Top salaries top £100,000

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Our latest survey of earnings in supply chain and logistics reveals the rising expectations of industry professionals.

Top supply chain executives are now earning more than £100,000 a year, according to a new survey conducted by Logistics Manager in partnership with Michael Page Logistics.
The survey, which was carried out in March and April, received 435 responses covering all the main functions in supply chain and logistics, and a range of industry sectors, including third party logistics, retail, FMCG, automotive and electronics.

More than 18 per cent of supply chain and logistics executives are now earning over £70,000 a year and another 19 per cent earn more than £50,000 a year the survey reveals.

There has clearly been a rise in salary levels since our last survey, conducted at the end of 2008, which showed top supply chain managers earning more than £80,000 a year.

This year’s survey shows that some 44 per cent have received a pay rise in the past year, but 4.4 per cent said their salaries had actually gone down.

Doug Rode, managing director of Michael Page Logistics, says that on a general basis there has not been a huge level of salary inflation in the past year. Pay rises have generally been in the range of one to two per cent, he says. “Companies are making an effort to demonstrate increases in salary, but they are not about to break the bank.” And he points out that companies are looking for people who are commercially-minded and can take cost out of the business. Often bonuses are directly linked to savings to the business.

Looking ahead, Rode says the market is seeing steady, if slow, improvement. “Salaries are going the same way with a steady upward trend.”

However, he points out that where there is a demand for a specific skill set, salaries can command a premium. He gives as an example the growth of e-commerce and home delivery and the accompanying rise in demand for skills in that area.

The survey also looked at employment levels. Over the past year, 39 per cent of respondents said employee numbers had risen but 24 per cent said they had gone down.

Although economic activity has been growing, it is clear from this that companies have been focusing on being lean.

Looking ahead, employment prospects are slightly more positive. Almost 40 per cent expect employee numbers to increase over the next six months while 15 per cent expect to shed staff.

When we conducted a similar survey at the end of 2008, some 31 per cent of respondents said they expected the headcount to rise over the next six months while 12 per cent said it would fall.
Respondents were surprisingly evenly split on job opportunities now, when compared to six months ago about a third said they believed there were more opportunities but almost as many said opportunities were fewer.

Nevertheless, there are clearly some itchy feet out there. Over 40 per cent of respondents said they were now more inclined to look for a new role now than they were six months ago.

More than half the respondents are working for larger companies over £50m turnover and over 40 per cent have been in their current job for more than three years.

As well as salary, we asked about other employee benefits. Top of the list came contributory pension scheme (47.4 per cent), private medical insurance (45.5 per cent) and performance related bonuses.

Some of the more unusual benefits included gym membership, season ticket loans and permanent health insurance.

Almost three quarters said they got more than 20 days holiday a year while a lucky three per cent got more than 31 days a year.

Insight from Michael Page Logistics

The findings provide cautious optimism for talented logistics professionals who are keen to develop their careers both within their current employers and across the external employment market. Employee retention is high on logistics organisations’ agendas, and nearly half of all hiring respondents expect to increase employee numbers over the next six months.
Although the outlook of the logistics industry is an improved one when the last couple of years are taken into account, it’s clear that organisations in the sector are waiting for continuous growth in the economy before committing to previous levels of confidence.

The results of the salary survey confirm the guarded optimism reported by the organisations that we partner with at Michael Page Logistics. The general consensus among the hiring managers and job seekers that we deal with on a day-to-day basis is that they’re encouraged by improvements in the market, and believe that recovery will continue to be seen slowly but surely.

We hope that this market information will prove useful as you look to progress your logistics career or grow your team numbers. Please contact us at Michael Page Logistics for advice on the insight uncovered by this salary survey. With access to a nationwide network of offices to mirror the distribution hubs of our clients, you can be assured of the service you demand. Michael Page Logistics are one of the UK’s largest logistics and supply chain focused recruitment consultancies in the UK.

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