Logistics work

 29 November 2012

Logistics is about making sure jewellery travels smoothly from the supplier to the customer.

Jobs in logistics involve extensive contact with other people, including staff at retail head office, the suppliers and retail branches. Bui
Jobs in logistics involve extensive contact with other people, including staff at retail head office, the suppliers and retail branches. Bui

What do logistics staff do?

Logistics is about moving products, in this case jewellery, from the supplier or retailer to the customer. This means ensuring that the goods arrive at the right place at the right time.

Your work might include:

  • picking and packing goods and materials
  • monitoring the flow of goods and materials, and ensuring all orders are dispatched on time
  • managing stock control, warehousing and transportation
  • analysing large amounts of data using IT systems and identifying issues to improve performance
  • overseeing and managing the returns system
  • working within budgets to improve the processes and reduce costs
  • planning, organising and prioritising work to meet tight deadlines.

What is the job like?

Jobs in logistics involve extensive contact with other people, including staff at retail head office, the suppliers and retail branches. Building strong and effective relationships with all these people is a key part of any role in logistics.

Building strong and effective relationships with other people is key.

In more senior roles, you will normally manage and motivate a team of staff. You will probably also do extensive work with computers – standard office packages for spreadsheets and databases as well as specialised IT systems.

You would either work for a jewellery retailer or a logistics contractor, which organises the transport of goods on behalf of a retail company.  

How do I get into jewellery logistics?  

Jobs in logistics are fast-paced and involve working under pressure.

To be successful in logistics you need:

  • excellent organisational, leadership and team-working skills
  • the ability to anticipate and solve problems, make effective decisions and to plan ahead
  • strong numerical skills to handle data effectively
  • good communication skills in order to communicate confidently and concisely
  • excellent analytical and IT skills.

There are opportunities in logistics at all levels, from junior administrative roles to management positions. Promotion prospects can be good if you prove yourself and gain relevant skills and experience.

A passion for retail is important, and like many jobs in retail, previous experience working in this sector is a huge advantage. You could gain experience via a part-time retail job, or by volunteering in a charity shop.

If you go to college or university and your course includes work experience or an industrial placement, make sure this is in a retail environment, either at branch level or head office, or for a logistics company.

What training and qualifications do I need?

Many managers have degrees in logistics, transport management or business studies or extensive experience with a warehouse or distribution centre. It is also possible to enter this career at a manual or an administrative level, perhaps via an apprenticeship scheme or after a college course in business studies.

This is a career where previous experience is highly valued, either from a job or an industrial placement.

Relevant qualifications include:

  • a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business Studies. This is a two year full-time course, and entry is usually with four GCSEs at grades C or above (including English and maths) or equivalent qualification such as the BTEC First Diploma
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Studies. Entry requirements usually include one or two A levels or equivalent qualifications, such as a BTEC National Diploma and GCSEs at C or above in English, maths, and around three other subjects
  • a specialised degree in Logistics or Supply Chain Management, or something more general such as Retail Management or Business Studies/Management, which may also include logistics 
  • a degree courses in a related subject, such as Transport Management and International Transport, or a foundation degree in Business Studies 

Entry requirements for degrees vary between different universities, but you will normally need at least two and often three A levels or equivalent qualifications (such as the BTEC National/Extended Diploma), and GCSEs at C or above in English and maths.

Courses are listed on the UCAS website. It is important to research the courses carefully and to find out the options regarding an industrial placement. You may be able to organise this within a jewellery or logistics company

IT qualifications such as the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) are also useful for a career in logistics.

Previous experience, either from a job or an industrial placement, is highly valued.

Advanced apprenticeships in logistics operations management may be available via the Government's apprenticeships website.

These apprenticeships provide excellent training and experience in logistics, which you could then use to move into a jewellery company.

Alternatively, you may find that jewellery companies are able to offer apprenticeships in general administration, which could include logistics.

What can I earn?

The minimum wage for an apprentice is £2.68 per hour, although many employers pay more than this.

Starting salaries in manual and administrative roles can vary according to the type and location of the company. but might be from £12,000 to £18,000 per year.

A new graduate could earn in the region of £17,000 to £22,000 per year. With more experience, and once you reach management level, you could earn in the region of £30,000 - £35,000.

Salaries can rise to £50,000 and beyond for the most experienced logistics managers.  

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