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Five skills you need to be a logistics manager

The world of logistics isn’t always as simple as it might seem to someone on the outside. Logistics managers’ roles will differ from company to company, but regardless of what you’ll be doing, there are some skills that are the same no matter what your duties may be. Logistics managers are essential for a business to run smoothly and with minimal fault, and so we’ve pulled together some of the top skills that you need if you’re thinking about becoming a logistics manager.

Forward Thinking

Like with any fast-paced industry, some level of forecasting is important. Logistics Managers need to be able to forward plan for any potential needs and risks that their company may face, and with the lead-time that is needed in some cases to fix these potential problems and risks, the forward thinking and forecasting is vital. Ensuring there are enough resources, parts, transport or even staff for a particular job or time of year can help to ensure that a company stays afloat when things get tough, and forecasting will help do this.

Numerical and Analytical Skills

While a good logistics manager doesn’t necessarily need to be an amazing mathematician or a statistics graduate, even though it might be able to help. What they do need, however, is to be able to read and analyse data in order to make informed, accurate decisions about the future of the company. If you can do this with any success, then being a logistics manager could come easily to you. If you want to do further research into these skills, there are plenty of universities including the Open University who will offer courses in mathematics, statistics or logistics if you decide that this is something that you want to do.

Attention to Detail

Any logistics company will have a supply chain with numerous tiers and components, all of which a logistics manager may need to either manage, or at least have some form of communication with. Being organised and paying close attention to even the smallest of details is important in making sure that your business and its components are all running smoothly and with minimal, if any, risk. As a logistics manager, you’ll have the opportunity to create your own system of keeping track to make things as efficient and accurate as possible.

Good People Skills

Being a logistics manager will mean coming into contact with people from all areas of life. Workers, bosses, clients, suppliers and more are all important parts of your business and so good interpersonal skills are a must for keeping a good relationship with them all. Miscommunication can lead to big problems, and so it’s important to be clear and friendly where possible both face-to-face and in written communication. Confidence is key, but be careful not to come across as over confident!

An Understanding of the Industry

This may sound like a given, but an understanding of the industry that you are operating in is vital for good logistics management. You’ll need to know the bigger picture of the supply chain that you’re working in to truly understand the effect that your management of your employees will have. Having a full understanding of the product’s journey from start to finish not only helps you with management as a whole, but overall can help you think and act more strategically within the goals that you have for your company.