. When customers order something, they no longer expect it to come in four to six weeks, in fact, four to six days may be too long. Modern shipping requires that an order be processed, packed, and shipped within as small a window of time as possible. Effectively stockpiling, storing, and retrieving items is at the center of that process. A logistics manager is in charge arranging the warehouse, cataloging goods, and processing shipments.

Movement of goods is another of the manager's chief responsibilities. Arranging the timely pickup and transport of goods is a tricky process, and getting goods off-loaded and then reloaded with minimal downtime takes a great deal of effort and planning. Logistics software, along with modern instant communication devices, makes this job a lot easier. The logistics manager can plan entire routes days in advance making sure an item doesn't sit too long in any one spot.

Overseeing personnel is the logistic manager's last main job. Managers often have warehouses full of workers or a fleet of drivers to keep track of. They need to organize these people with the overall plan for the goods. Drivers need to be where they are supposed to be and warehouse workers need to be there to meet them.

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anon232575
Post 8

I am logistics manager for a small company in the arts and crafts industry. This article perfectly summed up exactly what I do.

For anyone interested in the field, I do recommend getting a degree in business, as mine is in Sociology and I've had to learn aspects of general business and more job specific tools, such as Excel, on my own. Luckily, we are a small company and my boss is easy to work with, so this hasn't been problematic. An additional benefit of this job versus more specialized positions is that you learn a ton about what it really takes to run a business and I feel I'm very well prepared to start my own company in the future with all of the knowledge and experience acquired through this position. Good luck!

anon229873
Post 7

I want to enroll for the post of logistic in my organization but I have read many articles here. I think I can do the post of logistics. Even in my company, I am already acting as a logistic officer, not a manager. I will apply for it and God will help me out.

animegal
Post 6

@Sara007 - My friend has been doing this work for years at a bakery. I will show him this page to help revamp his resume and maybe he can better articulate how he warehouses goods, moves goods, and manages the staff around him. Great article!

MrSmirnov
Post 4

@Sara007 - While a degree is usually required, as stated in the article, it is great to see that an average person could work their way up to a logistics manager position.

I checked for you, here in Canada the average salary for a logistics manager is between $48,685-$76,454. That is including bonuses and profit sharing.

Sara007
Post 3

@cakesalot - I agree with you, a lot of our real world skills, including parenting, really fit the profile of a logistics manager. With the organization it takes to be a great mom, I certainly think you could apply those skills to a home business.

I am thinking back to when I was working in supply room of a bookstore. I certainly was in charge of helping arrange the warehouse, cataloging goods, and processing shipments. It's too bad I didn't get such a great title.

I wonder if anyone else had a similar job without the great title (and probably salary)?

cakesalot
Post 2

I often feel like moms would be the best logistics managers! Think about it this way -- as a parent, I process, pack & ship my kids to where they need to be everyday. I move my goods by picking them up and transporting them, getting the off-loaded & reloaded to their respective sporting activities and all with minimal downtime and effective effort & planning. I oversee my personnel (kids & spouse) and organize them, keeping in mind the overall plan of the goods.

Maybe I should look into a job in the logistics field...

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