The logistics engineer is the professional responsible for analyzing the production of production data and creating solutions that result in more efficient processes, reduced costs and greater profitability.
A logistics engineer handles supply chain management to ensure that finished and raw products get where they need to be in a timely manner. Large corporations and organizations such as the military tend to have uses for logistics engineers, although they may be known for other titles depending on the organization. Employment opportunities and salary scales vary based on experience, organization and current economic conditions. Sluggish economies can make it difficult to find work in logistics as fewer goods are in transit as a result of falling consumer demand.
A logistics engineer will regularly visit the facility and observe operations.
Each step in the supply chain may require the input of a logistics engineer. The objective of this person is to anticipate supply needs to reduce the risk of delays related to lack of supply. The logistics engineer may be responsible for purchasing, moving and storing goods. This can involve a large network, as in the case of companies that move goods internationally and need to be able to distribute products and supplies to multiple branches. A car manufacturer, for example, may have several factories, each with different supply needs.
A logistics engineer may be responsible for planning, designing and deploying heavy machinery and equipment in an industrial environment.
Some aspects of logistics engineering may involve the application of mathematics and science. This can include using equations to calculate supply requirements and determine the most efficient way to get products where they need to be. Logistics engineers also need good people skills as they can negotiate with contractors, suppliers, shippers and other parties to handle the supply chain on behalf of their employers. Flexibility can also be a critical feature, as obstacles such as traffic strikes, bad weather and other issues can arise to disrupt the supply chain.
Logistics engineers can help companies develop a relocation plan.
Support teams often assist a logistics engineer. This includes administrative staff as well as people who can handle delegated tasks. Regular meetings are a common part of working to keep all team members informed of recent developments. The logistics engineer may also need to meet with executives and supervisors in various departments to discuss ongoing needs and respond to them. Work may also include discussing new products and services in development to determine what types of supply chain changes may need to be made to accommodate them.
There are several paths available to become a logistics engineer. Many working logistics engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in systems or business engineering, and some hold a graduate degree. Experience in an industry can be useful, especially for systems engineers working for military contractors, some of whom prefer to hire veterans to take advantage of their familiarity with the service.