Coming into a management position is always unnerving, simply because you begin to recognize that you have a greater sense of responsibility. This is especially true for new logistics management, who must answer to a number of different situations. It takes a unique style to keep things running smoothly and to also be able to provide thorough answers to corporate executives, who want to ensure timely delivery of the company's products.
Advice For The New Logistics Manager
When coming into the position of manager for any company's logistics department, the key is to keep things running smoothly from the production market and out the door to the clients. This means keeping a cool head, avoiding a panic a determination to not let successes over-inflate your ego. Of course, the key to keeping things moderately stress-free is to develop a well organized plan and stick with it. There will be failures or mishaps along the way, but, through careful planning, those instances can be minimized to very rare occurrences.
When things do go wrong (and they will), the first step is to keep calm and let rational thought prevail. Panicking will only show that you lack the ability to adapt to new situations and that you're not the problem-solver your superiors thought you were, when they put you into this position. Analyze the situation and consider how errors happened, so you can come up with a new game plan and pick up the pieces with minimal downtime and delays.
On the other hand, too much success can lead to overconfidence and that should be avoided. While you should pride yourself on developing good plans never forget that something can derail your system at any time. For instance, suppliers and vendors may not have similarly foolproof plans, so be sure to have to have backup plans in place in the event that someone fails to come through for you.
By communicating with those suppliers and vendors, you can develop long-lasting relationships that will bolster your position as the logistics manager for your company. Be accessible. Ask your staff if they see you that way, and if not, ask what can you do to create a better information flow. This means drivers and dispatchers will be more forthcoming with information that may affect your department. A little advance warning will go a long way toward eliminating some of those aforementioned disasters.
The Secrets of Leadership
It might seem like an obvious practice, but many logistics managers forget or never grasp the importance of listening in keeping things running smoothly. The entire supply chain from the receipt of raw materials to the shipping of finished goods depends greatly on the leader's ability to listen to everyone involved in the process. Generally, logistics managers focus too much on their own department with little regard for what may be going on elsewhere in the process.
To be effective leaders, logistic managers should train themselves to see the big picture outside of their organization, as well as paying greater attention to the departments within their own company. By observing what competitors and other industries associated with their company's products, the manager can develop a better understanding of how the supply chain interacts with itself. This is especially important today, when constant technological advances are continuously changing the way we manufacture and deliver new products to the marketplace.
Keeping a firm grasp on your own pool of talent is equally vital to the success of a logistics manager. By cross-training staff and keeping an eye on performance, the brightest and most creative employees won't get lost in the shuffle and those individuals needing extra attention can also be identified. By taking this approach, you can take advantage of the best qualities of each subordinate and boost the efficiency of the team as a whole.
While there might be a degree of uncertainty with your first logistics management savannah position, paying attention to your supply chain, your company, and the industry as a whole can lead you to becoming a better educated and promising leader. Take the initiative, read trade journals, network outside your organization, and communicate within to ensure your value as a leader.