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In-Depth Jobs


Career In Logistics Management

Usha Albuquerque &
Nidhi Prasad

Logistics is considered to have originated when armies required supplies for battle as they moved from their base to a forward position, and some military leaders like Hannibal, Alexander the Great, and the Duke of Wellington are considered to have been logistical geniuses.
The term ‘Logistics’ started to be used widely in the business world since the early 1990s when globalization, coupled with liberalization required goods to be stored and distributed efficiently from one location to another. Logistics management also known as Supply Chain Management (SCM) is all the activities that take place to get a product in your hands – from the time of raw materials extraction to the minute you pay money or use your credit card to buy the final product
Logistics is a process of managing goods, information and other resources, from their origin to supply, in order to fulfill the requirements of the customers. In other words, logistics can be defined as careful management of procurement, transportation, storage and distribution of goods and materials. It is a part of supply chain, which involves the integration of information, transportation, and inventory, warehousing, material-handling and packaging.  While supply chain covers the entire gamut of activities involving the procurement of raw materials, transportation of the raw as well as the finished product, as well as the storage and distribution of goods and materials, logistic companies handle the aspect of delivering of materials both raw and finished products whether from offices to households, or in bulk from factories to customers across continents. The logistics industry is an important driver of economic growth and development. All types of businesses, big and small, need logistics managers to help with inventory and accounts receivable. There are therefore different types of logistics such as third party logistics, business logistics, production logistics and professional logistics.
The main functions of a qualified logistician include inventory management, purchasing, transportation, warehousing, consultation and the organizing and planning of these activities. Logistic managers coordinate the efforts required to bring in raw materials and supplies and then ship the finished product made by the company to wholesalers or distributors. The role of distribution manager within logistics may involve transportation, stock control, warehousing, and ensuring structures are in place to monitor the flow of goods and materials. A logistic manager is also responsible for making sure that the goods are stored in a proper and safe manner in addition to looking after their timely dispatch to outlets.
A range of business tasks is undertaken to support the smooth and efficient operation of supply chain processes, and typical work activities usually include monitoring the quality, quantity, cost and efficiency of the movement and storage of goods, coordinating and controlling the information systems and analysing data to monitor performance and plan improvements and demand.
With the setting up of large courier companies, and freight and forwarding agents handling global operations and moving containers across countries and cities, and today’s e-commerce explosion, logistics management has grown in importance, and those in logistics management are much sought after.
This post graduate course usually requires students to have a minimum of 50% in 10th and 12th grades and graduation in any discipline from a recognized university. These courses are offered at generally available in at the postgraduate degree (MBA)  and post graduate diploma levels.
Most institutes either accept scores in CAT, MAT, XAT or similar examinations or you may have to appear for the institute’s entrance test.
Other than these one should also have some skills like
*Ability  to work under extreme work pressure
*Dedication and team spirit
*Good communication skills
*Leadership skills
*Analytical skills
*Geographical know how
*Organizational skills and ability to think on one’s feet
*Time-management skills
*Ability to interpret financial data and estimate costs
To establish a career in Logistics, a course in a subject related to Logistics would help, such as CLP (Certified Logistics Practitioner), Business logistics, supply chain management, shipping and transportation management.
Some courses to enter the field include:
*M.Sc Logistics and Supply Chain Management
*Degree in Business Logistics
*Degree in Advanced Logistics Management
*Logistics Network Design and Supply Chain Management
*MBA in logistics
*Post graduate Diploma in Materials & Logistics Management.
Some Indian institutes offering courses in Logistics Management
*Academy of Maritime Education and Training, Mumbai-www.ametuniv.ac.in
*College of Management and Economics Studies,( UPES ), Deharadun-www.upes.ac.in
*Institute of Logistics, Chennai - www.ciilogistics.com
*Indian Institute of Material Management , Mumbai- www.iimm.org
*Amity University, Noida - www.amity.edu
The MBA in Logistics Management is a program which instills in students, the knowledge and understanding about purchasing, material management, supply chain management, transportation, customs regulations, foreign exchange, international trade, information technology and so on. Other courses cover specifics with regard to Supply chain and distribution, materials management, freight forwarding, export import procedures, shipping documentation and so on.
Logistics is a huge field with tremendous opportunities for talented and energetic candidates in India as well as abroad. The scope for the field is increasing with supply chain spending, growing faster than the overall economy, and company CEO’s recognizing the importance of  efficiencies in the supervision of  transportation and distribution of goods, materials and all other commodities.
 A career in Logistics can offer exciting challenges, early responsibility, and travel opportunities along with of course, excellent remuneration. Logistics management is important not only to the world’s leading organizations- but offers tremendous employment opportunities in clearing and forwarding companies, freight forwarding organizations, couriers etc. In addition, companies having manufacturing and distribution operations need trained professionals in Logistics. Cargo handlers and shipping companies also recruit those with professional degrees in logistics. The boom in e-commerce has opened up new avenues and newer kind of challenges in the logistics sector. The success of e-commerce also seems to depend on effective IT support, transportation and better logistics infrastructure.
Emerging careers in this sector include positions in stores management, inventory management, shipping coordinator, export sales coordinator, export executive, logistics coordinator and so on with many business organizations and companies. Most jobs in the logistics sector would also range in functions such as Sales, Marketing, Operations, Customer Service and support, each of which require specific skills. While those entering sales and marketing need to have selling skills as well as an understanding of the documentation requirements for handling different aspects of trade procedures, Operations personnel should have strong knowledge of export/import procedures as well as trade and shipping documentation.
Other opportunities include those in planning and policymaking, motivation, evaluation, product development and inventory control. A broad base of business skills, knowledge of supply chain processes, and relevant internship/work experience will give ample opportunity to begin & advance your career with a manufacturer, retailer, carrier, third party logistics firm, e-commerce company or other organization.
There are plenty of employment options for a qualified student. Sectors are
2.Apparel and Lifestyle
6.Electrical Hardware
8.Consumer Electronics
One can choose from an array of job roles such as
1.Logistics and Distribution Manager
2.Supply Chain Analyst
3.Supply Chain Manager
4.Supply Chain Consultant
6.Materials Planner
7.Production Planner
8.Assistant Buyer
*Blue Dart
*Fed Ex
*Aggrawal packers & movers
*First Flight
*PSU Sectors- ONGC , GAIL , NHPC etc
As business opportunities grow with the huge number of start-ups and e-commerce websites there will continue to be a demand for expertise, new skills and evolving job positions in this business. It is estimated that the growth in employment of the industry is going to show manifold increase across all levels i.e. from delivery boys at the front to the supervisors and general and product line management level with the growth of E-commerce industry. So for those who have the ability of managing and  coordinating, and a knowledge of geographical location and computer skills here is a career with a bright future.
Usha Albuquerque is Director & Nidhi Prasad is Senior Counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi.

Image: Courtesy Google