Logistics is a broad-based term, covering supply chain management duties. Logistics involves receiving, storage and delivery of goods, and may take place in a warehouse, military or retail environment. Logistics managers are in charge of the processes and personnel executing these duties, providing important services to their companies and customers alike.
Procurement managers are key in securing vendors, who in turn supply products to the organization. Vendors must be carefully selected, based on their reliability and affordability. Logistics managers filling these posts must have excellent analytical and negotiating talents, as well as a background in marketing and supply chain operation. Procurement managers are also known as buyers, and have a hand in the product mix and inventory levels.
Local warehouses are filled with a variety of products, and serve as the intermediary point between suppliers and customers. These items require careful and accurate storage and inventory management. Warehouse managers ensure products move in and out of the facility properly and to their proper destinations. For delivery companies, that means getting on time to the right customer's door. In retail, this includes ensuring proper shelf-stock levels are maintained, as well as receiving inventory each day. Warehouse managers join their subordinates in moving and cataloging these items.
Operating as third-party professionals, logistics or supply chain consultants work with businesses, determining flaws in their systems and how those may be improved. Logistics consultants examine inventory management networks and sourcing issues down to individual employee concerns, making recommendations on when and where to improve the organization's supply chain. Consultants typically work for large firms specializing in this activity.
Demand planning managers match the inventory needs of an organization with the right amount of product. Too much inventory and money is lost as products exceed their expiration dates or planned life cycles. Too little, and consumer demand is not met, forcing those dollars to the competition. Demand planning managers must be versed in supply chain software systems, with these positions inherently more analytical in nature than others. Similar to procurement manager positions, these professionals often carry advanced certifications like Certified Supply Chain Professional, or CSCP.
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