These are the facets:

  • Planning & Inventory Management
  • Procurement
  • Logistics

DECRIPTION OF LOGISTICS:Logistics is the detailed coordination of activities involving functions of moving, storing goods, from a point of origin to a point of consumption.

Major components are:

  • Transportation
  • Distribution

Transportation is both domestic and international. Involving various modes of movement:

  • Truck, water (boats); rail and air

Each of these offering time and cost relationships related to weight, size, distance, and desired speed of delivery/arrival at the destination.

They are typically managed both inbound (arrival point) & outbound (point of departure) via the transportation management systems (TMS) denoting the rate of cost, route, timeliness, and progress of movement. International movement is very complex as borders need to be crossed and the myriad of import and export practices (INTERNATIONAL COMMERECE TERMS – INCO TERMS) requires a high level of understanding to meet an enterprises’ goal. At times it necessitates the use of 3rd parties to efficiently move across borders.

Distribution is a combination of warehousing (storage & handling), order fulfillment, receiving & shipping. Within the warehousing the following activities happen:

  • Receiving
  • Counting
  • Put-away goods
    • Location system methodology
  • Retrieve (pick) goods
  • Pack & ship

There are various systems that can be utilized to enhance these operational activities. They are:

  • Handling systems
    • AGV -automatic guided vehicle
    • Conveyors
    • Manual – hand trucks, carts (used by people power)
  • Storage systems
    • Stacking containers – boxes and/or pallets
    • Racking for pallets
    • Storage shelving (for smaller containers)
    • ASRS – automatic storage & retrieval systems
  • Identification methods
    • Manual (handwritten)
    • Labeling
    • Automatic Identification systems
      • Bar-coding
      • Chip ID
  • Counting methodologies
    • Manual
    • Scales
    • Scanning
  • Order Processing methodologies & documentation support
    • Withdrawal list
    • Sorting & consolidating orders into loading units for shipment
  • Associated documents for shipments
    • Bills of lading
    • Export/import documents

    Records are maintained for each of the functional activities noted

    • Inventory storage, movement activities (receiving, picking & shipments)

    Logistics activities are communicated via the above systems to each of the other SC entities (Planning, Inventory, Procurement) to appraise them of the status of the goods they need. Logistics provide the movement of goods and its respective status/visibility for accountability purposes.