The changing demands of the logistics manager

 
Logistics is a rapidly evolving market. With technological advancements, raised consumer expectations and desire for operating efficiency it is both an exciting and challenging time to be working in the industry. For example, the Q4 peak period has made significant strides from what was previously a ‘busy period’ two weeks before Christmas. The planning for the Q4 period now begins in early summer and has to factor in the recent online phenomena ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday.’ The supply chain is a key differentiator in the modern multi-channel retail environment and is crucial to the success or failure of organisations.
 
The continually changing demands placed on logistics functions require an evolving approach, which Duncan Atkinson, Head of Branch and Online Fulfilment at Dixons Carphone explained when we spoke to him in January 2016 about the logistics landscape. “Online demand has increased rapidly in recent years which in turn has changed the customer expectations. Reducing lead times to the end user is critical in order to stay ahead of the competition. That customer expectation will only continue to grow more demanding and taking decisions such as whether to move stock closer to the customers (smaller RDC’s) or demanding lower rates from couriers will be key. Successful logistics and supply chain operations are founded upon planning and more planning”
 
Dean Rose, Manager at Michael Page Logistics, agrees about the importance of planning and adds that “understanding the trends, challenges and complexities surrounding the particular sector and customer demands is critical when having to deliver against them. For example, the peak period has seen an increase in demand for interim managers and has allowed many of our clients to successfully manage labour costs across the year, solve immediate recruitment issues and support wider projects.”
 
Duncan Atkinson is keen to point out that “in this sector it all revolves around people and processes. In order to succeed and meet these changing demands it is critical to engage and enable your team. Constantly challenge them and always ensure to review processes to ensure that you adhere to best practice. Most importantly you need to properly utilise the key skills your people possess and back them to deliver the operation”
 
Increasingly, employers within the Logistics sector demand that their management population are highly competent in softer skills such as leadership, coaching and communication in addition to the technical skills required to perform the job. A broader hiring strategy is being adopted to offset the candidate shortage as well as revised structured on boarding for new talent.
 
This is a perfect time to start a career in logistics. There are so many areas to move into and while the industry experiences a candidate short market there is a high level of competition for the best candidates. Further good news is that if you are considering making a move into logistics a large number of clients are more than willing to invest in talent in order to retain their best staff. On top of that, prospective employers are tackling this competitive market by offering clearer career paths and more generous salaries in order to attract new talent.
 
For a confidential discussion about career options in the Logistics sector contact Dean Rose, Manager at Michael Page Logistics
 
Dean Rose
T: +44 20 7269 2403