Logistics managers have a lot on their plates, to say the least. They’re responsible for monitoring international supply chains, managing multiple technologies and balancing the interests of warehouse and sales operations. They can act as a hub for the disparate parts of your organization and identify problems and opportunities from a unique vantage point.
All successful managers need some basic qualities of good communication, organizational prowess and problem-solving. If you’re seeking the best logistics manager for your business, check out these four attributes that can make your next hire your most valuable asset.
The best logistics managers have a balanced experience
If you like to promote from within, it’s tempting to think that an employee can easily transition from working in the warehouse to coordinating logistics. While some standout employees might be promising candidates for a logistics management position, you must look for someone who has a wider range of experience.
Logistics managers must be familiar with how to consolidate orders, book freight space and decide on the most efficient shipping lanes. Although you may not promote from the warehouse, a good logistics manager is someone who has direct experience working with the nitty-gritty of stock rotation, order picking and item coding. It also helps if the candidate can boast experience in doing logistics forecasting.
The best logistics managers embrace technology
Here’s where another balancing act comes into play during your hiring process. You need someone who has years of experience, yet consistently looks ahead to embrace new technologies.
This includes familiarity with internal-use technology such as inventory management software and online freight quoting and booking, as well as out-of-house technologies such as fleet management and supply chain tracking.
A person doesn’t have to know the ins and outs of every single technology to be a good logistics manager, but they should have enough familiarity to understand problems and direct solutions.
The best logistics managers find creative solutions
As they monitor freight shipments across the supply chain, logistics managers must be prepared to act quickly if things go awry. Logistics is a living, breathing, 24/7 industry in which one hiccup across the world could turn operations on their head.
The ability to think creatively will allow your logistics manager to tackle tough situations and innovate new solutions. If a train along your shipping line breaks down and your freight needs to be removed, you need someone who will put together a patchwork of ground transportation solutions to make it happen. Your logistics manager should be someone who jumps in at a moment’s notice and starts solving problems.
The best logistics managers act as intermediaries
An excellent logistics manager can be the lynchpin in your operation, connecting sales-side interests with those who fulfill and deliver orders from the warehouse. Whether your business relies on account managers who interface directly with customers or automated sales software, your logistics manager will need to help each side understand the other.
A logistics manager facilitates conversations so that workers in the warehouse might understand decisions and changes that are being made at the executive or sales level. Also, he takes the concerns of those workers to sales managers so they stay in touch with what it takes to execute their orders.
This is an important function of a logistics manager’s role that can’t be overstated. All managers need to be great communicators, but logistics managers are the tether that holds two sides of your operation together.