February 2004 | Commentary | Checking In

Who is the Typical IL Reader?

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Who are the typical Inbound Logistics readers? They are the unusual mixture of the practical and theoretical. Straining their brains to solve the seemingly unsolvable, yet not afraid to get dirt under their fingernails to get the job done. They understand the complex algorithm that helps rationalize the unpredictability of future demand, yet they are willing and able to put their backs into helping move product at 5 a.m. for their customers when advanced planning meets the real world and fails. True renaissance men and women.

Some started on the supply line's terminus, on the dock unloading trucks in their local store, or doing the same in some far-off place managing stores for the military. There they learned firsthand that good lines of supply can be a force multiplier on the field of battle, or on the marketplace's battleground.

Many came fresh from the genteel halls of our best schools, buttoned down with the latest theories, anxious to practice. Schooled to orchestrate a logistics symphony, they learned quickly the excitement of rolling up their sleeves and diving into the free-for-all of supplier diversity, together crafting it into a visible, somewhat manageable, pipeline to the customer.

They also learned the value of practical experience from working with those who have faced the same problems without the benefit of the advanced logistics systems and practices now so prevalent.

The general public is may not be aware of them, yet at each turn their intelligence, toil, sweat, tears and sometimes blood, oil the gears and pivot points of a huge and prosperous domestic economy. They knit together a global economy, almost transparently getting what needs to be where it needs to be, exactly when needed. They are on top of their game. They have to be to get the job done.

What helps keep them there? Continuing education, that's what. It is for that reason that Inbound Logistics devotes coverage to programs to help keep you on top of your game, agile enough to face any logistics challenge, and competitive enough to stave off challenges to your job and career. For instance, the cover story Smart Moves: Managing Your Logistics Career, traces the career footsteps of logistics leaders. You won't go wrong following their advice.

But if you do happen to find yourself between positions, the resources included in this issue will help you get back into circulation quickly. Check out Recruiting Station and the Career Solutions resources. These schools and executive recruiting firms stand ready to help you achieve your logistics career and education goals.

We hope you find this issue helpful, whether you are just starting out in logistics, or planning your next career move.

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