Logistics is defined as the art and science of controlling and managing the flow of energy, goods, products, services, people and information from the point of origin to the point of destination. Tasks such as manufacturing and marketing cannot be performed without effective logistical support.
Logistics services from a company like Landstar trucking company can include the integration of several factors such as inventory, information, transportation, material handling and warehousing, having operating responsibility in the geographical repositioning of resources such as raw materials and work-in-process.
Logistics is believed to have evolved from the needs of armed forces in ancient times. They required that adequate supplies of resources reached them on time and in good condition, whether they were in base camp or at the front. The Greek and Roman empires had military officers who were assigned the task of handling all supply distribution matters and were called ‘Logistikas’.
With the advancement of technology, logistics automation has evolved greatly. It now applies automated machinery and computer software to enhance the overall efficiency of operations. For example, operations in a distribution center or warehouse where the primary tasks are performed by enterprise resource planning and supply chain management systems.
Logistical and supply chain support is frequently provided by third-party logistics (3PL) providers, who supply logistic services on an outsourced basis. These services allow for an effective and efficient management of goods to be done by assuming the responsibility for pick-up and delivery on behalf of the manufacturers.
Some advantages of logistics:
- It helps in increasing profitability.
- It assists with lowering operating costs.
- It raises flexibility, enhancing responsiveness to frequently changing demands.
- It helps to improve customer service.
- It supports the use of technology expertise and high quality business solutions.
Not long ago, logistics was considered to be a ‘necessary evil’ by the top management of various organizations. This has, however, been proven wrong by the efforts of retail giants such as Wal-Mart, who transformed the basic paradigm of logistical management. Nowadays the top executives at successful companies are doing their best to draft an effective logistics plan, striving to employ trained logistics personnel in order to ensure maximum results for the company.