What Does a Logistics Planner Do?

A logistics planner is in charge of the detailed planning, coordination, and operation of a large organization with many people, equipment, supplies, locations, or facilities. Transportation, inventory, warehousing, materials handling, and information integration are frequently his or her responsibilities. This position may also require excellent communication skills with people outside the organization, problem-solving skills, interaction with various computer programs, inventory management experience, and experience with distribution systems. A logistics planner is also in charge of reducing the negative impact of shortages or service failures on a company’s bottom line. Logistics planners are likely to have a high level of attention to detail, self-motivation, and a strong sense of urgency to follow through and complete multiple tasks because they work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.

A logistics planner’s primary responsibility is to ensure that shipping and receiving instructions are followed. This is especially true in larger organizations that ship thousands of products to customers all over the world on a daily basis. The logistics planner is responsible for ensuring that all items are shipped on time and in good condition to the correct locations. A sloppy logistics planner who doesn’t keep a close eye on these shipping and receiving functions may not realize products or items are disappearing from the company until it’s too late to stop it. Accurately conveying and recording this information necessitates superior organizational and communication skills, particularly when working with international businesses and shipping companies, where language barriers may exist.

Managing and staying current with current inventory necessitates managerial ability and a basic understanding of warehousing systems. In addition, logistics planners must be able to coordinate and keep accurate inventory records. Logistic planners may create production or activity forecasts based on known or predictable information in a specific business or industry for this part of the job. Experienced logistics planners can use statistical and trend data, as well as real-time production and inventory systems, to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly, from production to final distribution and delivery. When shortages or equipment failure occur, the logistics planner must have a backup plan in place to help minimize the damage or negative effects.

The logistics planner is responsible for optimizing distribution systems to deliver products quickly in order to provide better customer service. This position requires the ability to plan, achieve, and maintain a high level of on-time delivery for customers. Supply chain planning and coordination concepts, as well as some basic accounting and inventory management skills, are required. Working knowledge of order processing, warehousing, distribution, shipping, and transportation is required for this position. The logistics planner’s job also requires extensive knowledge of computer software to set up functions, write programs, process data, and handle data input.