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Area of Work: Logistics
Logistics or distribution is all about ensuring an effective supply chain. It’s absolutely crucial to manufacturing, retail organisations and many other operations that goods are stored and ready for use when needed, and delivered safely, at the right time, to the right place and in the correct quantities.
Regardless of where you are within the supply chain, you work will involve plenty of troubleshooting as problems, pressures, constraints and demands tend to happen frequently on a daily basis. When not solving problems, you will be involved in managing, checking and maintaining stocks, setting up new lines, meeting suppliers and monitoring and discussing product performance. During festive seasons, it can be a mad rush to stock up on time, thus planning ahead is crucial.
You work scope will be determined by your role. Generally, you will be involved in one or a few of the following stages in the supply chain:
- Finding the suitable raw materials according to specifications
- Making sure the goods are the right quality
- Getting quotes from suppliers
- Negotiating for the lowest prices and best value from every purchase
Establishing the most efficient means to transport items from the supplier to the site where they’re needed
Storage (Before production)
- Keeping items so that they’re accessible when needed
- Stock items as needed to increase efficiency and save space
- Ensuring that the products remain in good condition and do not cause any safety threats to the staff, consumers or the environment
- Manufacturing end-products efficiently
- Managing staff and/or equipment
- Ensuring minimal wastage and cost effectiveness.
Storage (After production)
Storing finished products until it is time to send out to distributors and retailers
Transporting products to customers and clients in the most efficient manner
Ensuring that goods remain in good condition during the delivery process.
Key skills and qualities
- Good people skills
- Decision making
- Ability to perform under pressure
- Dedication to getting the job done
- Analytical skills and strategic planning
- Management and leadership skills
- Environmental awareness.
At the beginning of your career, you will be positioned in a warehouse or along the transport chain. Nevertheless, a clear understanding of the entire supply chain is required. Working hours will depend on your shift, your area of work, the season and changes that happen throughout the day due to weather and breakdowns within the transport system. You will work with a variety of people such as warehouseman, clerks, supervisors, managers, customers and suppliers. The number of people that you will oversee will increase as you move up the ladder and gain more responsibility. Depending on where you are stationed you will also need to work away from home or possess your own transportation.