Globally, the logistics industry has seen immense growth due to new technology and demand for quicker transport. But to ensure these growth areas remain efficient, businesses within the logistics arena need to hire employees with the right skill sets. Here are the key skills in highest demand right now.

1. Dispute Resolution

Disputes can arise in logistics. Therefore, it is important that your team is skilled in arbitration, mediation, and the like. They must be able to project manage the various teams involved, pay attention to detail, and ensure that all channels of communication remain clear and timescales are adhered to. Minimizing the effect of a dispute benefits productivity and costs; therefore an employee with the ability to work alongside clients, businesses, and legal teams is a very valuable asset and can save on time and money.

2. Peak Planning and Execution

It’s always a challenge to deliver a successful peak period due to the continued growth in eCommerce and national retail events like Cyber Monday. However, peak is a crucial time of the year for many businesses, especially those with seasonal spikes. Navigating it, successfully, is the key challenge.

Competency in eCommerce -- particularly in managing its ongoing growth -- is fundamental, along with excellent forward-planning, performance analysis, and forecasting. All of these tasks fall under the umbrella of peak planning and execution. Access to information is a major factor in delivering a successful peak, so getting the right people on board that understand and know how to manipulate data is essential. They’ll also need to possess comprehensive knowledge of the interim marketplace at all levels, as the workforce expands according to demand.

3. Process Development

No organization wants to be bogged down with snail-pace work processes that affect productivity. Staff with an aptitude for process development have the ability to identify ways to streamline work processes. This may include cost minimization, utilizing production capacity, and improving quality. People like these are critical for your organization and play a major part in any logistics operation by providing effective logistics management.

4. Reverse Logistics

Getting someone on your team to manage the reverse logistics process for your business is a smart move. Debate may rage over the true definition of reverse logistics, but it essentially refers to all activity after the point of sale. Therefore, the right people with experience in areas such as managing returns, product updates, end-of-life manufacturing, and refund administration are indispensable. This will enable your business to better manage the logistics/aftermarket supply chain process. The benefits are not just monetary - they can also ensure you are meeting your environmental responsibilities, too.

5. Smart Transport Modelling

Being able to offer a comprehensive modelling solution is a competency that remains at the heart of any logistics business. So, it would make perfect sense to shore up your business with a specialist in the area. Transport modelling is the effective planning of routes. It involves an evaluation of existing conditions that are generally expected, alongside a more detailed investigation into future projections. Logistics companies require smart people who can take a mathematical approach to logistical routes thereby ensuring that trips are designed to be the most cost-effective.

6. Talent Development

Succession planning and team training are the foundation of any procurement or logistics operation. Hiring someone that knows how to identify talent, internally and externally, will help the operational business in many areas. The right person will know how to attract the right caliber of employees, whether that be graduates or experienced hires, by structuring development plans and implementing innovative initiatives to keep them engaged while developing their careers.

7. Warehouse Layout Utilization

Your warehouse management team is expected to be proficient in utilizing the various layout options to optimize workflows, enabling the development of warehouse processes and standard operating procedures. They are charged with investigating improvements to existing warehouse infrastructure, system integration, and process design, in line with supply chain and logistics strategy requirements. A warehouse that is designed to utilize the most efficient ways of working is in prime position to increase long-term productivity targets.

8. Warehouse Management Technology

Warehouse management systems (WMS) are software packages that support day-to-day logistical operations. In order to best manage your processes, ensure that someone on your team has the all-important WMS knowhow. This would typically include the centralized management of tracking inventory levels and stock locations. With retail increasingly moving away from physical stores to a digital-dominated model, the need for more efficient WMS systems is growing at a rapid rate. Those who are able to identify and deploy the most effective tools for their business will forever be one step ahead.

9. Teamwork

Teamwork is one transferable skill that lies at the heart of logistics. Collaboration and communication within your team across various business departments ensures that projects are run most effectively and efficiently. A quality that has been rated highly by employers for a very long time, teamwork within logistics is now an essential skill for every professional. At a time when speed and quality are of the essence, the ability to work as a team is fundamental to success across all areas of a business.

To fill any gaps in your logistics team, submit a job spec to us or speak with one of our expert recruitment consultants today.