Logistics supervisors, also commonly known as supply chain managers, are primarily responsible for overseeing the many steps required to deliver a finished product to the consumer. For example, they oversee aspects of raw material acquisition, processing and manufacturing, product storage, movement of products among distribution centers and retail sites, and customer service. Each of these steps requires ensuring that costs are minimized while maintaining high quality in the finished product.
Day-to-day duties of logistics supervisors vary. They might include purchasing the raw materials necessary to ensure continuing production, analyzing inventories and storage records, negotiating the costs of material and product delivery with vendors, and analyzing the entire production workflow process to maximize efficiency. Logistics supervisors must have a high capacity and ability for planning and organization, particularly under stress or pressure. Supervisors must also be able to “think outside the box” in order to identify methods of cost-saving and improving efficiency.
In the modern world of manufacturing, logistics supervisors rely heavily upon computing and technology. Therefore, supervisors must be competent in using computers and software to track various aspects of the supply chain.
In terms of education, most companies require that their logistics supervisors hold at least a bachelor's degree in business management, operations management, logistics, or a related field. Smaller companies might accept an associate's degree in a similar field. Larger companies are likely to require that logistics supervisors hold a master's of business administration (MBA).
During the hiring process for logistics supervisors, companies are likely to give preference to applicants with job histories that include roles such as warehouse or inventory manager, buyer, materials manager, or purchasing agent.
Logistics Supervisor Tasks
- Complete paperwork including work orders, shipping orders, and inventory.
- Supervise loading, unloading and distribution of packages, including worker schedules.
- Verify inbound and outbound deliveries as meeting specifications and accept or return them.
- Oversee the work area's cleanliness, safety, and overall compliance with regulations and tariffs.