Good logistics are an important profit factor for every company. Logistical expertise in the form of good management can contribute to a better operating result. Jan Scheffer, director of Gnothi Sauton, emphasizes in this expert article the importance of the logistics manager in an organization. He also gives tips for taking logistics management to a higher level. Zoe Talent Solutions will helps you to know about more logistics management courses.
Managements choose to get the most out of it, focuses on increasing sales and it sets ambitious goals for each department. What do you notice as a logistics manager? You will probably receive more orders due to the economic recovery. You also have to manage many changes. That puts pressure on every logistics manager. I will not mention the fact that logistics is often involved late or far too late in changes. Then it often happens that the innovations are not always in your logistics experience area. How do you find the time and knowledge to grow from a logistics jack-of-all-trades to a strategic thinker who contributes structurally to a better operating result? This question is current for every logistics manager.
Logistics as a profit factor
Good logistics are an important profit factor for every company. Conceptual thinking and operational support are the most important conditions for making logistics more efficient. A logistics manager usually knows exactly where there are opportunities to improve margins. However, it is often unclear how such a process, to improve margins in management and in the dynamic logistics market, can take shape.
Logistics in the boardroom
VLM recently published a report entitled “Logistics in the boardroom”. The position of the logistics manager is further examined here. The benefits of logistics involvement and integration into the overall company policy were also deepened. This study shows that in companies where logistics are a clear competitive weapon, logistics is better represented in policy. And furthermore that size, structure, type of product and other factors contribute to the involvement in logistics within a company.
Force logistics management
How can you use logistics as a profit factor in the coming years? Firstly, by integrating logistics into the management plans for the coming years. How do you do that? By enforcing attention for logistics at management level. That is only possible if you develop into a communicative manager, who also plays a powerful role in the management team. That means that you:
- successfully manage your employees;
- communicative and political gain in sensitivity and strength;
- is proficient in substantial financial knowledge;
- develops into a strategist;
- successfully leads major projects and / or changes.
Then you are a discussion partner that the management cannot ignore! Incidentally, this trend has been noticeable since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Based on studied literature, I notice that this development is continuing. Fortunately, because companies that embed logistics in company policy redeem this significantly more often in a leading role than others in their sector.
Contemporary logistics manager
The VLM study supports the proposition that logistics managers at management level can contribute to a better operating result. Some conclusions from the “Logistics in the boardroom” report:
The way in which logistics is represented in the management is largely determined by the dynamics of supply and demand in the market and by the positioning of logistics in the company’s strategy.
Logistics matters at leading companies. The board is also well aware of this. In highly responsive networks, logistics are crucial to success.
If companies want to take full advantage of the broad view that logistics managers have on all processes, then these managers will have to make more effort to improve their skills and increase their strategic insight and management breadth.
In short: this is expected from a contemporary logistics manager. Only if you meet the above requirements does logistics as a functional discipline make an integral contribution to company policy.
As a logistics manager you look like a jack of all trades. Your time is devoured by daily, operational matters. Think of deliveries, forecasting, planning, personnel and the deployment of logistics service providers. In addition, you strive for structural cooperation with other departments to solve operational problems. Sub-optimization usually still takes place on a large scale. Structural cooperation is often still a long way off, so that improved coordination only works for a short time. That takes a lot of time and money.
Strategic or operational?
All these things require more than a full working week time. As a result, you do not come to strategic thinking and communication. Of course you want to keep the strings in your workplace. From personal experience I know that logistics managers like to stay involved in daily practice. Logical, because the translation from operation to policy and vice versa only works if you have a clear view of daily reality. But if you strive for improved logistics, you cannot avoid strategic considerations.
Expertise with changes
New markets, new products, new processes, new machines, new countries … Innovative impulses are of vital importance for every company. Now that the booming economy is making investment attractive again, new projects are often started. Unfortunately, logistics is rarely involved in these innovations. This is a shame, because logistics expertise makes an essential contribution to effective innovation. If that does not happen, there is extra pressure in the logistics department at a preparatory or executive stage. Isn’t that a shame?
But even with relatively small changes, logistics expertise can already contribute to a better operating result. Think of:
- warehouse adjustments
- personnel changes
- selection of new carrier
- optimization of goods flows
- new markets
- organizational changes
- cost reduction programs
- setting up new forms of cooperation within or outside the company
Here the logistics manager runs into two things: time and skill. Often there is a lack of time to initiate changes well prepared. Some changes require specific knowledge that the logistics manager should first acquire. But where does he get that time and knowledge from? Search for the collaboration. Ask a knowledgeable person, find a sounding board. In addition to refreshing insights, external assistance also provides relief in complex cases and can indicate a course. More and more often professional coaches are deployed for this, who in addition to many years of practical experience also bring the knowledge at the strategic level.
Every company is constantly changing. So employees have to change with them. Do you know the prejudice that the logistics manager is not change-minded? Nonsense: he has to live from it! Flexibility has been a priority for logistics departments for decades. Just think of adapting to new processes, last minute actions and corrective measures for errors earlier in the process! That requires great adaptability. Logistics managers want to change, but often lack time, and often also training. If the logistics manager gets the right tools (time and training), he will structurally and strategically improve his field. After all, that is also part of his job.
It cannot be said often enough: companies benefit from it when they anchor logistical knowledge in their policy plans. Logistics managers have an overview of all processes and know exactly where improvements are possible. That knowledge is worth gold. In this way, logistics contributes to lower costs, a better company image and a higher turnover. At the same time, it appears that the logistics manager is structurally short of time. As a result, he is often unable to follow further logistics training. And so there is also a lack of time to take logistics to a higher level of management. It is precisely this vicious circle that must be broken!
Check out this info-graphic.