The paper "Logistics Professionals Have Mostly Been Trained to Be Forward Focused" is an outstanding example of a management literature review. The Council of Logistic Management (1998), cited in Refele (2004) describe logistics as a component of the supply chain process that deals with planning, implementing and controlling the flow of goods and services from the origin to the destination. The destination of the goods and services are the consumers. In addition, logistics deals with the storage of goods and services. Logistics aims at meeting the various needs and requirements customers. Reverse logistics is as important as forward logistics and firms are encouraged to pay attention to reverse logistics as well (Oloruntoba and Gray 2006). Discussion: Movement of materials is common and paramount for every organization.
For instance, manufacturers of various goods must move law materials from their suppliers and deliver finished goods to their customers. Logistic then plays an important role in this movement. The key logistic activities, according to Phelan (2009) include: Customer service: this includes setting the wants and needs of the customers, establishing customer response to goods and services and setting out customer level. Transportation: this involves selecting the mode and service of transportation required, consolidating freights, routing of carriers, scheduling of vehicles, selecting transport equipment, processing claims and auditing transportation rates. Inventory management: this involves establishing policies for stocking raw materials and finished goods, forecasting short-term sales and revenues, determining product mix to use at various stocking points.
Inventory management also involves determining and establishing the number, location and size of the stocking points as well as the push and pull strategies required. Demand forecasting and planning: forecasting and planning help in determining customer demands in order to set up our plan for production requirements.
Logistics should, therefore, forecasts the orders available at the supplier and the number of finished goods and services that the company should deliver at the various points and timing of delivery. While forecasting is an important activity in logistics, it is important to balance between the benefits realized from forecasting and the cost involved. This is because forecasting often involves large costs. Information and Communication: logistic should ensure real-time information flow with the material suppliers, customers, between the other logistic activities and other participating bodies in the supply chain such as retailers and wholesalers.
The aim of this logistic activity is to ensure the success of the other activities of logistics. Materials handling: these include raw materials, materials undergoing manufacturing as well as finished goods. Movement of materials does not add value to them but only reduces their value through damage while it also adds to the cost. Logistic management, therefore, should aim at minimizing material handling and movement. Packaging: packaging helps in advertising and protecting the products while in storage or during transportation.
It is important that the logistic management ensure that packaging serves its purpose at the least cost possible. Warehousing and storage: this activity creates time and place utility by allowing the production of products and their retention for later distribution or consumption. Activities involved in this logistic activity include layout and design of the warehouse, automation, outsourcing and management. Parts and Service Support: this logistic activity involves the management of the support products such as spare parts as well as responding to complains or questions that customer raise during the time they use or own the product.
While logistic management should try to achieve the least cost for this activity, it is important to consider the cost involved if the organization loses a customer because of poor parts and service support.
List of references
Flyvbjerg et al., 2005. How (In) Accurate are Demand Forecasts in Public Works Projects?
The Case of Transportation. Journal of the American Planning Association, Volume
71, Number 2.
Fredrik, N, 2006. Logistic Management in Practice- Towards Theories of Complex Logistics.
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Volume 17, Number 1. Emerald
Gunasakaran, A & Ngai, E. W. T, 2003. The Successful Management of a Small Logistics
Company. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management,
Volume 33 Number 9. MCB UP Limited.
Oloruntoba, R & Gray, R, 2006. Humanitarian Aid: An Agile Supply Chain? An
International Journal of Supply Chain Management, Volume 11, Issue 2. Emerald
Group Publishing Limited
Phelan, 2009. Guest Column: Knowing When a WMS or WCS Is Right for Your
Company. Enom, Inc.
Rafele, C, 2004. Logistic Service Measurement: A Reference Framework. Journal of
Manufacturing Technology Management Volume 15 Number 3. Emerald Group
Tibben-Lembke, R & Rogere, D, 2002. Differences between Forward and Reverse Logistics
in a Retail Environment. An International Journal of Supply Chain Management,
Volume 7, Number 5. MCB UP Limited.
Vogt & Pienaar, 2002. Business Logistics & Management - Theory and Practice. Oxford