5 Job Duties of a Logistics Manager

Logistics Manager Job Duties

  • Shipping Supervision
  • IT and Data
  • Supply Chain Activities
  • Materials Management
  • Distribution Center Supervision

A logistics manager may have more than five job duties because they must wear a variety of hats throughout the workday. For example, they may troubleshoot paperwork with an overseas shipping port in the morning, run warehouse inventory reports later and finish up the day by meeting with customs brokers to negotiate better transportation rates.

Shipping Supervision

Logistics managers may be responsible for the management of shipping departments or operations. This means they must work with drivers, focus on route optimization, review performance metrics and exceed customer service expectations. Logistics managers may be responsible for fleets of trucks, forklifts and other shipping equipment. They are responsible for managing and matching the operations to established budgets. This is difficult because logistical costs and shipping prices often monthly and seasonally fluctuate. They must have the ability to understand and follow DOT and OHSA standards. They are responsible for the timely reporting of an emergency or emerging logistical concerns to customers and corporate leaders.

IT and Data

Sometimes, logistical managers will spend more time using computer information systems to enter, access and review shipping, inventory and performance data. They may use shipping software to track materials arriving at the logistics yard, leaving the shipping staging area and transferring between facilities. They may review inventory levels to order more materials, or they generate reports to reconcile inaccurate inventory counts. Logistics managers analyze various forms of data to provide insightful updates and information to supervisors of other departments, such as sales and production. They perform day-to-day administrative tasks like documenting damaged products, maintaining customer files and processing shipping paperwork.

Supply Chain Activities

Supply chain activities include collaborating with teams for inbound and outbound transportation projects that require active coordination with various service providers. Logistics managers consult with managers regarding outbound and inbound transportation contracts, systems, networks and service levels to make recommendations for creative solutions. Logistics managers must establish, monitor and adjust key performance metrics to ensure that supply chain costs are within budget projections. They build and leverage logistics services and business relationships to improve overall supply chain flows and delivery schedules. They must manage relationships with logistics service providers and coordinate with vendors to create innovative delivery processes.

Materials Management

Some logistics managers spend their time supervising the supply of raw materials required to support production in manufacturing facilities. These facilities may be high output, just-in-time, make-to-order or lean manufacturing environments. Logistics managers must foster a safety culture by implementing safety policies and training programs for employees. They manage the timely receipt, processing, and disposition of materials. They must plan, order and manage the storage of raw materials in accordance with supplier guidelines and state and federal regulations. They may oversee raw material replenishment and storage activities on the production floor. This involves machine set up, daily usage estimates and trigger point and reorder quantity calculations.

Distribution Center Supervision

Logistics managers may be in charge of distribution centers’ shipping and receiving departments. They may supervise picking, packing, and forklift operation employees. They may be assigned to large warehouses and hundreds of warehouse personnel. This means they may have human resources duties, such as leading, training and scheduling employees, and general managerial duties, such as providing customer service and office administration. Warehouse duties include soliciting ideas for improvements, coordinating product movements, applying warehouse slotting changes and adjusting product rotation process. They may manage the inventory control departments or personnel.

Regardless of the duty, a logistics manager must strategically manage operations, improve business models and effectively communicate with internal and external customers.
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