Logistics & Supply Chain

Introduction to Logistics & Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items. The logistics of physical items usually involves the integration of information flow, materials handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security.

In commerce, supply chain management (SCM), the management of the flow of goods and services, involves the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected, interrelated or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses combine in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply chain Supply-chain management has been defined as the “design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally.” SCM practice draws heavily from the areas of industrial engineering, systems engineering, operations management, logistics, procurement, information technology, and marketing and strives for an integrated approach. Marketing channels play an important role in supply-chain management. Current research in supply-chain management is concerned with topics related to sustainability and risk management, among others. Some suggest that the “people dimension” of SCM, ethical issues, internal integration, transparency/visibility, and human capital/talent management are topics that have, so far, been underrepresented on the research agenda.

Although it has the same goals as supply chain engineering, supply chain management is focused on more traditional management and a business-based approach, whereas supply chain engineering is focused on a mathematical model based one.

Supply Chain Management

Simply we can say that the Supply chain is the entire flow that brings a product or service to sale. Logistics is a segment of that, focused on the transportation and storage of goods.

Whats experts say?

Supply chain is the football coach, and logistics is the quarterback. They both provide direction regarding how field assets must be situated and positioned. But the coach provides the overall game plan, and the QB executes the moves, adapting on the fly as needed.

Jasen Incidis
Application Developer and Support Specialist, UltraShipTMS

Supply chain is the entire flow that brings a product or service to sale. Logistics is a segment of that, focused on the transportation and storage of goods.

Joe Couto
Chief Operating Officer, HighJump

Supply chain encompasses the business processes linking the raw material provider to the ultimate customer/consumer. This includes upstream involvement in product development, procurement, operations, logistics, demand/supply planning, and customer service management.

Lamar Johnson
Executive Director, Center for Customer Insight & Marketing Solutions and Senior Associate Director, Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business

Logistics is the connection from one node or point to another; supply chain is a series of sequential nodes or points connected to one another. Logistics focuses on transporting goods while supply chain focuses on finished product and/or customers.

Michael Fries
Sr. Logistics BI Analyst, US Foods

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