This paper will base its discussion on an article by Lean Logistics titled “What is Logistics?” Published in 2012 and posted on its website www.learnleanlogistics.com.
Logistics form a very important part of every business and organization. The term has its origin in the military service can be defined as the operations carried out to ensure that the correct goods are at the correct place and the specified right time (Lean logistics, 2012). As earlier mentioned logistics has its roots in the military but has been incorporated in the modern business. A deeper definition of logistics will be the section of supply chain management that deals with planning, implementing and controlling the flow of goods and services, in addition to any information related, to them, from the point of their origin to where the services and goods will be used (Stroh, 2002). Apart from that, the council of chain supply management professionals defines it as inventory management, both at rest and in motion (Meredith and Shaper, 2010).
It is important to note that logistics not only plays a very vocal role in businesses and organization, but also plays a major role in any nation’s economy as a whole. Apart from that, it should also be noted that logistics, in the modern world business, touches on nearly every aspect of organizational operation, and it has even become a specialty of its own in most businesses. It gives businesses a competitive over others as most operations in any business require laying down of strategies and plans (Graham, 2004). Because logistics is concerned with the transfer of products from producers to consumers, it can also be referred to as supply chain management though the latter is encompasses more things as it involves movement of materials in a broader chain than logistics (Proof, 2013).
In the research carried out, various similarities with what has been learnt were noted. Firstly, it was noted that logistics involves a narrower chain through which materials are transferred from the producers to consumers and hence it forms part of supply chain management. In addition to that, it was noted in both cases that supply chain and logistics exist to bridge the gap between suppliers and consumers (Proof, 2013). Apart from that, it was also noted in both the module and research done that logistics form a very vital part of any business as it involves planning, resource management and day to day operations of business thus determines the competitiveness of any company (Graham, 2004).
It is also important to note that, in both the module and research, various importance and roles played by logistic were listed. For instance, it was noted that logistics ensured efficient flow of goods and services between their sources and destinations either regionally within a country or globally. In both cases, it was noted that for a country to achieve meaningful economic growth, proper logistical infrastructure must be put in place (Gudahus and Kotzab, 2012). Another similarity noted was in the origin of logistics with the sources researched also noting that the origin of logistic was in the military, and though still used in the military, it is mostly associated with business processes hence the term business logistics (Lean logistics, 2012).
“What is Logistics?” by Lean Logistics
According to the article, the term logistics has its origin in the military where it is concerned with the movement of supplies and personnel from their sources to where they are required. However, in business it means the process that ensures that the correct products are at the correct place and the specified right time. In addition to that, business logistics is always mentioned alongside the term supply chain which is basically the stages through which products have to go through before reaching their final destination. Logistics ensure that movement of products through the various stages is efficient in terms of time and cost.
The article also talks about logistic management which it says involves various logistical processes such as transportation, handling of products, managing inventories, packaging and storing. In addition to that, the article says that the term is usually used interchangeably with supply chain management though logistic management is seen as being part of supply chain management. It goes on to describe how logistic management is done at several stages that include the strategic stage, tactical stage and operational stage which all depend on the decision making department or section of an organization. In addition to that, it discusses the third party outsourcing and how it brings out the three stages of logistics. Finally, it states the importance of logistics and how it determines the success of any business.
Application of Logistics
Logistics is very important in any producing firm as it is concerned with the movement of products and in order for it to be successful it must be integrated with other departments of the business (Lean logistics, 2012). A good example of logistics is a cloth company that has to buy fiber from fiber producers and manufacture it into clothes and finally transport it to its final customers. The process would involve buying and storing of the fiber before presenting it to spinners who process the fiber into yarn. The yarn is stored and later moved to knitters who work with it to form a fabric. This fabric is later manufactured into clothes which are then presented to the market. For the chain to be efficient, logistics must come in place and ensure that the processes involved do not take a lot of time and that they are not costly (Proof, 2013).
Logistics ensures that the flow of products from their source to destination is efficient and effective and for any business to be successful, its logistical infrastructure must be well laid down and work in harmony with all departments of the business (Lean logistics, 2012). It should also be noted that logistics is not only important to an individual firm, but to the whole economy as well and hence a country must put its logistical infrastructure in mind if it wants to achieve economic growth (Stroh, 2002).