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29th Annual Salary Survey: Experience pays

Our 2013 survey finds that the highest salaries in logistics and supply chain management will be earned by those sticking to time-honored values: education, hard work, and company loyalty.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
April 01, 2013

Jim Kelly, founding CEO of JVKellyGroup, Inc., a consultancy specializing in cost reduction and risk mitigation in the supply chain, says that the next generation of logistics leaders will have to be masters of “change management.”

“In particular, managers will have to create dashboards that measure both internal and external data that can be flexible and change as behavior changes,” says Kelly. “If you don’t measure it, you don’t control it; but if you measure the wrong items, it’s a waste of time.”

Not surprisingly, survey respondents recognized this demand for critical thinking in today’s logistics marketplace. In fact, 42 percent say that have pursued professional certification to improve their understanding of logistics strategy, while 20 percent have graduate degrees in logistics or supply chain management.

“Because there are so many variables that need to be considered when sourcing materials, logistics managers will need to measure and understand the procurement process as well,” says Randall Wilson, global vice president, chemical for Uti Worldwide. “Today, global companies especially will need to be more nimble in their approach to logistics and supply chain management.”

However, obtaining this kind of sophisticated skill set can cost one dearly, admits Dr. John Fowler, chair of the Supply Chain Management Department at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU). He says that some students are opting out of MBA programs because of their expense and time commitment; but that doesn’t mean that ongoing education is coming to a halt.

“On the contrary. We’re anticipating a surge in demand for on-line learning and accreditation,” says Fowler, adding that this fall ASU will offer a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management and Engineering geared to mid-level working professionals with approximately five years of experience in logistics management.

Joel Sutherland, managing director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at the University of San Diego, was impressed with the high percentage of survey respondents who felt that continuing online education would help in their salary negotiations.

“This is an important indicator of the value of online programs,” says Sutherland. “We offer an online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, but we’re also considering new ‘massive open online courses’ platform for online delivery. Given that there are fewer logistics managers that will want to endure a post-graduate gauntlet, we believe online education will become more relevant in order to provide quality education to the masses.”


Austerity and diversity

Austerity measures and “doing more with less” continue to inform most companies’ tactical direction, but there’s little doubt that long-term strategic plans will be reliant on attracting a younger and more diverse workforce. According to Rosemary Coates, an educator and president of Blue Silk Consulting in Los Gatos, Calif., women will be playing a much larger role in this industry in the coming decade.

“The supply chain and logistics arena is a place where there are a lot of existing problems,” says Coates. “Women are problem-solvers. We have traditionally had to deal with family budgets and evaluating risk and reward in our family lives, so when it comes to bringing value to employers, we can draw from that discipline and experience.”

Amanda Tillman couldn’t agree more. She’s a young carrier specialist with Kaiser Logistics in Milton, Wisc., who says that the “glass ceiling” may soon be athing of the past.

“Trucking is a ‘boy’s world,’” says Tillman, “but once a woman can get her foot through the door, the sky is the limit. While I like working for a family-run business, in five or 10 years, I hope to move up to a higher management level.”

Tillman, who has degrees in marketing and public administration, believes that ongoing education is a must. “You never stop learning when you get into this business,” she says, “and I would recommend logistics management to any young woman seeking a balanced and rewarding career.”

Brenda Gautier, director of operations for MW Logistics, LLC, in North Dallas, Texas, feels Tillman is on the right track. As a “seasoned professional,” she says she helped lay the groundwork for women to enter the senior ranks in logistics and transportation.

“It’s too late for me,” says Gautier, “but I’m glad I was among those willing to ‘fight the fight’ and create opportunities for others. Loyalty is rewarded in this business, and you can create considerable change within the company if you work hard and keep your passion.”

About the Author

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Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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