In broad terms a logistics consultant helps companies in a variety of sectors and industries to improve their customer service operations and develop cost-effective solutions to help them handle their supply chain, warehousing, material handling and distribution.
Some logistics consultants become long-term partners with major brands all around the world while some do more work on shorter term projects which keeps their everyday job highly varied and interesting. Logistics outsourcing remains a very popular way to benefit from a logistics consultants' knowledge and expertise.
What are the roles of a logistics consultant?
A logistics consultant is essentially a type of specialised analyst who uses data and information to identify and solve any logistics and supply chain operation problems for their clients. They make use of advances in information technology, strategic planning and re-engineering processes to improve the performance of the company’s supply chain so that goods are moved around more efficiently and the company can make more profit as a result.
Many logistics consultants also give advice on productivity, quality control, management of materials (especially those that are perishable or require other special means of storage), transportation of goods to and from destinations and warehouses, manufacturing procedures and even packaging!
It is important to remember that logistics consultants work in physical distribution, not digital or online services – they only deal with things that need to be picked up and moved around, not virtual products. They specialise in helping suppliers secure themselves from the earliest stages of production to the final stage of delivery where consumers will receive their goods. This helps manufacturing and distribution companies increase their productivity, reduce their excess costs, update their technological systems and generally provide a better customer service.
Anyone wanting to become a logistics consultant needs to look at getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a business discipline such as economics, marketing, management or accounting. People studying computer and information sciences or engineering also have the potential to go into the field. Look for a business school that will help you learn consulting techniques through clubs or roleplaying exercises, and keep an eye out for internships to get hands-on training and learn networking skills. A lot of consultancy firms will provide on the job training for promising graduates who have a background in logistics and safety, so this is also an avenue worth pursuing.
If you’re looking for a highly experienced supply chain consultancy firm with proven expertise in a wide variety of sectors, get in touch with the logistics consultants at Gideon Hillman for logistics, supply chain, warehousing and inventory management and more.