What logistics coordinators do can vary greatly, but generally, they are responsible for overseeing entire events or projects that typically have many facets. A logistics coordinator might, for example, oversee the patient care logistics in a hospital including patient logistics, drug and lab management, and the disposal of hazardous waste. Alternatively, he or she might coordinate an event such as an awards ceremony. A variety of organizations and firms, from manufacturing companies to retail stores to schools, may employ logistics coordinators and task them with incredibly different responsibilities. Despite the varied nature of the specific job, most all logistics coordinators need a skill set that includes the ability to understand the breadth of the task, as well as communicate, negotiate, and track and analyze data well.
Useful Skills for a Logistics Coordinator
Perhaps the most important skill for all logistics coordinators is the ability to grasp all the moving parts of the project or event. Depth of knowledge may not be as important as breadth. This is because the specifics of a particular component of the project may be able to be delegated to others who report to the logistics coordinator, allowing the logistics coordinator him- or herself to focus on overseeing the entire project.
In this role of overseer, communication, negotiation and data management and analysis become fundamental. Communication is often critical since coordinators will likely have to interact with buyers and suppliers, and other involved parties; and because those involved parties may not have their interests aligned, negotiation and mediation skills may prove to be very useful. Additionally, due to the multiple aspects generally inherent in coordinating the logistics of a task, excellent data management and analysis are usually key.
Types of Logistics Coordinators
There are a variety of types of logistics coordinators. Some may serve as an events coordinator, considering the time and date of the event, the location, the level of formality, and the number of guests. He or she may have to arrange for refreshments, furniture or any other necessary items. An events coordinator may also be required to provide audio or visual equipment, select decorations, hire guest speakers and manage the guest list.
A center coordinator is another type of logistics coordinator who often work for schools or colleges, and are typically required to provide admission information for students and parents. They may also work with teachers to coordinate daily school operations and activities. Center coordinators are sometimes in charge of scheduling lectures at campus events and outlining school programs.
Shipping and receiving coordinators are yet another type of logistics coordinator who may be responsible for manual tasks, such as assembling, addressing, stamping and arranging for the shipment of merchandise and materials. In handling incoming shipments, he or she may have to unpack boxes and verify contents. Maintaining precise records of all incoming and outgoing commodities may also be required.
Prerequisites to Becoming a Logistics Coordinators
Requirements to becoming a logistics coordinator not only will vary by position but among countries. In the US, many logistics coordinator job postings require or prefer that applicants have a bachelor's degree in logistics. Experience in related fields, or in coordinating similar projects to the particular job being applied for however may be a suitable alternative. Strong analytic, problem solving, and interpersonal skills are often required; and many companies also require strong computer and logistics software proficiency.