There has been much discussion on what Logistics is and the emerging role and recognition of the importance of Logistics professionals within organizations. The rapid growth of the profession has been statistically represented in the growth of related Logistics associations. Two North American examples are the Council of Supply Chain Management ProfessionalsÂ (CSCMP) formerly the CLM, and Supply Chain Logistics Canada (SCL), both of which have grown almost tenfold in the last decade to almost 10,000 and 1,000 members respectively.
My premise here is that the most desirable future role for these individuals is not within retail and manufacturing organizations proper, but as key players in Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider companies where their interest and expertise are perfectly aligned with the core business of their employer.
I will not detail here the potential hard benefits of third party, but in a nutshell, they can be lower costs, reduced assets, stability, flexibility, expanded expertise, and enhanced integration opportunities.
There are many reasons for this belief, but the major one is that if a Logistics practitioner is worth his salt, from the first day in the role he or she begins working themselves out of a job. I mean this both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, the complete Logistics Professional begins by gathering all the pertinent information on the organization, ie: volumes, modes, costs, company needs and develop an understanding of the corporate strategy for alignment purposes. Then theÂ strategizing, modelling and optimization process begins and once complete, it is time for action.
In mid to large size organizations action represents the development of both senior management and peer support as well as the team required to complete the change process. Obviously other resources and IT systems required to complete the process must be specified and put into place, and then the leadership skills of the Logistics Professional are the final ingredients to make it happen.