Globalization, the pandemic, and the rapid adoption of online shopping have radically transformed the demand and job description for e-commerce executives who specialize in logistics, operations and fulfillment.
Today, we’re looking at this growing field and how we approach recruiting for it.
How the role of E-Commerce Logistics Executives have changed
Today, the work of fulfilling orders for e-commerce concerns is increasingly a global logistics issue. And as fulfillment becomes intertwined, issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Ukraine and Russia present complexities that e-commerce executives need to be able to address.
That’s why we see an increasing focus on this role and identifying top candidates who can blend managerial skills with a specialized knowledge of global supply chains and complicated logistical issues.
What do we look for in E-Commerce Logistic Executives
E-commerce logistics executives need to have all of the managerial skills that we look for in other executives we recruit for: team management and leadership, problem solving and analytic skills and strategic planning and decision making. They also need some highly specialized skills and those are:
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management: including transportation modes, warehouse operations, inventory management, order fulfillment, and distribution networks.
- E-commerce Operations: Experience and understanding of e-commerce operations is essential. This includes knowledge of online marketplaces, order processing systems, inventory tracking software, fulfillment technologies, and customer service in an e-commerce context.
- Technical Proficiency: Proficiency in using technology and software solutions is crucial. This includes expertise in warehouse management systems (WMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, transportation management systems (TMS), and other relevant e-commerce platforms and tools.
The role of 3PL in E-Commerce
Third Party Logistics or 3PL companies are an incredibly important part of the e-commerce landscape. They allow businesses of all sizes to outsource major important functions like shipping, warehouse logistics and order fulfillment to a third party company.
3PL can be particularly important for small and medium sized businesses, because they allow those businesses to scale their operations up and down according to demand.
Functions that a 3PL can take on:
- Inventory management
- Order fulfillment including packing and shipping
- Customer service
Most e-commerce executive candidates we field have some experience with 3PL, even if the position they are interviewing for has logistics and shipping in house.
Examples of 3PL companies
Companies that handle 3PL for DTC brands include STG Logistics, Bergen Logistics, Worldwide Express, ShipBob, Rakuten Logistics, Shipwire and RedStag. Additionally, many major companies already active in e-commerce do 3PL. Examples include Uber, FedEx, UPS, Shopify and Amazon.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Amazon has become one of the most prominent players in the 3PL landscape thanks to unmatched infrastructure, an international network of warehouses and distribution centers, and the technology to keep it all running smoothly. Fulfillment by Amazon allows customers to sell from their own websites or the Amazon platform, and have order fulfillment, returns and customer service handled by Amazon.
We expect to see a lot of growth for executives who have experienced working with Amazon fulfillment.
Need more help?
Let us talk to you about your e-commerce logistics and operations needs. Contact us for more help.