First established in 1973, the Singapore Logistics Association is constantly setting and raising the standard of excellence in the burgeoning logistics industry. We speak to one logistics professional who went into the industry purely by chance.
By Melainne Chiew
Lyon Goh professed that he sort of stumbled into the logistics industry by chance. “I didn’t originally plan to come into logistics,” Lyon shares. Formerly in the advertising and design field, the soft-spoken man “desired a change in environment”. The answer to his conundrum came to him out of the blue while he was flipping through the morning papers.
“I saw an ad that extolled the virtues of the logistics industry and it resonated with me somehow,” Lyon explains.
Often overlooked due to its background nature and ambiguous definition, the logistics industry is a vital part of the daily operations in transportation, inventory, warehousing and security, among others.
Armed with this knowledge, Lyon enrolled in The Logistics Academy. The trailblazer not only graduated with a Diploma in Integrated Logistics Management, he was crowned the Best Achiever and won the Book Prize.
After two years on the job, Lyon has had no regrets making that momentous switch and is now enjoying life doing the thing he loves most.
What’s life like as an Operations Assistant?
Lyon: The life here is busy, hectic and challenging because logistics is a very broad industry. Apart from arranging documentation and dealing with exports and shipments, I’m also in-charge of deploying vehicles to transport loose cargo. On occasions when we are importing or exporting cargo that exceeds the height limit, I have to liaise with LTA and other legal departments for clearance. I also liaise with the auxiliary police for security escorts.
Sounds like it can be quite challenging.
Lyon: There are new challenges every day, be it dealing with the ever-changing demands of your clients, or the prevention of any extra cost incurred to the company. There is always a need to plan ahead and your plans may not follow through due to unforeseen circumstances. However, with that being said, I enjoy it because it is not boring and manual work; it tests your ability to adapt to different situations that are a lot of times not expected in your plans. This could be anything from a vehicle breakdown to inclement weather to even a demanding customer. The key is to be able to use the limited resources and time you have to meet the criteria for the day.
How did you find out about The Logistics Academy? Why did you decide to pursue a Diploma in Integrated Logistics Management there?
Lyon: When I initially joined this company, I had no prior knowledge in the logistics industry.
I thought I should learn the theoretical aspects of logistics while doing something hands-on. After doing my research, I found that this course (Integrated Logistics Management) was the most relevant to my interests. Furthermore, my colleagues who have attended this course gave me positive feedback. It also helped that a large percentage of the course fees are paid by the Workforce Development Agency, with absolutely no bonds attached. (Laughs)
Editor’s note: As part of The Logistics Academy’s efforts to promote professionalism in the industry, it has tied up with relevant government agencies to provide funding for training and development.
Give us an overview of the Integrated Logistics Management programme.
Lyon: It’s a very comprehensive programme that touches on the different areas of logistics, such as warehousing, transportation, legal issues, and pretty much anything related to the field. As I started with absolutely zero knowledge on logistics, this course helped me tremendously in understanding the nature of my work and its different departments.
Which type of logistics professionals would you recommend The Logistics Academy for?
Lyon: It’s suitable for anybody, not just a certain group of professionals. While there are more specific groups of logistics professionals, anybody who is interested in this industry and are looking to develop their skills should enrol in this course too.
Integrated Logistics Management gives us an overview of the different aspects of the logistics industry, so if you’re interested to know what the other departments are dealing with you can gain more insight in this course. From there, you will then be able to understand your job scope (in coordinating with the relevant departments on the various work aspects) better too.
For more information about SLA and The Logistics Academy, visit http://www.sla.org.sg.