Dupré Logistics


Training Logistics Leaders

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The need to train leaders who can effectively use a full array of management tools is notunique to supply chain logistics departments at companies dealing in manufacturing, retail or distribution. However, certain characteristics about these businesses make training logistics leaders more of a challenge as compared to other industries. As a business owner or manager, you need to coach them, provide appropriate mentoring support and motivate them to exceed your expectations.

At the same time, it’s necessary to give them the freedom to make independent decisions, which may involve making mistakes. After all, it’s only through trial and error that your logistics leaders can become invaluable assets for your company. The point is not to take a carte blanche approach to learning through blunders,but rather to recognize the common mistakes and learn how to get your supply chain logistics leaders back on course.

Common Mistakes Made by Managers

1. Scheduling Staff

Even experienced logistics leaders fail to properly assess supply and demand needs at times. Over scheduling is costly because you’ll be paying staff you don’t need, while underestimating might result in the need to pay overtime.

2. Predicting Supply Chain Logistics Costs Based on Last Year’s Cost Metrics

While forecasting certain expenses based on the previous year’s finances may make sense, your supply chain costs are ever-changing. Fuel costs fluctuate, you may suffer a driver shortage or be forced to comply with new regulatory mandates.

3. Failing to Properly Delegate

It may seem like a good idea to stay in control of all aspects of supply chain logistics, but neglecting to assign duties to capable staff is highly inefficient. A manager who fails to delegate spends too much time on tasks that could be handled by others and will find themselves unable to perform other duties.

Training Your Leaders to Deal with Mistakes

When something goes wrong, you might be tempted to confront your management team, ask questions and make sure they understand their mistakes. However, it’s important as a stakeholder that you act as a mentor and take on a supportive role in addressing missteps. The fact is that a competent logistics leader will realize the error of their ways and correct bad judgments.

You should certainly identify the problem and emphasize what they’ve learned through the experience. True leaders will analyze the details to figure out what happened and how the result came about. They’ll also determine where things went awry and what they could have done to change the outcome. Most importantly, they will never make the same error again.

It may seem counter intuitive, but there is value in allowing your employees to make mistakes. Part of succeeding as a supply chain logistics leader is experiencing a near-catastrophe, because they’ll take away countless learning opportunities as part of the process. The best that you can do for your for team is provide them with challenges, while still allowing them a margin of error. Doing so instills trust and encourages them to stay.

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