The MH&L2013Salary Survey invited respondents (all of them material handling and logistics professionals) to share comments regarding their salary, their job situation, the material handling and logistics industry, or professional challenges. All responses were posted anonymously.
We asked respondents first to identify the biggest challenges facing their industry today, and then invited them to post comments on any workforce-related issue.
Some of the following comments have been lightly edited (primarily for clarity) or consolidated, in instances of redundancy.
What is the biggest challenge facing the material handling and logistics industry today?
Ability of corporate to plan for long term.
Adapting your business to what the customer needs in your industry.
Appreciation of the MH&L professional.
Availability of truck drivers.
Availability of material.
Being a young woman in a male dominated industry.
Building roads, residential and commercial building, water & sewer installation.
Capital investment by companies into newer technology.
Catching up with technology.
Communication from the top level down, at least in my position. The senior management holds back information that can be crucial to daily operations.
Companies wanting to do more with less and driving down cost of ownership and operation.
Competition from China.
Competition; finding and retaining good drivers.
Computer systems such as SAP.
Constant innovations and at the same time diversification in the methodologies that are available. Keeping track of and identifying the areas that suit our customers and our own system.
Consumer demand for agility, increasing inventory stock, fast moving inventory changes.
Cost and velocity.
Cost containment while maintaining quality.
Cost of doing business.
Cost of doing business continues to increase year after year, but internal resources continue to diminish. Makes it very difficult to run a successful operation.
Cost reduction and internal combustion emissions.
Cost savings requirements by customers.
Cost. Management demands cost reductions; carriers and suppliers all want increases.
Costs and a horrible economy without any leadership in our president (U.S.).
Creating new solutions for customers’ special material handling needs.
Customer base has changed.
Customer lead times.
Customs compliance and the fluctuation of fuel rates as well as reducing Inventory and carrying costs.
Cutting cost to stay competitive.
Dealing with just-in-time operation.
Doing more with less: less staff, less budget, less time.
Driver availability; government regulations.
Drivers and product supply.
Efficiencies related to slow-moving SKUs.
Efficient management and utilization of resources, including human, to best prepare for changing market conditions.
Efficient on-time product replenishment.
Finding a good company.
Finding and keeping intelligent and motivated young people.
Finding good employees who are interested in working, rather than entitlements.
Finding people who can think outside of the computer information they have at their hands.
Finding qualified personnel.
Finding qualified sources for manufacturing that are reasonably priced.
Finding the right partners.
Finding the right people for the job.
Finding the right people to replace the ones that are retiring.
For me it's international shipping; compliance and government country regulations.
Fuel prices; infrastructure problems.
Funds for technology enhancements.
Getting parts to the OEM on time.
Getting the support to add the staffing needed to meet our company’s growth projections.
Government agency interference.
Growth; government intervention.
High costs; Obamanomics.
Hiring competent personnel and the skill level of repair and maintenance personnel.
Hiring people with international import/export experience.
Hiring motivated people.
In a lean facility, finding offsetting costs to justify automation.
Incorporation of lift equipment with data transmission.
Increasing business and rates.
Increasing rail freight rates.
Interfacing imported goods into WMS without errors or delays.
ISO certification not available everywhere.
Just-in-time delivery with zero storage costs.
Keeping a profitable base while being competitive.
Keeping costs down.
Keeping costs down with carriers.
Keeping up with new technology.
Keeping up with technological changes.
Keeping up with the technological advances available with respect to consumer contact.
Knowing our customers’ real needs.
Lack of border security participation.
Lack of responsible people who are more interested in being “on time” at Tim Horton's for their coffee than being on time for work. Go figure.
Lack of senior leadership.
Lack of truck drivers.
Learning all the new technology.
Learning to utilize all modes of transportation and how to cut costs.
Maintaining safety while increasing productivity.
Managing material coming in from offshore vendors.
Meeting the expectations of the consumer.
Mega-sellers working on high volume, low profit.
Money to purchase new and improved equipment.
Not being given all of the resources to be able to do my job.
Not sure, but would imagine reduced cost has to be at the top of the list.
Ongoing deterioration of infrastructure exacerbated by all levels of governments’ inability to get fiscal affairs in order.
Operational material handling equipment. Dependable drivers.
Quality of material through the process and on-time delivery.
Rates, fuel surcharges.
Reduce costs in transportation.
Reduced working budgets, and reduced support staff but not work-load.
Reduction in jobs.
Reduction of workforce and perception of the industry.
Regionalization, fuel, carrier driver shortages.
Regulations controlling diesel emissions.
Reliable available transportation.
Respect. Salaries need to match importance of these functions. People in this field are occasionally taken for granted and not properly compensated.
Rising cost of material.
Safety; reduction in size of equipment.
Staying ahead of the curve and anticipating changes.
The ability to get a product on site.
The Fed’s increased money supply has decreased the value of the dollar. Infrastructure will be expensive to maintain and replace, especially with low growth. Costs can only be maintained for a period of time, then either business increases or prices rise.
The way our role is seen.
Tight operating expenses.
Time and no damages.
Truck driver shortage.
Understanding costs to our overall supply chain and strategically aligning our efforts to reduce those costs and increase customer service.
Unknown facts about harmful effects of some materials used in industry.
Utilizing technology to increase efficiency.
Visibility in the chain.
Well trained people.
Workload management (dispatching drivers and equipment). There is a serious lack of new software and technology to make significant improvements in WLM.
Career-path limited as all upper management positions are being filled from corporate level and no local level personnel are being considered for promotion; have to keep the corporate level people employed during these trying times.
Companies that pay attention to moving data to the cloud will be on the forefront and succeed.
Consolidation in the industry.
Customer base has changed and in the automotive world it is tough to get ahead of what they will do.
Due to insurance increases, my take-home pay has been reduced nearly $400/mo. over the last six yrs.
Employers do not care about people anymore and are very frugal in purchasing equipment.
Faster, better, cheaper is the name of the game.
Finding qualified personnel is a very difficult challenge.
For mobile equipment the direction will be to more electric propulsion over ICE. Vehicle automation.
Getting people to change their old ways.
Have not received any increase in salary going on 12 years.
I am 66 years old and semi retired, so I am grateful to have something to do. I am a consultant, and finding jobs to work on is still the hardest part of my job.
I could use the gift card.
I feel I am underpaid for all that I do but am hopeful this will be rectified when the overall economy is better.
I have a BS in mechanical engineering and I will complete my MS in engineering management in the next six months. I expect to get a promotion at that time. I can’t speak to the industry as a whole but in our manufacturing operations we are planning on changes to our material handling fleet to go from IC propane power to battery power with rapid chargers and no battery changing stations in our operations.
I think I'm on the lower end for my particular position, but that’s because I’m a newly promoted director.
I was promoted in the last 12 months from a senior industrial engineer to a director of industrial engineering.
I work for a good company and have a vested interest in seeing it succeed.
I’m not satisfied with my salary, but the stability of this industry is important to me.
I’m pretty much at the end of my career. I guess I had always thought that it would be much different at the end. The harder you work it just seems that the recognition is not there!
I’m quite happy with all aspects of my job. I’ve tried other career paths, but have always come back to this arena.
In my company, logistics takes a back seat to all other functions in the organization as it relates to promotion potential, base salary, recognition, etc.
In my field your age can have a lot to do with your job. I service overhead cranes and automated machinery and I have people that work under me and if they can’t figure it out or I can’t talk them through it I have to do it hands on. That’s where my age may come into play because there is a lot of climbing involved in my field.
Industry is a rapidly changing one.
Investigating and maintaining regulatory compliance is a significant challenge in a small company.
I’ve been doing contract work for the past 4-5 years due to the lack of jobs and high availability of expertise in the Silicon Valley. I would prefer a permanent job but they are very few and require MBAs or more. These type of positions are not reflected in the unemployment stats, which to me is quite deceiving. Many people are working contract/1099 positions to have some kind of income.
Keep the good ideas coming so we can see the future now, not after it is the past!
Last year our company recovered very well from the recession. This year we have started off very slow. Cut work hours by 20% temporarily, waiting/hoping business will pick up soon.
Material handlers provide a good gauge of construction and economic growth.
My company will not support an MBA if you have an engineering degree. This is very wrong!
My responsibilities have increased threefold, but the compensation has not increased.
Too much outsourcing and hiring temps.
The company does not take logistics as a serious position. They feel it is a low skill, low pay, low stress job.
The current and coming regulations from our government are having a greater negative impact than many Americans know.
The goal for this year and every year is reducing warehouse space, reducing operating costs and streamlining logistics.
The oil & gas Industry is the best Industry in the world. It spends the most money, pays the most money, is the cleanest (pay no attention to environmentalists who make up things to increase their cash flow), and is the backbone of ALL economies in ALL countries in the whole wide world, bar none.
There is lots to do to innovate.
Too many logistics brokers out there beating down the rates.
Training and certification.
Undervalued for the expertise and the level of complexity, and the impact of regulatory agencies.
Very satisfied and content.
We survive by targeting customers who are too “small” for the big guys, and yet still need personal attention. We can ask for and get a premium price for our products and services.
While the cost of goods and services has skyrocketed in the past four years, I have not seen ANY change in my financial situation in the past eight years. Even though the company seems to be doing OK, given the total economic climate, we have seen no contributions to our “profit sharing” plan, nor raises. But, when you are employed by a tightly held family-owned company, I guess one cannot expect much more. In my case, age IS the limiting factor. I’m working because it is too boring to stay at home, even though I’m well past retirement age. It’s something to while away the hours.
Will stay with my present company until I retire in 2 1/2 years.
Working for a retailer has been difficult for the last several years. I am proud to say, we work very hard to contribute effectively to the bottom line. Our company recognizes this and makes it known that that could not be successful without us.
Would be nice to have more benefits. When the economy slipped we lost a lot.