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Logistics, or Logistics Management, is the process of planning, implementing and controlling procedures for the efficient and effective acquisition, transportation (inbound, outbound and internal movements) and storage of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption so as to successfully meet the requirements of customers and/or corporations. The resources managed in logistics can include physical items such as food, materials, livestock, equipment, liquids and even information. The logistics of physical items usually involves the integration of information flow, material handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and security.
Common Logistics job titles: Chief Sales Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The Business Acquisition Group is responsible for "onboarding" new customers who need to purchase logistics solutions (warehousing, transportation, etc.) to satisfy their internal (inside the company) and external (customers) demand. This group is typically responsible for developing and nurturing qualified sales leads through a variety of channels (e-mail, newsletters, social media, direct mail, online research, etc.), providing leads with accurate quotes for the products or services purchased, managing discounts, managing contracts, maintaining customer relationships and ensuring that all customer information is compiled in a customer relationship management (CRM) application.
Common Business Acquisition job titles: Director of Sales, EVP/SVP of Business Development
Lead Generation & Research
Lead Generation and Research employees are responsible for developing pre-screened (i.e., qualified) sales leads that match the persona of a typical buyer through a variety of channels (e-mail newsletters, social media, direct mail, online research, etc.), researching those leads and passing them to sales employees (Inside or Outside Sales staff) for follow-up. Information on sales leads (address, phone number, email, contact history, job title, direct reports, etc.) are often compiled in a customer relationship management (CRM) application for future reference.
Common Lead Generation & Research job titles: Lead Generation Specialist, Research Operations Manager, Research Associate, Lead Generation Analyst
Pricing & Quotations
The Pricing and Quotations Group works closely with Inside and Outside Sales Teams to generate accurate quotes for the amount of products or services the customer agreed to purchase. They price out all products or services, create payment schedules (if needed), manage discounted and segmented pricing, and determine the projected revenue for each customer.
Common Pricing & Quotations job titles: Quotation Specialist, Pricing Analyst, Proposal Specialist, Pricing Coordinator
Contract Management employees are tasked with creating, negotiating, analyzing and managing contracts with customers in order to maximize performance (financial and operational) and minimize risk. They work to ensure that contracts have spelled out the products and services to be provided by the logistics company, accurate product and service prices and payment information as well as any special instructions needed for the product or service provided. Contracts also typically include performance criteria through which the vendor's performance will me measured and tracked. Supplier performance criteria can include on-time deliveries, material quality, consistent pricing levels and request for quote response times.
Common Contract Management job titles: Supply Chain Contract Manager, Contract Management Specialist, Senior Contract Administrator, Services Contract Manager
The Order Management Function is responsible for collecting, validating and submitting (many times, entering it into an Order Management or ERP system) all of the information required to accurately fulfill a customer order. For the Logistics industry, customers typically include retailers, manufacturers, etc. The Order Management function is a bridge between the Sales, Production and Distribution functions of a company. It mediates between the supply or push of production and the demand or pull of consumption. A successful customer order requires coordination between marketing, sales, pricing and quotation, inventory tracking, production, packaging and shipping groups.
Common Order Management job titles: EVP/SVP of Customer Experience, Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Operating Officer
Orders, within this function, are received through a variety of channels, including phone, fax, online (eCommerce), email or face-to-face (a dying channel). The Order Collection and Entry function is responsible for accurately collecting and recording customer order information and then passing it off to the production, packaging and shipping groups.
Common Order Processing job titles: Order Entry Clerk, Customer Service Representative, Order Entry Processor
The Reverse Logistics Outsourcing function is responsible for planning, implementing and controlling the efficient, cost effective flow of raw materials, in process inventory, finished goods and related information from their typical destination (the consumer) to the point of origin (the manufacturer or distributor) for the purpose of recapturing the product's value or ensuring its proper disposal. Remanufacturing and refurbishing activities, as well as the management and sale of surplus, and even the management of returned equipment and machines from hardware leasing businesses form part of reverse logistics. Other common tasks in this function include testing returned products, determining potential resale strategies (e.g., discounts, sales, etc.) and dismantling, repairing, recycling or disposing of the product.
Common Reverse Logistics job titles: Returns Specialist, Return Support Specialist, Warehouse Returns Processor
Master Data Management
The Master Data Management function is responsible for managing the structure, quality and use of data by both internal (in the company) and external users (clients, customers), often by means of database tools, GUI-based user interfaces and other internal data storage or management systems/architectures. The Master Data Management function relies heavily on the Information Technology (IT) Team and the company's existing technological infrastructure (servers, network connection, encryption algorithm) to store, export and analyze data collected from various sources, both internal and external.
Common Master Data Management job titles: Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Database Engineering & Management
The Database Engineering and Management function is responsible for the conception, modelling and creation (i.e., programming) of a database, as well as data analysis, database documentation and administration of the database. Their duties may also include the installation of enterprise database management system software across multiple operating environments, evaluating existing systems and handling database upgrades or reconfigurations.
Common Database Engineering & Management job titles: Application Developer, Sofware Developer, Database Administrator
Data Governance & Control
The Data Governance and Control function is responsible for developing company-wide policies regarding data use and setting standards for data quality and security. They work with business units to maintain analytical and reporting capabilities by enforcing the quality, consistency and cleanliness of the data that they produce and manage. They may also coordinate across organizational groups communicate and enforce data naming conventions, recordation methods, and metadata inputs to foster cross-organizational data sharing and comparability.
Common Data Governance & Control job titles: Data Governance Specialist, Data Quality Analyst, Data Analyst
Enterprise Architecture (EA)
The Enterprise Architecture (EA) Group is responsible for defining the structure and operation of an organization by documenting and integrating the business processes of internal groups (HR, Finance, IT) with information technology (IT) systems and applications. In short, they are tasked with aligning company systems with actual, real-world business needs, or requirements. EA team members work with both day-to-day business users and IT application developers to perform business process analysis and improvements that can then be implemented into automated workflow management systems, business intelligence applications and other internal systems. Enterprise Architects work diligently to ensure that IT projects meet the strategic needs of the business.
Common Enterprise Architecture (EA) job titles: Enterprise Architect, Systems Administrator, IT Architect, Software Architect
Information Architecture (IA)
Information Architecture (IA) refers to the structural design of data - database system architecture, naming/labeling conventions, definitions and standards for the collection, storage, retrieval and use of information. In a business setting, Information Architects are responsible for designing the structure of company database systems and ensuring that the information is stored in a way that will allow for meaningful use by business end users. They work closely with business users and other internal stakeholders to understand their strategic needs and translate them into requirements as they relate to data storage and quality.
Common Information Architecture (IA) job titles: Data Engineer, Information Architect, Systems Administrator, Data Architect
The Distribution Group handles all aspects of the flow of outgoing products to customers, as well as the flow of goods from production facilities to warehouse locations. The primary purpose of the group is to arrange and compile necessary goods and/or materials before dispatching them to customer(s) on a timely basis. With a large consideration to transportation costs and timely shipments, the Distribution Group must also monitor the safety of the delivery and take proper precautions, if necessary (including storing goods properly during transportation and auditing packaging procedures).
Common Distribution job titles: EVP/SVP of Distribution Operations, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Warehouse Design & Management
The Warehouse Design & Management function uses numerous analysis (facility location and size analysis, capacity analysis, equipment analysis, etc.) to design streamlined warehouse layouts that are built for the efficient access to goods and overall employee productivity. Other responsibilities include lease negotiation and administration (typically for outsourced warehouses), site selection and acquisition, and real estate market analysis. This function, furthermore, works closely with the Logistics Compliance & Safety function to ensure that all warehouse development and management practices follow industry regulations while keeping the safety of the employees paramount.
Common Warehouse Design & Management job titles: Warehouse Manager, Warehouse Operations Analyst, Facilities Space Planner
Inventory Management & Control
The Inventory Management & Control function is responsible for the efficient storage and monitoring of inventory in company warehouses and storage facilities. Through communications with the Forecasting and Purchasing or Procurement groups, they set levels at which to purchase additional volumes of each item (and notify the appropriate parties when those levels are reached, usually in an automated manner). They also control the quality of storage methods and ensure that incoming and outgoing items meet the necessary standards. This is especially important in industries with tight regulation, such as food production and processing, chemicals and oil and gas.
Common Inventory Management & Control job titles: Inventory Management Specialist, Inventory Control Manager, Forklift Operator
The Receiving function is responsible for ensuring the efficient and timely delivery of goods/materials to their clients or the customers of their clients. They manage the flow of inbound shipments to warehouses and ensure that incoming goods are assigned to their proper storage area in the warehouse.
Common Receiving job titles: Receiving Clerk, Receiving Associate, Receiving Inspector, Receiving Specialist
Channel Design & Management
The Channel Management function is responsible for the design and development of marketing and distribution channels as well as managing relationships with intermediaries (also known as channel partners). Intermediaries are third parties who bridge the gap between producer and consumer. They play a vital role in delivering the product to the consumer in an efficient and effective manner. Intermediaries can include service providers, retailers, systems integrators, wholesalers or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Common Channel Design & Management job titles: Dispatcher, Distribution Network Designer, Distribution Channel Manager, Distribution Analyst
The Fleet Management function is responsible for maintaining the assets that physically move goods from producer to consumer, or to an intermediary (a third party who acts as a conduit for goods or services offered by the producer, such as a retail store, market or similar). They analyze distribution costs to determine when vehicles (trucks, vans, airplanes, etc.) should be replaced or phased out and perform ongoing preventative maintenance for the company's fleet of transportation assets. The Fleet Management function is also responsible for ensuring that transportation assets are used efficiently (e.g., gas use, driver habits, route monitoring, etc.) and safely.
Common Fleet Management job titles: Fleet Manager, Shop Manager, Fleet Maintenance Mechanic, Fleet Coordinator, Asset Control Specialist
Logistics Compliance & Safety
The Logistics Compliance and Safety function is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for logistic employees and developing standards related to the acquisition and distribution of goods (especially goods that require careful handling during shipment, such as foods or chemicals). They guarantee that environmental, health, safety and security requirements are incorporated in all of the company's procedures and operating habits. The Logistics Compliance and Safety function, furthermore, assesses the performance and standards of the company to ensure that they meet the requirements set forth by industry regulatory agencies (e.g., Department of Transportation, etc.), company management and the contracts made with clients. Effective performance and safety tracking can improve employee satisfaction, client relationships and the quality of the services and/or products offered.
Common Logistics Compliance & Safety job titles: Compliance Planner, Transportation Safety Coordinator, Distribution Quality Analyst, Logistics Safety & Regulatory Engineer
Order Picking & Shipment
The Order Picking and Shipment function is responsible for compiling and packaging customer orders and ensuring that products/goods are adequately stored and protected during distribution, or shipment. They fulfill orders as requested by the Order Management Group and prepare them to be distributed to the appropriate location at the right time.
Common Order Picking & Shipment job titles: Truck Loader, Picking & Packing Clerk, Order Fulfillment Associate, Shipping Coordinator
The Transportation function is responsible for physically moving products/goods from a company's warehouse to the intended end point (this can include other warehouses, manufacturing factories, or brick-and-mortar retail stores). This function, furthermore, is not only responsible for ensuring that the products/goods they are carrying reach the appropriate destination at the right time, but they are also responsible for ensuring the safety of the products/goods themselves. Employees working within this function typically track their vehicle's mileage, work hours and rest times in a daily log book.
Common Transportation job titles: Delivery Driver, Truck Operatior, Conductor, Pilot