Not too long ago, logistics education for leaders mainly focused on technical skills that are relevant to supply chain or procurement functions. We have now arrived at an age wherein integration is more important than other aspects. This means that leaders need the skills which will help them manage and bring disparate functions together.
Below you’ll find an overview of the skills that really matter for a logistics leader in the coming years.
Communication Skills in Logistics
Whether you’re a senior manager, a functional head or an executive officer, strong interpersonal communication is important in logistics management. The need for this is even higher even though much of the information nowadays is shared electronically. Although the supply chain depends on technology and data networks, a robust network of people is still needed to function effectively. And the only way to develop such a network is through good communication.
Technical IT Skills is a Must
Although being a skilled communicator is great, it isn’t enough in the field of logistics. Being versed technically in information technology is a must in logistics management. It is important that leaders of tomorrow shouldn’t be strangers to major enterprise platforms such as Oracle, SAP, Sage or Microsoft Dynamics.
Big Data Shouldn’t Be a Problem
It is one thing to be knowledgeable in using enterprise software on a transactional basis, but it is also another to leverage mountains of data produced in the modern supply chain. Although no one expects a logistics manager to be a data scientist, some understanding of analytics is going to help leaders today. This is because they will be able to get the best in big data experts, especially since more will join supply chain management teams nowadays.
Excellent Project Management
The management and planning of projects isn’t a specific necessity for supply chain education. But like the subjects mentioned earlier, the skills that are involved in project management are invaluable for a supply chain leader to benefit from. As a growing number of companies seek to benefit from partnerships for strategic success, these logistics managers are usually the first that are chosen to lead.
Skill in Negotiations
Logistics management is all about partnerships with individuals and entities. This means that most of the managers and leaders will be, at some point, finding themselves negotiating agreements and contracts. Besides ensuring partnerships are mutually balanced and beneficial, logistics leaders will need to encourage alignment of departments and teams. They should also learn how to make companies work hand-in-hand in order to achieve success.
Not only will these skills improve your entire supply chain management, but it would also help your company break down inter-company and departmental barriers that can hinder growth.