A quick look back at some logistics history may prove very enlightening. Logistics can be defined as providing the right type of products and/or services at the correct price, place and time and in the right condition
The birth of logistics can be traced back to the Greek and Roman empires when military officers titled ‘Logistikas’ were assigned the duties of providing services related to supply and distribution of resources. This was done to enable soldiers to move from their base position to a new forward position efficiently, which could be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of wars. This also involved inflicting damage to the supply locations of the enemy and safeguarding one’s own supply locations. These beginnings of logistics history led to the development of a system which can be related to the current day system of logistics management.
During the Second World War (1939-1945), logistics evolved greatly. The army logistics of the United States and allies proved to be more than the German army could handle. The supply locations of German armed forces were inflicted with serious damages and Germany was not able to wreak the same havoc on its enemy. The United States military ensured that the services and supplies were provided at the right time and at the right place. It also tried to provide these services when and wherever required, in the most optimal and economical manner. The best available options to do the task were developed. This also gave birth to several military logistics techniques which are still in use, albeit in a more advanced form.
Logistics has now evolved. However, it cannot be described as an exact science. Logistics does not follow a defined set of tables. A logistics manager performs his duties and responsibilities based on his educational experiences, skills, past experiences and even intuition. These skills are nourished by their constant application for the betterment of his organization. The logistics manager ensures that the company is benefited by an effective and efficient system of logistical management. He also needs to ensure that the right kind of products and services are provided at the right time and for a right price, whether inside the organization’s premises or delivery of shipments outside the premises of the organization.
Logistics has come to be a kind of relief for many organizations that formerly looked upon it as a burden. Understanding how important logistics is to the overall success of a company is vital for business leaders. It’s important because of how big a role logistics plays. Business leadership and management degree providers are constantly preaching this. Companies nowadays are hiring people with the requisite knowledge to deliver sustainable enhancements in the field of supply chain management. As has been the case throughout most of logistics history, the head of the logistics department needs a clear vision and a drive within to deliver results under strict deadlines in addition to his usual responsibilities.