Understanding Logistics Management

Wide angle view of BJ's Wholesale club in VA.

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Any mathematician will tell you that the shortest distance between two points is a direct line. You can make the same analogy when it comes to your business’ supply chain and fulfillment orders.

 And all of that falls under the umbrella of logistics management. It will fall to the logistics management team to plan and implement that “direct line” from the manufacturing, shipping, ordering and delivery of your product to your customer.

Logistics management is really about embracing the big picture of the entire supply chain. First, this means finding a way to pull together all the elements needed for the manufacturing of any product.

After a design has been agreed upon, where will the raw materials come from? Who will be doing the actual manufacturing? Who will be in charge of quality control and shipping? Not only does logistics management come into play with the making of the product itself, but also the design of the packaging. How will that package be displayed if the product is going onto a store shelf? What are the labeling requirements and codes that need to be adhered to?

Once the product has been made, the fulfillment service steps in to move that product from the manufacturing site to the fulfillment center. This requires an entirely different skill set of logistics planning that incorporates shipping costs down to the penny. Estimates that are made today can go right out the window months and even weeks later when fuels costs fluctuates. Not to mention natural disasters that impact a shipment. Solid logistics management will be prepared to deal with any deviation from the perfect plan.

After the product arrives at the fulfillment center, logistics managements shifts to the best format for fulfilling the individual orders for that product. This is going to mean incorporating inventory tracking, labeling and shipping systems. It also means having a competent and professional staff that can handles these orders. When the product is delivered to the customer, logistics management then needs to provide proper customer service support. This could come in the form of answering troubleshooting questions or handling returns.

The bottom line is that there isn’t any step in a business that hasn’t been touched by logistics management. It’s all about the goal of making sure the business runs properly with the goal of making the most profits available. It is the success of logistics management that separates the solid companies from the failures.