The Theory and Practice of Logistical Management
Rohrig, Jason T.
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The term "business logistics" comes from the military concept of logistics, but the military meaning is not as broad. As it is used within business organizations, the term "business logistics" refers to "the management of all activities which facilitate movement and the coordination of supply and demand in the creation of time and place utility of goods". This statement only begins to introduce the complex nature of logistics. Its presence is felt in every aspect of a business. Interestingly enough, only recently have business organizations recognized the significance of logistics management with respect to the business world. In recent years a number of factors have encouraged businesses to become interested in the development of logistics. For example, product proliferation increased handling and inventory costs and made production planning increasingly difficult. This event prompted the need for a liaison between production and marketing. Another factor was the increase in freight rates after World War II which caused market areas to shrink and more attention to be focused on costs. With costs becoming a larger issue for firms, computer technology became essential in allowing logisticians to analyze complex cost variables. Complementing my logistics research was my employment at an international food manufacturing company. The name and all specific information regarding my employment must remain confidential as it is a highly competitive industry. Through my employment, I was able to witness how entangled logistics is in the scheme of achieving a corporate strategy. It is also interesting to note how theories learned in academic course work apply in the business world. As the interest in logistics grows, companies are beginning to streamline and improve greatly on the principles of the theory. Through my research I was able to gain an understanding of what principles are necessary for a firm to engage in a successful logistics operation. As the competitive nature of business changes, and new complexities arise, logistics operations must possess the flexibility to adapt. Demography, government, technology, and regulations will most likely present the largest need for adaptation. Logistics is definitely increasing its presence in business and in the world's economy.