Logistics a word used by many people in various working environments but few know what it means. The word has enabled the connection of complex strategic/tactical commercial systems, yet absurdly, in its most common meaning logistics is the execution after thought. In its popular usage, logistics is the grunt work, it is driving the truck, moving the box, stocking the shelf.
The Council of Logistics Management define logistics as that part of the supply chain process that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin to the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.
In modern times logistics has come to lead strategy and tactics: it has gone from being the practical after-thought to the calculative practice that defines daily operations.
The role in military strategy defined as:
The science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of forces.... those aspects of military operations that deal with the design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation and disposition of material; movement, evacuation, and hospitalization of personnel; acquisition of construction, maintenance, operation and disposition of facilities; and acquisition of furnishing of services.
The single most important shift in logistics thought and practice in the early post war period came with the introduction of end to end supply chain systems analysis. The revolution in logistics shifted the managerial focus from cost-savings in distribution to profit- maximisation across the entire distribution network.
Since 1960 the revolution in logistics thought was underpinned by revolutionary technologies; the 40 foot container and the computer were key. Indeed the revolution in logistics is recognised for the underpinning of globalisation
Logistics today - Supply chain management – a look at the entire logistics chain from the vendor’s supplier to the end customer. Supply chain management is a term that has grown enormously in use and significance since the late 1980s.
Today, supply chain management is viewed as a holistic consideration of key business processes that extend from the vendor’s supplier to the end user. Accordingly, supply chain management is an extremely interactive, complex system requiring simultaneous monitoring of many conflicting objectives.
Blog post content is based on Trevor Barrows Master in Logistics literature review, and from reference material found in Strategic Logistics Management, James Stock & Douglas Lambert.