What Are Logistics Skills? (Definition and Examples)
Updated February 3, 2023
When working with supply chains, it's important to have logistics skills that allow you to make decisions and solve manufacturing problems. If you're pursuing a career in logistics, there are a variety of competencies and technical knowledge employers may look for in a candidate. Understanding what skills professionals in this field typically possess can help you determine if you're a good fit for the role.
In this article, we define what logistics skills are, provide a list of examples, describe how to improve them, explore how to develop them in the workplace and review how to highlight them throughout the application process.
What are logistics skills?
Logistics skills are the competencies business professionals use to collect data, find areas of improvement within a supply chain and ensure that manufacturing operations perform accurately. It's common for supply chain management professionals, such as logistics analysts or inventory managers, to use logistics skills to ensure that a supply chain operates effectively. While individuals may learn these skills in school, they may gain most of their logistics skills while working in the manufacturing field since they can identify specific traits or techniques that benefit them while working.
Examples of logistics skills
Here are some examples of logistics skills:
It's common for supply chains to change, so it's useful for logistics professionals to adapt to changes easily. Companies usually modify a supply chain's products, processes or policies, and sometimes they make changes within a short period of time. Being adaptable can help these individuals adjust to the changing supply chain processes and ensure that they're up-to-date with recent changes.
Logistics professionals usually lead a team of supply chain professionals in manufacturing or distribution. It's important that they have effective leadership qualities and techniques that they can use to guide their teams and provide valuable support. They may answer manufacturing questions and oversee all parts of the supply chain process. They may also provide feedback to members of a supply chain to inform them of areas of improvement and highlight positive traits.
You may encounter issues when overseeing a supply chain, so it's important to have problem-solving skills that allow you to find the cause of the issue and determine a solution. By having effective problem-solving skills, you can help your manufacturing team operate more efficiently. These competencies can allow you to identify and eliminate potential issues that may cause setbacks.
Your team members may look to you for guidance, and they may depend on you to make important manufacturing decisions. Utilizing decision-making techniques and strategies ensures you make the proper choices that are in the best interest of the client, team and company. You may also use decision-making strategies to make quick decisions in the event of a supply chain crisis.
It's essential for logistics professionals to have organizational strategies that allow them to manage and track supply chain processes. There are usually many complex parts to manufacturing processes, and one supply chain may deliver a variety of products. Having organizational skills can help these individuals coordinate product manufacturing, schedule distribution and produce products by the deadline.
It's important for logistics professionals to have analytical skills that allow them to analyze data and understand necessary supply chain modifications. They may analyze the supply chain's output, products and processes. Then, they can set goals according to the data that they review. They may change specific manufacturing elements depending on the client's requests and potential manufacturing setbacks. Logistics professionals may also analyze information to predict future outcomes of various parts of the supply chain.
How to improve logistics skills
Here are some steps that you can take to improve logistics skills:
1. Identify areas of improvement
To improve your logistics skills, begin by identifying areas within your skill set that may benefit from improvement. If you notice it's challenging to complete specific duties in your position, identify the skills that may help you complete those tasks. For example, if you find it challenging to lower the overall completion time for a manufacturing process, then you may work on your problem-solving skills to better identify potential setbacks that may cause a delay in completion time.
2. Seek feedback from team members
It's important to seek feedback from your team members to better understand which specific logistics skills require strengthening. You may have conversations with team members to ask about which areas they feel that you support them, and which areas you may improve upon. You may also send out surveys or polls to gain insight into your skill set. For example, you may send out a poll that asks team members to measure the amount of support they receive from supply chain management. If they want more support from management, then you may work on growing your leadership skills and techniques.
3. Expand your logistics knowledge
The logistics field contains complex information, processes and policies. To improve your logistics field, consider expanding your knowledge of logistics, including production logistics, sales logistics and distribution logistics. To gain logistics knowledge, consider taking business management courses that provide information about supply chain processes, or attend logistics seminars or conferences. You may also reach out to logistics professionals within your network to exchange manufacturing information about the logistics skills they use while working.
Logistics skills in the workplace
Here are some ways that you might use logistics skills in the workplace:
Measuring progress: They may use logistics skills to measure the progress of their manufacturing chain and to create steps to achieve goals. They may measure the progress of their individual manufacturing teams or the workplace altogether.
Finding areas of improvement: Supply chain management professionals may use logistics skills to identify areas of improvement within their workplace's manufacturing processes. These skills can help them identify the cause of an issue, then use analytical reasoning and problem-solving to find a solution.
Decision-making: Professionals may use logistics skills to help them make informed decisions about the supply chain process. They may decide to modify specific procedures or policies to help manufacturing have higher productivity and efficiency.
How to highlight logistics skills
Here are several ways that you can emphasize logistics skills when applying for positions:
For a resume
Resumes are often a hiring manager's first impression of you, so be sure to highlight important logistics skills throughout your document. In the work experience section, you may provide duties that you completed in previous positions where you used logistics skills. You may also include a section on your resume that contains a bulleted list of logistics skills. Here is an example of a section that you can include in your resume to highlight your logistics skills:
Logistic knowledge | Problem-solving | Analytical | Adaptable | Leadership | Supply chain knowledge
For a cover letter
Your cover letter provides further insight into your logistics qualifications. It's useful to provide one to two stories about when you used your logistics skills so that hiring managers can have a better idea of your background. You may also explain how you strengthened your logistics skills, like through educational courses, internships or work experience. Here is an example of how you can provide an example of logistics skills, like problem-solving and decision-making, in your cover letter:
In my previous manufacturing position, I frequently used logistics skills while leading my team and ensuring operations were efficient. One day while I was in the manufacturing facility, we had a piece of manufacturing equipment break, which disrupted the rest of the supply chain. Because of my background in logistics, I found it best to focus on the amount of product that we were able to produce without the machine, which was significantly lower than our goal number. I decided to pause production on other products so that we could use machines to produce our priority products.
In a job interview
Job interviews allow you to have a conversation with a hiring manager where you can provide in-depth information about your qualifications, along with detailed examples. Provide specific examples to the interviewer of times that you used your logistics skills in the workplace. For example, you may provide an example of when you used decision-making and problem-solving techniques to help a supply chain operate more productively. Be sure to provide context for the example and explain what the situation taught you.
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