18 August 2021

Choosing a career in logistics and supply chain consulting

Just like technology enabled the rise of giants like Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, it’s also transforming the logistics and supply chain industry. Find out what this means for consultants.

The next tech giants

“If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on.”

– Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO

Just like technology enabled the meteoric rise of giants like Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, it’s also rapidly transforming the face of the logistics and supply chain industry.

Automated processes, sensors, data collection, robotics and artificial intelligence are dismantling the blue-collar image of a by-gone era. The industry is now characterised by data, sophisticated technology and strategic decision making and it is looking for bright, driven people to take it to the next level.

Around 1.2 million Australians are employed in the industry [i] and Deloitte forecasts growth 40% faster than the general Australian labour force[ii].

Fast-growth industry offers fast career growth opportunities

A key benefit of joining a fast-growing industry is that it presents compelling opportunities for personal and professional growth. Of course, the precise experience will depend to a degree on the company, so you want to choose wisely.

As with any industry undergoing transformation, there are leaders and there are laggards. While the laggards are out-dated and resistant to change, the leaders are cutting-edge, exciting places, brimming with opportunity for like-minded individuals.

As the largest fourth party logistics provider (4PL) in Australia and New Zealand, and growing fast, efm prides itself on being the latter.

Brendan Elmazovski started with efm in a part-time capacity in the Billing function while studying at university ten years ago. He seized opportunity after opportunity across various roles before becoming General Manager, all before his 30th birthday. He says:

“My time at efm has led to personal and professional development through a cross-functional role with real-life challenges. You could have a passion for finance or data, software development, or a genuine interest in customer service. The breadth of opportunity is huge.”

In fact, the majority of efm’s general management team entered the organisation as graduates and followed a comparable progression over a similar timeframe.

After joining efm ten years ago as a graduate, Lee Dornan, GM of Finance and Commercial has added value across the business in areas as diverse as commercial, service delivery and finance. She says:

“It’s not uncommon for staff within entry-level roles to be promoted within six to nine months. We’ve had graduates promoted to leadership roles in twenty-four to thirty-six months because they have shown considerable growth and further potential.”

MCP 6312

A day in the life of a consultant

In the right company, a day in logistics is never boring. It is fast-paced, exciting and at times, demanding. You have to be on your toes. An oversight or a delayed package can cost the customer thousands of dollars and damage the customer relationship. With so many moving parts, disruptions are inevitable and it’s the job of the logistics team to pre-empt, mitigate and manage the impact of them. Brendan says,

“A service-based business at its core fuelled by technology, the standard of excellence and appetite for innovation here drives significant growth for our customers and opportunities for our employees, making it a very exciting place to work.”

Values are the best indicator of culture

Central to the experience of a ‘day in the life of’ is the company culture. A good indicator of the culture of the company you’re looking to join is their set of values. Values guide beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. Essentially, they indicate, how to ‘show up’ each and every day. More important than meeting any technical requirements is the degree of cultural fit, or how aligned your personal values are to the company’s. Take for example the values at efm:

  • Every day’s a game day
  • Together we make a difference
  • Near enough isn’t good enough
  • Relationships that last

Brendan says:

Our company values are a key part of our success. They are in our DNA and shape every part of our business, from how we answer the phone to what we do when things don’t go according to plan.

“When everyone shares the same values and is working towards a common goal, an indisputable team spirit emerges, which helps to connect you to the work and find meaning in it.”

Qualifications for a career in supply chain and logistics

People from all sorts of professional backgrounds are turning to supply chain management and logistics to make a tangible impact on some of the most prominent businesses in their region.

A Bachelor’s degree is the typical entry qualification into the industry. While it’s possible to study a Bachelor of Supply Chain Management, many new entrants seeking Account Management or Analyst roles have broader degrees such as Business, Commerce, Economics and even the Arts. Customer Service, which is a crucial division for a fourth-party logistics provider that delivers a managed end-to-end solution, has no specific qualification requirements.

Regardless of their professional background, new entrants to the industry share some common traits: determination, problem-solving ability, communication skills and a passion to make an impact.

Make a lasting impact

If you’ve ever sat through a business lecture, you’ve likely heard Drucker’s celebrated phrase, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Well, a similar declaration can be made about a business’ supply chain. It’s one thing to have a vision and to set goals and targets, but without an optimally running supply chain bringing it all to fruition, there is no business.

Balancing supply and demand is an art that requires real-time information and human expertise to create value. With these two factors in harmony, it’s possible to make a real and lasting impact, both on a customer’s business and on your own career.

In a rapidly transforming industry, in the right company that fosters growth, there’s no telling how significant that could be.

Find out more about careers at efm here

[1] https://gradaustralia.com.au/c...
[2] https://www2.deloitte.com/cont...

efm team walking to meeting

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