Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) is a fast-evolving field offering a number of career options. It offers both entry-level, mid-level and senior-level job roles in the long run. While the choice of the job role is mainly dependent on one’s qualifications and skills, it is important from a career point of view to be in a key job role within Logistics and Supply Chain Management for faster career progression.
This is obviously not to undermine the significance of the other supporting roles, but success in key roles gets noticed faster. Also, the importance of these roles could vary by industry and organization – let’s look at the top 7 job roles that can help you grow in the LSCM industry.
Guest author: Ramkumar Subramanian, COO – Avaan Intellect (Alumni of IIT & IIM-A, Veteran with 4 decades of Experience in Supply Chain Management with expertise in supply chain optimization, network planning, inventory planning & digitization of supply chain operations)
Top 7 in-demand job roles in the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) industry
Warehouse Management- Order Processing
Warehouse Management is a key job role in Logistics and Supply Chain Management as the inbound stocks are stored systematically and retrieved at the time of Order Processing. Order processing is at the heart of Warehouse Management, and it involves picking, packing and dispatch. All warehouses are measured on how quickly they can fulfil the daily customer orders and should not normally exceed 48 hours from picking to dispatch. It is equally important that orders shouldn’t have errors in terms of items and quantity. In short, an error-free and timely dispatch from the warehouse is absolutely crucial. Order processing has increasingly become automated with the use of technology wherein all data is recorded on devices with scanning.
Inventory Management – Demand forecasting
Inventory management has an equally critical role. High inventories lead to the choking of warehouses, slows down operations and delay in unloading of incoming vehicles. On the other hand, very low inventories lead to stockouts and loss of sales. Hence, Demand Forecasting becomes a key activity in Inventory Management as it determines production planning and the net inventories based on the sales orders. Accurate demand forecasting is based on historical trends, market knowledge and experience.
Transportation Management – Fleet Management
Transportation Management involves transporting the finished goods to the customer in the most efficient and effective manner. In some industries like Automotive and Engineering, transportation of raw materials and components are also handled by the manufacturing organization to ensure just-in-time inventory in line with the factory production plan.
Transportation involves the placement of vehicles, vehicle and route optimization and efficient delivery. Within Transportation, Fleet Management role is a key role that ensures availability of vehicles in the right quantity and right time, so that orders can be dispatched from warehouses without delay. The Fleet Manager has to ensure the right mix of own, attached and spot vehicles with effective vendor management that optimizes cost and service.
With the increasing use of technology, all operational data is available on a real-time basis in the form of dashboards. This data needs to be converted to reports at desired frequencies that serve as operational efficiency reports for review and corrective action. Customization of the reports with specifics in line with operations or customer requirements enhances the usefulness. This role has gained prominence in recent years with the increasing use of data in operational decision-making.
There is an overall trend in the last decade to reduce manual handling and there is a shift to palletized loads and the use of stackers/ forklifts to reduce manual handling.
Material Handling as role becomes more important in handling large and heavy consignments, especially in the engineering industry. The warehouses need to be equipped with the relevant infrastructure like cranes, and heavy forklifts and the drivers of the equipment need to be properly trained. Material Handling professionals need to be fully versed in safety norms to prevent untoward incidents.
As we move towards stricter safety, health and environmental norms, this role has a wider scope for ensuring quality service.
It might interest you to read: How Avaan Intellect is Changing the Game in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Education and Training
Customer Service and Resolution (CSR)
Customer Service Resolution (CSR) professionals have an important role in managing the queries and complaints of the stakeholders. These roles need to have a basic knowledge of the process, acknowledge errors politely and respond with time-bound resolutions. An effective CSR department enhances service quality and results in quicker corrective action.
Process Audit and Solutioning
The systematic activity of Process Audit and Solutioning has gained prominence in recent times, especially for larger operations. This ensures consistent review of the infrastructure, technology and process for updating with the latest trends. There are two aspects: one, continuous improvement of the existing process and, two, use of technology and infrastructure to have a quantum improvement in the process. Both aspects are indispensable, and many organizations are increasingly giving importance to this role. It is preferable for the candidates in this role to be technically qualified as well as to have line experience for them to suggest effective solutions.
The job roles discussed above are intended to give you a clear idea of what these roles entail and the scope for developing a career in the LSCM industry. You can explore further by analysing your skills and qualifications and matching them with any of these roles. In case you are keen on embarking on your career in the LSCM industry or you are already working in this industry, you could write to us for more info on jobs, careers and skills. We will be happy to connect you with the right person to guide you. Write to us at: email@example.com