Logistics : An Unsung Hero

When we come across the term of Logistics, the images of trucks, pallet vehicles come in our minds and large spaces filled with number of boxes. But is this the complete role of Logistics? The answer is big no Logistics is a part of Supply Chain Management which is a very big term in itself.

"Supply Chain Management refers to a process which starts from purchasing of raw material from the vendor and then processing it in the manufacturing plant with all its associated processes. After production, then distribution of it to its final customers efficiently. The scope of Supply Chain Management ends with the efficient after sales service provided to the customer so as to ensure repeat sales "

So we could see the process encompasses lot of interdependent factors of which Logistics is just one part, but it determine the capability of the firm to respond to market uncertainties and also save costs on inventory be it inbound or outbound logistics. Now let us see the practical role of Logistics where we would see how an efficient logistics play an important role in supply chain management.

The First role of Logistics is to ensure that goods manufactured in the plant reaches the hands of the end customers in the perfect saleable state. This goes a long way in ensuring that the customer gets the best quality product and also reducing the distribution losses for the company. To reduce such kind of issues, the product should be packed appropriately depending on the product, the mode of transport and the warehousing facilities of the firm. For example the product going through sea should have adequate protection against salt and moisture in the air.

The second role of Logistics is to have proper and logical storage of materials in warehouses, so that effective and fast execution of delivery orders could take place and there is no loss on account of pilferage and no mismatches or mistakes on account of place of delivery. The warehouse operation should be properly trained to handle pallets or cartons according to the type of product. There should be proper documentation of the movement of goods in warehouse both inbound and outbound so that sales and product teams have an accurate idea of the ageing inventory with them location wise.

The third role is to track flow of goods from the plant to the end customers through various information technology softwares, so as to track the goods from audit perspective and also have data for various kind of claims. Like in case of consumer electronics products serial number are there which is unique for that product and helps in checking from when and where the particular product was billed to the customer.

The foremost role of Logistics is to help firm in meeting the uncertainty present in the market for example if a certain part of the country is experiencing a sudden spurt in demand for the product due to festival season, then efficient logistics of the company will try to shift product from other warehouses having lean demand as a work around for the issue. Logistics inventory also helps the firm in planning the production output of the manufacturing plant.

Lastly it plays a part in after sales service for the company by picking defective products from the customers or dealers and then sending it back for refurbishment. The other connected role is of managing the distribution part of spare parts inventory to be used by service centers of her company for effective consumer satisfaction.

The role and scope of Logistics is so vast that it is very difficult to explain it in one article. So I have tried to explain the major factors involved directly with Logistics. Logistics is often an unsung hero in all the departments of the company but as one can see from the above discussion that it plays a very important role in the Supply Chain Management and to overall brand value and profitability of the company.