To answer the question of “how to be a successful logistician”, we chose ten crucial skills which every logistician should have.
Before we go into analyzing the crucial skills of successful logisticians, we have to mention the fact that logistics is subject to trends and rules applied today.
There is no guarantee that the same will apply for the next month.
The whole idea of logistics was created as a response to transporting products from point A to point B where A and B can be close, but mostly they are thousands of kilometers away. Along the way, the logisticians meet with many challenges, but we will explore crucial skills that will make your job easier.
1. Thinking ahead
As a logistician, you have to develop the skills of predicting the possible needs of your company and the possible outcomes of all processes in the supply chain.
Those skills will enable you a faster reaction, risk prediction, and a proper reaction to any issues that might occur. Because of that, it’s essential to always think ahead and make plans because, as the old saying says, “better safe than sorry”.
You should always be ready for unexpected challenges.
2. Analytical skills of logisticians
A good logistician doesn’t have to be an engineer in mathematics or statistics.
Still, it can surely be a plus since logisticians often deal with numbers and percentages which have to be analyzed. While you know how to analyze and interpret data, you will have a good career in logistics, no matter what your title is.
Those who want to perfect their skills in analyzing data can always take courses to help them develop the speed while working with numbers and making conclusions without depending on the calculator or excel.
3. Extensive knowledge about the industry
Being informed about the newest trends in the supply chain is crucial for effective logistics management.
Since logistics is a continually developing industry, logistician has to make sure that a company’s supply chain functions most optimally.
Take your time to explore the processes of other companies and compare their optimizations of the supply chain. That way, you can learn new good practices and apply them to your supply chain. Always be ready to follow current trends and use that information to make your job easier.
4. Team player
As a logistician, you have to be aware that the success of every link in the supply chain is a team effort, and every delivery depends on multiple links.
You have to make sure that everything is completed because you will be responsible for a successful or unsuccessful delivery.
That is the reason why it’s necessary to make a good allocation of tasks and responsibilities.
Motivating your team and praising them for a job well done are just some of the good practices of a team leader. When dealing with other teams in the supply chain, it’s always worth it to treat everyone with respect and professionalism and to delegate responsibilities in time.
The supply chain has several levels and components, so logisticians have a big responsibility. As with most jobs (even those outside logistics industry), organization and paying attention to the smallest details is a must.
It’s important to develop a system that will enable you easier management of everything in the most optimal way.
There are many online tools that can help you with management, one of which was developed by Hubbig. His tool is great for any logistician looking for an optimal package transport offer because it has all relevant information in one place.
6. Quick decision making
A logistician has to be able to make the right decisions quickly and has to be aware that unexpected circumstances might occur in the supply chain.
The more prepared you are, the better your reaction and decision making will be. If you believe that you lack in that aspect, no need to worry because this is a skill that can be learned.
“The only constant in life is change” is a famous quote of a Greek philosopher Heraclitus which can be applied to the supply chain.
No matter the amount of preparation, there are always some unexpected events.
Issues and last-minute changes are an almost unavoidable occurrence in logistics, so you should always be ready to adapt and stay professional even in situations where you are losing control. Just try to make the most of the situation.
As with any other industry, logisticians carry responsibility for their actions. When things aren’t done the way they should be, logisticians have to be ready to take responsibility.
A professional logistician won’t blame others and has to be able to admit their mistakes and even take responsibility of other team members.
Don’t forget that one of the tasks of a logistician is task allocation and making sure that those tasks are completed. If a failure happens (no matter whose fault it is), learn from those mistakes so you can be more prepared for future challenges.
9. Be involved
Once you master organizational skills, you have to learn to track all components of the supply chain and make sure that every delivery is completed successfully.
Be involved in the delivery process from start to finish. If an issue occurs along the way, find the possible solution and remember the steps you took to resolve the issue to be able to use the knowledge for future references.
This way you are building your experience, which is the best teacher.
10. Good interpersonal skills
Since logistics requires regular communication with people from all fields of society, from workers to directors, from deliverers to clients, it’s essential to make a good connection with all associates.
In logistics there is not much room for bad communication, both face-to-face and written communication.
Remember not to destroy bridges behind you, expand the network of people you communicate with because that is the way to build yourself as a successful logistician.
It’s possible that, during your career in logistics, you will meet many challenges that will be hard to overcome even with extensive knowledge and experience.
As a logistician, you should put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask yourself what is important to your client.
By doing this, you will understand their needs and it will be easier to manage issues by prioritizing them correctly. Being a logistician is a challenging career where you are never in control of everything; you often depend on other links in the chain. The easiest way to manage that is to rely on your intuition and experience, admit your mistakes, and always be professional.