Think about a smartphone. How many hands does it pass through before it gets to the consumer?
From suppliers and manufacturers to intermediate customers and vendors, each of these hands represents a career in the logistics and supply chain management industry.
San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development offers three logistics and supply chain management courses that lead to a Manufacturing Skill Standards Council logistics technician certification, preparing students to step into careers in this growing industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30 percent growth in the industry from 2020 to 2030.
The day-to-day job duties for a logistician are fast-paced and rapidly changing. Although professionals are highly skilled at analyzing data to anticipate buying patterns and trends, some things are impossible to predict.
Take 2020. No one could have predicted the onset of COVID-19 and the massive fear-based buyout of items usually well-stocked on grocery store shelves.
“We use algorithms and trends to predict how much product to order and stock on shelves,” said Kimberley Ward, instructor. “But natural disasters and pandemics are beyond those capabilities. That’s why the ability to remain calm under pressure and be adaptable are so important for logisticians.”
According to Ward, other qualities needed to succeed in the industry include having impeccable customer service skills, communicating well, and being detail-oriented and dependable.
“Everyone in logistics is a link in a chain. If my part of the process lags behind, it disrupts the entire distribution,” said Ward. “Sometimes these errors may seem inconsequential but could result in a delay of the delivery of a product.”
The logistics and supply chain management trio of courses begins with Introduction to Business Logistics, a prerequisite for the next two courses. This self-led course gives students a basic understanding of logistics. While the course itself takes seven hours to complete, students have two weeks to finish the coursework.
The following courses, Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician, are 3.5-hour, eight-week courses that focus on the supply chain world and related core skills.
“No prior experience is required for the logistics courses,” said Sheila Wall, director, CPD. “It is a great opportunity for students interested in the industry and unsure where to start.”
To learn more about these CPD courses, visit www.sanjac.edu/programs-courses/cpd/your-career/business-operations-supply-chain-entrepreneurs/logistics-supply-chain.