When we think of logistics, many people will immediately think of delivery drivers busily distributing parcels and packages around the country, but in actual fact, it’s so much more than that, and it’s a huge industry that just about any business will see at least a small part of.
Logistics covers the entire chain of getting things from wherever it originally started out, to its final destination where it is consumed. So rather than simply from a warehouse to your door, it includes all of the processes beforehand.
Logistics is therefore obviously quite important. Unless your business is one that purely offers services, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be dealing with logistics day-to-day, whether it’s making sure goods are getting to you, or that your goods are getting to your customers.
Read some of the case studies from Tenens to find out what a full logistics project looks like for a major business.
There are also several different stages or types of logistics, each taking a different step of the chain. Let’s take a look at some of them (though there are many more different and specific areas) here:
This would be the first step in the chain. As the name suggests, this bit is all about working out exactly what you need, through research. It encompasses things like finding suppliers, calculating demand and actually placing orders for products.
Even if you’re not a logistics company, you will be a part of this step. Even marketing departments could sometimes be considered to be involved in this, as they do research that ultimately gauges demand.
We move on to the next bit, and the part most people would be familiar with; getting these orders from one place to another.
This could be an extremely complex process, depending on how far things are moving, how much is being moved, and what the product actually is. Warehouses, vans and trucks are all incorporated into this bit, and it’s the most publically obvious.
Disposal and Reverse Logistics
This is probably the part most people forget about, but it’s an important one. The life cycle of anything going through the logistics chain will eventually end with disposal or reuse, and there’s a whole industry dedicated to ensuring everything goes exactly where it should.
The logistics sector in itself will also actually produce waste that needs management, with things like packaging and pallets needing disposal or recycling.