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What Is a Logistics Supervisor?

by Tony Guerra, studioD

Businesses cannot produce goods or perform services solely on their own. A business actually relies on sound management of materials, services and capital logically flowing into and out of its various departments and organizations. Logistics is the general term given to the management of materials and services in a firm. Skilled logistics professionals are vital to most large businesses. Logistics supervisors, for instance, coordinate and oversee an array of activities that make it possible to produce goods and services.

Logistics Supervisor Role

The concept of logistics is that it delivers the right thing, at the right place, and at the right time. Of course, businesses need equipment and personnel to ensure their goods and services are usable as well as salable to others. A logistics supervisor is the front-line manager providing face-to-face leadership and direction to ensure supplies and personnel in a logistics chain perform effectively. Logistics supervisors are commonly seen in business purchasing, warehousing, distribution, forecasting, customer service functions and planning services.

Logistics Supervisor Duties

The specific duties of the front-line logistics supervisor depends on the area in the company in which the supervisor operates. Many logistics supervisors direct inbound and outbound logistics functions such as warehousing operations and transportation activities such as truck loading, routing and unloading. Logistics supervisors are also responsible for establishing and monitoring supply chain-based performance measures. A good logistics supervisor understands the responsibility area's place within a broader network of processes designed to deliver products to other businesses or consumers.

Establish Interpersonal Relationships

Logistics operations are a sometimes complex mix of machine and automated processes combined with a beehive of human activity. Logistics supervisors establish and maintain interpersonal relationships with the people staffing logistics functions by developing constructive and cooperative working relations with others. As a logistics supervisor, you must be able to lead and motivate your own employees and ensure you area works well with other areas of the business.

Logistics Supervisor Pay

Because logistics supervisors are found in so many areas in business, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't have just one single occupational pay category for them. Transportation, storage and distribution managers, for example, earned median wages of $80,860 in 2010. The BLS also reports that logisticians earned 2010 wages of $70,800. Trained logisticians can expect employment growth of 26 percent through 2020, a faster than average rate. Typically, a bachelor's degree is needed to work as a logistician or logistics supervisor.

About the Author

Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

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