Logistics management ensures a product or service is where it needs to be at all times. What does that exactly mean? Logistics management is the process of organizing, planning, and managing a workflow, work process, or operation.
It does so through the organization and marketing channels to maximize current and future profitability. Are you prepared to know more? Follow this step-by-step guide to learning logistics management.
What Is Logistics Management?
Logistics is the practice of managing how inventory is acquired, stored, or transported to a specific destination.
“Logistics” was initially used as a military term, referring to how soldiers obtained, stored, and moved their equipment. The term is still used by the military, but it is now a widely used term by many companies when dealing with supply chains.
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Logistic management is the process of organizing and then implementing an operation or workflow. Additionally, it’s part of a more extensive overall process, supply chain management and logistics management.
Supply chain management is the process of planning and implementing storage, goods, equipment, and supplies from one destination to the final destination. Those who work in logistics management are commonly known as logisticians. Project management software may be used to support the execution of product delivery.
What Is Logistics Management Used for?
Logistics management is used across many industries. The practice keeps companies continuously and efficiently running. Effective logistics management can help companies reduce their overall expenses.
Take the oil and gas industry, for example. Logistics for the industry involves managing trucks, pipelines, and distribution centers. An efficient supply chain process requires an effective logistics plan or management program.
This will ultimately be more cost-effective, ensure product deliverables on time, and create excellent customer service. The concept is used by many companies and industries around the world.
Types of Logistics Management
There are several types of logistics management. The four types generally used include distribution movement, supply management, reverse logistics, and production logistics. Explore these in more detail below.
This process involves storing goods and transporting them to their final destination. Distribution movement includes moving materials, loading and unloading, and transporting. The process typically involves moving goods from a warehouse to a store through distribution networks.
Supply management is the planning, implementing, and coordinating the storing of goods. This type of logistics management involves controlling inventory and knowing the amount of available supply and the quantities of the goods being delivered.
Reverse logistics refers to the return of a product. It is the process of receiving materials from a store and returning them to a warehouse. This can also refer to a direct return from a customer.
This process ensures that the supplies necessary for the product are available. It will require the necessary materials or tools to be at the right location, along with the product.
Learning Logistics Management
Consider a career in logistics management if you have strong analytical skills and can pay attention to detail. Is learning logistics management hard? It’s not so much difficult as it is time-consuming. A college degree is almost essential for success in the industry.
However, there are many other resources to get you started on the journey. A few of those include the online courses, books, resources listed in this article.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Logistics Management?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Due to complex logistics and supply chains, companies prefer to hire workers who have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many logisticians have a bachelor’s degree in business, systems engineering, or supply chain management.”
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a process that takes four years to complete. Upon graduation, you may look into completing professional certifications to advance your resume and experiences.
Your learning journey is going to be six years long if you decide to pursue a master’s degree after obtaining a bachelor’s. Obtaining additional certifications will also take more time.
Know that your process can be tailored to you depending on how long you need to complete your courses. No matter the amount of time you put into this journey, it is a great career path to invest in.
How to Learn Logistics Management: Step-by-Step
Find a great step-by-step list of how to learn logistics management below. Please note that depending on where you are in your career, you may be able to skip a step or two.
- Start early. You may still be in high school and already interested in logistics management. You can begin developing your skills while still in school. Enroll in classes that can hone your skills for logistics management, for example, science and math.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree. Most employers will only hire logistics management specialists or managers with a bachelor’s degree. Certain colleges will have bachelor’s degrees that specialize in logistics or supply chain management. However, if the college you are looking into does not, there are other options, including business, business analytics, engineering, or business administration.
- Pursue a master’s degree. This step is not required but having a master’s degree can make you stand out among the competition and add more credibility to your resume. Completing a master’s degree in a program in logistics or supply chain management allows you to receive more in-depth training than a bachelor’s can. Adding this step into your career path may help you reach your goals quicker by skipping entry-level roles.
- Complete Internships. Internships are a great option during or after step two and step three. Use your free time to complete an internship program. An internship allows you to gain valuable hands-on experience that you can’t get in a classroom.
- Get certified. Certifications are another great addition to your resume and skill set. Certifications can be completed after earning a degree and can help you immediately advance your career. Two standard certifications include the certified supply chain professional certification and the certified in production and inventory management certification.
The Best Logistics Management Courses and Trainings
Attending classes in logistics management is a great way to introduce yourself to the subject. Courses are available in-person and online, with even free ones. Find the perfect course for you below.
Best In-Person Logistics Management Classes
Learners who strive in a traditional educational setting might want to enroll in an in-person logistics management class. Find a few in-person logistic courses below.
- Provider: Detroit Training Center
- Time: 2 weeks
- Prerequisites: Entry level
- Price: Varies
The Logistics Worker Training Program prepares students for careers in the logistics industry. Inventory management, soft skills, and safety procedures are all topics that will be covered in the two-week program.
- Provider: Coursehorse
- Time: January 28, 2021 – April 1, 2021 (10 sessions)
- Prerequisites: All levels
- Price: $739
Strategic supply chain practices, creating partnerships, and global sourcing are just a few of the topics covered in this ten-session course. Typically held in New York, the course has gone online for the time being. All levels are invited to enroll.
Best Online Logistics Management Courses
Online classes are extremely convenient as you can learn from anywhere you wish. Find some excellent options for online logistics courses below.
- Provider: edX
- Time: 1 year, 5 months (8–12 hours per week)
- Prerequisites: Graduate level
- Price: $1,524
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MicroMasters program fits six courses into one and a half years. The curriculum covers core methodologies including probability, statistics, and optimization used in supply chain modeling and analysis, designing supply chain networks, and end to end supply chain management, amongst other topics. The course is instructor-led with specific due dates.
- Provider: Udemy
- Time: 1.5 hours
- Prerequisites: open to all levels
- Price: $99.99
Udemy invites students to “kick start your career as a logistics or supply chain manager” with their Business of Logistics in Supply Chain Management course. Learn the day to day operations, theory behind logistics and supply chain management, and warehousing and inventory management. Regularly $99.99, the course is frequently on sale, including right now for $12.99.
Best Free Logistics Management Courses
A free class can be a powerful tool if you are just getting started in logistics management. Try one of the following free classes.
- Provider: Coursera
- Time: 8 hours
- Prerequisites: Beginner level
- Price: Free
This free course, offered through Rutgers University, covers the three main subjects: transportation, warehousing, and inventory. A background in logistics isn’t required here. The entry-level course will set you up for success in introducing logistics and is one in five in the supply chain management specialization.
- Provider: Alison
- Time: 1.5–3 hours
- Prerequisites: Level 2
- Price: Free
Learn about supply chain management and how it drives business with this Alison course. Free and one and a half to three hours long, the course teaches the flow of goods and services to their final destination. This is an introductory level course.
Best Logistics Management Book
Books are an excellent resource for learning logistics management. You might consider checking out the one listed below.
‘Lean Supply Chain and Logistics Management’, Paul Myerson
Learn how to eliminate waste in a supply chain. Learn from real-world examples and case studies in this book by supply chain expert Paul Myerson.
Logistics Management Certifications
Having logistics management certifications is an excellent way to further your career. Each certification has different requirements and allows you to learn new skills.
Below are a few certifications that are relatively common for logistics management or supply chain management professionals. These certifications are offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS).
This certification goes in-depth about a wide range of supply chain logistics. It is a broader certification to receive.
The CPIM certification is the standard of professional competence. To earn this certification, you must pass two exams in three years. To maintain the CPIM, you also need to receive 75 professional development points within five years.
To complete this certification, it is required to have three years of experience with a bachelor’s degree. You will also need to earn 75 professional development points every five years.
Best Online Logistics Management Resources
There are plenty of online resources for those who are interested in studying logistics or are already a logistics management professional. Below are a few.
Linkedin Learning offers video tutorials led by experts in their field. A free resource if you are a LinkedIn Prime member, a free month trial if you are not, there is unlimited access to the subscription library.
This online resource is about the movement of food through the supply chain. You can find news releases, tips, and other valuable resources here.
Should You Study Logistics Management?
Do you want to pursue a career where you can see yourself making a tangible difference every day? Logistics management is a crucial part of many industries and companies. It creates more revenue and ensures customer satisfaction is met every time a delivery is needed.
Like it was mentioned, this process is necessary for many different industries, so you can tailor your career with your interests. If you are interested in being a part of this process and helping complete a business’s supply chain, then this is an extraordinary career for you.
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