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Hiring the wrong logistics manager can prove expensive to your business.
According to the US Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. Also, a wrong hire led to a negative impact on clients for 22% of companies.
The consequences of poor hiring decisions go far beyond strictly financial ramifications. It can lead to loss of productivity, affect employee morale, and negatively impact client solutions. Add to it the loss of time and money on recruitment and training.
So bad hiring can jeopardize your business in several ways.
But, you’ll agree that no business hires a wrong candidate knowingly. It could happen due to several reasons, such as
- Being in a rush to fill the job position quickly,
- The unavailability of sufficient talent, or
- Not performing adequate reference checks.
Yet, the most common and primary reason is not evaluating a candidate thoroughly, which should be based on critical parameters to your business.
And, this holds true when it comes to hiring a logistics operations manager as well.
After all, how can you hire the right logistics project manager if you don’t know what makes them the right fit?
Just asking a couple of generic questions, such as about experience, is not enough. It cannot guarantee success.
So, we have created the following hiring checklist that has the parameters defined clearly. Every candidate for logistics management must then pass through the list, point by point, before being considered.
#1 People Management Skills
The first thing you need to look for is whether the candidate has excellent people management skills. Some managers only focus on routine daily operations. But, they can’t contribute to a business’s growth.
It would be best if you thus had someone who can think strategically, take the lead and focus on teamwork. This will help you achieve your company’s vision.
Here are the four skills the potential candidate must have:
They should lead by example. They must be clear on the team members’ objectives and value their contributions. Also, they should be able to gain their respect and focus on developing the workforce.
They should have effective communication skills. This is needed for the customers and team members to understand them.
Most importantly, the logistics manager you plan to hire must have excellent listening skills. They should listen carefully and understand what others are saying.
They should be able to motivate employees to work together. They must thus communicate effectively, participate fully and delegate work efficiently.
Furthermore, they must give the appropriate support and guidance when delegating work. This is important if you want your company to achieve the desired result.
They should have excellent interpersonal skills. This includes assertiveness, taking responsibility and being accountable, self-management, good manners, and adaptability.
Also, the logistics manager should:
- Display high integrity and honesty,
- Drive the team for results, and
- Focus on building successful relationships with both customers and team members.
#2 The Ability to Redesign a Process
A well-planned and foolproof process makes a company successful. But, it has to be dynamic and not static. You should analyze the results of a process and tweak it accordingly to reach greater heights.
So, ask the potential logistics operation managers whether they have redesigned any process. Plus, what impact it has made on their employers.
Ideally, each candidate should be able to review a customer’s needs and service levels. They must then increase the speed of the cycle times. They must also be able to deliver superior, on-time delivery.
You can also discuss your current business scenario or the challenges you face. You can then ask them how they would redesign the process.
Let’s illustrate this with an example.
Your manual route planning process takes up a lot of productive hours. Yet, it still cannot guarantee 100% accurate routes. It might also lead to delays in deliveries, which annoys your customers.
Ask the candidates for a solution to the problem. What can they do to streamline the process?
For example, a route planner can plan an optimized route with accurate directions to work for last-mile drivers.
It factors in weather, traffic, roadblocks, delivery time windows, sunrise and sunset times, weight, height, and many other constraints that affect your drivers. So, your drivers will never get stuck on the road and show up on time without any difficulty.
Learn the six benefits of delivery management software.
Do the logistics managers suggest such a solution?
Do they insist on tweaking the planning process but still stick to pen and paper?
If the latter is true, then it would undoubtedly be a bad hire. You need someone who can redesign a process and set the company in the right direction.
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#3 Real-Time Problem Solving Skills
Problem-solving skills are necessary for every manager across all industries. But, for logistics companies, real-time problem-solving skills are most important!
Let’s understand this with an example.
One of your drivers is behind schedule due to a sudden breakdown or any other reason. But, you cannot compromise on the delivery deadlines. How can the logistics manager you plan to hire solve the problem?
Will they inform the customer in advance that the delivery will be a bit late? If so, would they explain the reason for the delay?
Will they reassign another driver who is close to the customer’s location in real-time? If so, how would they make that happen? Will they use a map route planner for re-optimization?
The latter is the best solution to the problem, but you might not know about it. This is especially the case if you still plan routes with pen and paper.
But, the logistics manager needs to come up with such a solution. Don’t hire someone unaware that a tool like route optimization software can help them manage problems.
They should be well acquainted with the following four stages of problem-solving:
- Identifying the problem
- Finding possible solutions
- Making a decision
- Implementing the solution
- Monitoring or seeking feedback on the solution
#4 Technical Skills
IT plays a crucial role in logistics. It is also an essential tool for dynamic route planning and vehicle or driver management.
Therefore, technological skills and an understanding of complex programs are essential for logistics managers. The candidate must also know that technology can improve competitiveness and operational efficiency.
They do not need to have programming skills. But, they must be able to use their analytical skills to get the best from the system. This is required to make the operations run smoothly.
And, if they do not have IT skills, you’ll miss out on opportunities. This could be fatal to your business.
For example, if they don’t have such skills, they cannot operate a route optimizer.
Although such software doesn’t require advanced skills, basic knowledge is required. And, if your logistics manager doesn’t have that, your route planning and scheduling process won’t improve.
It will thus always remain time-consuming and inaccurate. And that’s not what you would like to have in a logistics manager… right?
#5 Other Important Skills
The skills mentioned above are mandatory for all logistics managers. However, there are other skills that you should look for to ensure you hire the right candidate.
- They must have a proven track record of accomplishments and achievements.
- They should have experience in the execution of cost-containment tactics.
- They must have primary logistics management skills. These include warehousing, transportation, order fulfillment, trade issues, distribution, and third-party management.
- They should be able to forecast and plan for the potential needs of your business.
- They should have the ability to analyze risk. For example, they must analyze the risks inside planning and routing software before sending a vehicle on the road. They should also be able to create dummy routes and see how well they perform with reasonable accuracy.
- They must have a holistic understanding of supply chain management.
- They should have strong written and verbal skills and understand logistics metrics.
Final Words about Hiring a Logistics Manager
Being a logistics manager is like running a medium-sized company within another one. They are involved with managing the vehicles, real estate, and inventory. They must also have:
- Financial skills to manage the budget,
- People skills to deal with the associates and customers, and
- The ability to prioritize to be successful in the position.