Key Skills Every Logistics and Supply Chain Management Student Should Develop

Key Skills Every Logistics and Supply Chain Management Student Should Develop

Logistics and supply chain management jobs are projected to grow by 26% in the next decade, significantly faster than the average of all occupations (Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics).

At entry-level, a graduate can earn around £27,519 (Source: Prospects). This is a great starting point for a career.

Logistics and supply chain management are the strategies and processes that ensure the seamless flow of goods, from raw materials to finished products, reaching consumers across the globe.

Is logistics the same as supply chain management?

Logistics is a part of supply chain management. Logistics deals with the cargo and freight-transportation aspect of a supply chain.

Want to join this booming industry? Here’s everything you need to know about the skills required in the logistics and supply chain management industry in 2024.

What are Logistics Career Skills?

Think of it like this: you ordered a product from one of your favourite shopping websites.

Now getting that product from the source to your doorstep takes a lot of planning and coordination. Logistics professionals use a special set of skills, to make this happen smoothly.

These special sets of skills include effective problem skills, adaptability, communication skills, technological aptitude, and more.

Professional Skills Required to Become a Logistics Manager

Imagine being the brain behind getting goods from point A to point B smoothly and efficiently. That’s what a logistics manager does.

To succeed in this role, you need some essential skills:

  1. Planning like a Pro

Logistics managers use data and special tools to predict customers' or clients’ needs and plan how to meet goals on time.

  1. Teamwork is Dreamwork

Successful logistics in supply chain management is a team effort. A logistics manager ensures everyone communicates effectively and works seamlessly to avoid any issues.

  1. Optimising Warehouse Management

Logistics managers keep track of items, decide where they're stored, and figure out how they move around efficiently.

  1. Effectively Managing Procurement

Secure the best deals on supplies while meeting quality and budget requirements. This involves negotiating with vendors, managing purchasing processes, and ensuring timely deliveries.

 Essential Logistics Skills for an Effective Supply Chain Manager

A proactive supply chain manager requires a range of skills:

  1. Collaboration and Communication

  • Being a good collaborator means you have team spirit.
  • Empathy, patience, and active listening are the fundamentals of good communication.
  • Ensures that the supply chains run smoothly.
  • Efficient coordination with different supply chain members.
  1. Financial Management

  • Oversees the financial performance of the supply chain.
  • Manages the cost associated with the supply chain, including budgeting, and expense management.
  • Analyse financial data to identify revenue sources and cost-saving areas.
  1. Inventory Management

  • Involves tracking and managing the flow of goods, materials, and products within a company.
  • Includes monitoring stock levels and predicting future demand.
  1. Strategic Planning

  • Ability to develop and implement long-term plans for the supply chain.
  • Identifying and addressing potential obstacles.
  • Building relationships with suppliers and partners.
  • Managing inventory levels.
  1. Transportation Management

  • Knowledge of transportation regulations.
  • Expertise in routing and scheduling.
  • Ability to optimise transportation resources.
  • Knowledge of future technology such as AI, autonomous cars, etc.
  1. Warehousing and Storage

  • Ensure that goods are stored and handled safely.
  • Oversee warehouse goods organisation.
  • Coordinating the movement of goods within the warehouse.
  • Coordinating loading and unloading of goods.
  1. Data Analysis

  • Analyse sales trends, predict demand and ensure product availability.
  • Make informed decisions on inventory levels, and stocks based on data.                   

 Key Skills in Supply Chain Management and Why you need them

Imagine a game of dominoes, where one falling piece topples all the dominoes. A supply chain is a bit like this, everything is connected to the other stages in the process or ‘chain’.

It is a complex web of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and customers, all seamlessly connected.

The following skills can help you in the supply chain and logistics industry.

  1. Analytical Skills

Identifying and solving issues in the supply chain, from minor hiccups to major disruptions using data and analysing patterns.

  1. Risk Management

Big events such as war or pandemics can cripple supply chains. Even the less obvious threats, such as extreme weather, floods, and wildfires, can pose serious risks.

So, what would a good supply chain manager do to prevent issues in these instances?

  • Anticipate potential risks
  • Create risk mitigation and crisis management plans
  • Build resilience and adaptability
  • Diversify supply chain channels
  • Secure backup suppliers
  • Warehousing

The smooth handling of risks involves developing strategic, robust alliances and relationships, which leads to the next important skill.

  1. Communication Skills

Effective communication skills in supply chain management are essential for:

  • Smooth communication between internal teams (top leadership, upper management, product development, marketing campaigns, finance, and human resources management).
  • To ensure supply chain design and performance align with company goals and market demand.
  • Negotiate and build relationships with suppliers and customers.
  1. Relationship Skills

Building strong relationships ensures:

  • Smooth collaboration with key partners.
  • Developing strong, collaborative partnerships with various networks.
  • Loyalty and flexibility, resulting in supply chain resiliency.
  1. Information System and Technology Aptitude

‘Smart’ supply chain is on its way to becoming the new normal.

KPMG reports that in 2024, 50% of supply chain organisations will invest in advanced technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).

So be curious and learn about:

  • AI/ML
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cloud computing
  • Blockchain
  • Software for analytics, GPS tracking, and inventory management

Top 5 Skills for Logistics & Supply Chain Management Students

Mastering these five crucial skills can give you a head start in your logistics and supply chain management career.

  1. Problem-Solving

  • Critical Thinking: Analyse situations logically to identify issues and their root causes.
  • Data Interpretation: Use data to understand trends, predict problems, and develop solutions.
  • Solution Development: Implement effective strategies to address challenges and optimise processes.
  1. Data Analysis

  • Data Collection and Management: Gather and organise relevant data accurately and efficiently.
  • Pattern Recognition: Identify trends, correlations, and hidden insights within data sets.
  • Decision Making: Use data-driven insights to make informed decisions and improve outcomes.
  • Communication: Explain complex data findings clearly and concisely to various audiences.
  1. Communication

  • Verbal Communication: Effectively articulate ideas, instructions, and reports in person and on the phone.
  • Written Communication: Compose clear, concise, and error-free emails, reports, and documents.
  • Active Listening: Understand and respond thoughtfully to information from colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Nonverbal Communication: Project confidence, professionalism, and attentiveness through body language.
  1. Technical Skills

  • Computer Proficiency: Master basic computer skills like navigating operating systems and using common software.
  • Industry-Specific Knowledge: Understand and utilise industry-specific software like ERP and SCM systems.
  • Technology Awareness: Stay informed about emerging technologies and their potential impact on the field.
  • Digital/Robotic Integration: Learn how to leverage digital and robotic technologies to optimise operations.
  1. Negotiation Skills

  • Building Relationships: Encourage positive and collaborative relationships with suppliers, partners, and colleagues.
  • Win-win Strategies: Negotiate mutually beneficial agreements that address everyone's needs and concerns.
  • Risk Assessment: Identify and mitigate potential risks associated with negotiations.
  • Negotiation Techniques: Understand and apply various negotiation strategies effectively.

By honing these skills through a master's degree, you'll be well-prepared to join the ranks of logistics and SCM experts who power the global economy.

Master of Arts in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from London School of Business Singapore Campus (LSBF SG Campus) is one of the best options to kickstart your career in logistics and supply chain management.

LSBF SG Campus provides a comprehensive curriculum that covers the most recent industry practices in the field of logistics and supply chain management.

Explore LSBF SG's logistics and supply chain management courses and take the first step towards a rewarding career in this vital industry.

Consider enrolling today!

A blog written by Serin Thankam Sam and edited by Taylor Gardner.



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