We’re always reading about the best ways to improve your business website or the best ways to interact with your customers to build brand loyalty – but what really makes a business great is what goes on behind the scenes. Before you start tweaking the website and other finishing touches, focus on the heart of your business model – your logistics team.
What can a logistics team do for your business?
The parts of business the world pictures are all the shiny outward facing sides – customer service agents, customer-facing media such as websites and social accounts, and conferences where connections are made and new ideas exchanged. What people don’t think of as often is the less glamorous world of logistics – even though it’s arguably the most important part of your business.
Logistics is essentially the mechanics of your sales and supply chain. Some of the most successful businesses in the world have based their achievements on having a highly efficient logistics system – Amazon for instance offers an almost infinite selection of products delivered quickly and simply right to your door. Similarly, ASOS offer a huge range of clothing brands shipped efficiently right to the customer. The concept of these businesses isn’t groundbreaking in itself – what sets them apart is their efficiency and convenience. And that’s what a strong logistics team running a smooth system can give to you.
When do you need to think about putting together a logistics team?
If your business is still in the small start-up stage, don’t start panicking about a logistics team just yet. While you should absolutely ensure that you put a lot of focus on the logistics system you are building, this is more so that you can be sure that you are building an efficient and viable business model – which will no doubt reach the point of needing a logistics team in the not too distant future.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed but aren’t ready to hire a team yet, you might want to consider taking on someone part time to manage the nuts and bolts of your logistics so that you can be sure the system is running properly and being looked after when you have to focus on other things.
You only need to start thinking about hiring a whole team when you have an established system in place and you feel confident that the cost of setting up an in-house logistics team wouldn’t be larger than the benefit of it – in short, you need to be confident that your business’ income is large enough to sustain establishing a new department and is predicted to increase over the next few quarters.
What skills do logistics professionals need?
The absolute top skill for logistics professionals is exceptional organizational skills. A person who is always missing deadlines or losing phone numbers will be a nightmare in a department that depends on routine, processes, and efficient communication. If all else fails when you’re hiring for a logistics team, make sure they are organized and have a track record to prove it.
A second important trait is that they don’t shy away from problems. A lot of what a logistics team does is troubleshoot issues that arise in the system, so any logistics professional needs to have a problem-solving and practical attitude.
Relationship-building skills are another must. Apart from the fact that you will obviously want to hire a person who is likely to get on with your existing team, a logistics professional needs to have the people skills to build friendly and effective working relationships with people throughout your supply chain and business network.
Hiring the right logistics team
If your business is still relatively small and you feel you have the time, you might feel that you personally want to oversee any hiring decisions yourself – especially with something as important as your logistics team. If you’re running a larger business and you know you need to outsource this responsibility, then the question comes down to how to do so.
In both situations, it’s best to make sure you have the experts on hand. Whether you want to oversee the final selection of candidates yourself or outsource the entire process, top-tier logistics recruitment services are going to be your best friend.
While you and your existing team might be great at picking out a personality type that would fit in well, when it comes to logistics it has to be skills first and social second. By using a specialist logistics recruitment agency, you’re already narrowing the pool of candidates to people who, you can rest assured, know how to do the job well – enabling you to take into account other factors without risking the business value of the team you’re putting together.
Hiring a logistics team is a big step forward for any business, but a vital one that will ensure that your business’ efficiency and customer service reputation remains high. Keep the skills you’re looking for in mind and make sure you’re hiring in the right places – and you can’t go wrong.