A logistics consultant helps companies improve customer service operations and develop cost-effective solutions for supply chain, warehouse, material handling, and distribution issues. Read on for more about the career duties of a logistics consultant, educational requirements, and employment outlook. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Logistics consultants analyze information to identify and solve any logistics and supply chain operation problems for their clients. Through strategic planning, information technology advances, and re-engineering processes, logistics consultants improve the company’s supply chain performance. They give advice on productivity, materials management, transportation of goods, packaging, order processing, manufacturing procedures, and quality control.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Annual Wage (2014) $73,870 (Logistician)
Certification Not required, but may be beneficial and demonstrate competence
Key skills Problem solving, critical thinking, communication, organizational skills
Similar Occupations Cost Estimator, Quality Control Inspector, Management Analyst

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment

Logistics consultants work in physical distribution, warehouse, and material handling industries where they specialize in securing suppliers from the early stages of production through the final stages of delivery. Logistics consultants help manufacturing companies increase productivity, reduce excess costs, update technology systems, and provide better customer service.

Educational Requirements

Aspiring logistics consultants should obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a business discipline, such as economics, marketing, management, or accounting, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Individuals with a degree in computer and information sciences or engineering are potential candidates for logistics consultant positions. Many business schools teach consulting techniques through student consulting clubs. Internships can provide hands-on training and networking skills. Consulting firms provide on-the-job training for recent graduates with a background in logistics and safety, according to the BLS.

Logistics consulting has its share of advantages. Before learning about the advantages of it, it helps to know what this practice is all about.

As the name implies, it is a business where consultants are brought into a firm to offer professional advice and ideas that will improve the function of the company in question. It is a practice that involves advising distributors, manufacturers and retailers about how to reduce costs, increase profitability and optimize the processes that they use.

Consultants in this field are most often hired by firms that work with companies in specific types of industries. To use an example, some firms may specialize in distribution businesses that are looking to enhance the operations in their warehouses, while others may employ logistics consulting with regard to manufacturers.

Some firms choose to specialize in supply chain consulting practices. What this means is that they provide advice and guidance to companies at every step of a process, from the production stage, all the way through to the sales and marketing phases.

The advantages of logistics consulting are that it assists a business in adjusting to new types of trends and technologies. It also helps to cut down on waste and it keeps costs as low as possible. It is also an effective tool at bridging the communication gap between various departments within a company and in communicating in a more successful manner with clients.

Most industries want to remain current and up-to-date in order to remain competitive. Keeping up with new technologies can be of benefit in every industry. When consultants are brought in, they are able to look at a firm with a new perspective and have vision that those employed with the firm would not have.

Manufacturers can reduce their costs by putting to use machines that require a lesser degree of manual labor. Warehouses are able to improve their level of efficiency when they are taught how to use software that is targeted at recording and tracking the inventory. A company can benefit from logistics consulting by way of the implementation of the new software and other devices that make operations flow better.

A consultant in this field can work closely with the managers on all areas where optimal efficiency can be achieved. New components can be introduced to the firm and that will make the work take place in a superior manner.

When operational processes are improved, the practice of logistics consulting can enable managers and business owners to have less waste to deal with. This will save money in the long-term and perhaps even the short-term as well. A consultant would do a thorough analysis and from there, find ways to restructure models within the company in such a way that employees are placed in positions where their abilities can best be used to serve the needs of the business. Workers may also be trained in new ways that will help to optimize their skills.