Logistics: Today’s Hot Topic in the Business World

Because of increased awareness of logistics and its importance to enhancing profits for both small and large companies, all eyes are on the process managers. Increased demand for experience professionals and quality technology are just a few factors that continue to fuel the burgeoning logistics industry.

Increased Demand for
Experienced Professionals
“A lot of the new masters degrees at the Ivy League schools are secured in logistics. Why? Because there is a massive need for it,” Vince Boatright of Corporate Logistics Group Inc. said.
Cookshank of The Bama Companies Inc. said he is excited about the increase in logistics classes and university programs available in logistics.
“A lot of corporate companies are looking for someone, even though they may not have the experience, who has gone through all the different situations in logistics classes,” Cookshank said.
Kyle Burchart of Melton Logistics said he has noticed jobs in logistics have evolved rapidly in recent years.
“Demand for logistics services has grown, and that’s what has happened with traffic managers – their jobs have evolved,” Burchart said. “Two years ago their primary function was to go out and source capacity. Now they’re doing production and operations management, auditing freight bills, and sourcing their capacity.”

Increased Demand for Logistics Services
Boatright said the efficacy of logistics solutions is what makes market leaders.
“The blue-chip companies have begun to realize that if they can master the logistics portion of their business, it will lower materials costs, inventory levels, it will enhance efficiencies, market share, and they’ll improve the profit margins and the strength of their companies,” Boatright said.
“The way you manage the transportation and logistics of your company will affect the entire supply chain. There is no other single portion of your business model that will do that,” Boatright said.
“Look at Wal-Mart – they are the logistics managers of the universe. How can you sell the same widget I’m selling for less at a higher profit margin? Logistics,” Boatright said.
Just as in any industry, supply and demand govern the logistics sector. According to Dan Taylor of Melton Truck Lines, logistics thrives when supply and demand are out of balance.
“When there is a shortage of capacity because there are a lot of loads out there, trucks become scarce, and it’s hard to get a truck,” Taylor said. “When you have a downturn and there is more capacity on the market than there are loads, a lot of carriers don’t have the right freight at the right place at the right time.”

Technology, Reliability with Size
Donna Barrett, director of public relations for UPS out of Atlanta, said just because shipping and distribution markets are globalizing doesn’t mean small businesses are left behind.
“Because of the Internet, what you’re seeing now is that even very small businesses are participating in global trade,” Barrett said. “We are doing a lot of things to try to help small and large businesses better manage their global supply chains.”
Barrett said that logistics is inextricably tied to technology. UPS uses software programs like Connectship to “help customers demystify global trade.” Both size and technology capabilities enable UPS to remain a market leader in an increasingly competitive logistics market, Barrett said.

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