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What Does a Logistics Supervisor Do?

By M. Kayo
Updated May 17, 2024
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A logistics supervisor coordinates and oversees various complex operations of a company or organization and manages the personnel who work to make these operations happen successfully. Responsibilities for a logistics supervisor may include selecting the appropriate laborers, choosing the right subcontractors, creating budgets, and auditing inventory levels. Working with various aspects of inventory is one of the primary functions of this position. A logistics supervisor must also have experience coordinating all the functions involved with order fulfillment. The final link in the logistics chain is distribution which involves getting the actual products into the retail stores that are best suited for selling the most products.

Inventory is the term a logistics supervisor uses to describe various items that are kept in stock, usually somewhere in a storage facility or warehouse. A logistics supervisor knows the relationship between the quantity of items or products being stored and the items or products being sold or requested by retailers and sellers. Coordinating with inventory, sales, and manufacturing personnel, logistics supervisors know the quantities of items or products being sold now, what is likely to be sold, and what current inventory levels may be. Using this information, a supervisor knows which items are selling out and which items need to be re-ordered. Some logistics supervisors monitor problems with manufacturers in order to locate others that can handle any additional orders should the need arise.

Order fulfillment is also one of the essential functions of the supervisor, who must coordinate orders between the manufacturing source and the retailer. Logistics supervisors ensure that the end retailers receive the absolute best quality items or products within sometimes very strict time constraints. Knowing how to coordinate the shipping and delivery of items or products with freight haulers, shipping companies, railroad contractors, and other services is an essential part of this job. This supervisor needs to have a back-up plan when first-line shipping services fail or delay a scheduled delivery. Monitoring and reporting of specific order fulfillment and supply chain performance as required by some customers is also the responsibility of a logistics supervisor.

Another important function of a logistics supervisor is product distribution. They must decide how a company gets its products into stores and which stores are going to sell the most products. These supervisors must also determine how to handle additional production, manufacturing, and shipping costs associated with increased demand for particular products or items. Working closely with sales and marketing professionals, these supervisors may also be involved in developing ways to make products that consumers and distributors will buy and thereby increase demand and sales.

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