Importance and problems of logistics Logistics is a continuously developing science. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, “logistics management activities typically include
- − inbound and outbound transportation management,
- − fleet management,
- − warehousing,
- − materials handling,
- − order fulfillment,
- − logistics network design,
- − inventory management,
- − supply/demand planning and
- − management of third party logistics service providers.
To varying degrees, the logistics function also includes − sourcing and procurement, − production planning and scheduling, − packaging and assembly and − customer service. It is involved in all levels of planning and execution-strategies, both operational and tactical. Logistics management is an integrating function which coordinates and optimizes all 278 logistics activities as well as integrates logistics activities with other functions, including marketing, sales manufacturing, finance, and information technology” (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals 2011). As we can see from the definition it is an interdisciplinary science which requires an integrated point of view. Why is it important? Many companies recognize that they can save more money than they expected if they focus on logistics. A question is: how? First of all we should look at logistics as a management function. “Many companies are still in the process of defining specific scopes of the responsibility of the logistics function and gearing their service networks towards the customer needs” (Antoni 2012).
There are well-known theories, like ‘Just In Time’ with which companies can reduce their cost and improve efficiency. Nowadays the main problems are: how to optimize the processes, how to improve service level? Also the effect of pollution is getting more significant now. Firms, especially multinational ones, use controlling and a controller in order to monitor and to control the financial situation of the companies, as well as to measure performance and to prepare decisions. The controlling of logistics is appearing these days. In the following sections these instruments, their effective utilization and other important actors will be discussed.
Importance of logistics has become strategic today. Numerous wholesalers face the fact that delivery accuracy and ability is not enough to satisfy customer needs. On the market of pharmaceutical products, customers (pharmacies) try to be as liquid as possible. Wholesalers, in order to improve service level, have to analyse their performance and costs. The use of performance measuring and controlling, completed with IT background, coordinates the aims of the different sciences and integrates them, so as to help the management in decision making. With warehouse optimization, the question of stock levels, with route optimization, the question of more deliveries per day is answered. After analysing these options the result will tell the management the best way to reach higher service level. With the help of these sciences a company, a wholesaler can improve its performance; develop in hard economic situations by focusing on customers and the future. Keywords: logistics, supply chain management, controlling, optimization, performance management
Before delivering to its customer’s cars, medicines, frozen pizzas …, any company must receive raw materials or materials, store them and transform them. These flows are managed by the logistician. In the company, the logistician organizes and manages all the movements of goods, from the reception of the raw materials until the delivery of the finished products. Its challenge: save time and reduce storage and transport costs. Responsive and organized, he quickly finds solutions to unforeseen events and looks for the best flow management techniques. This professional works mainly in large industrial and commercial companies and in transport and logistics providers.
Nature of the work
Organize the flow of goods
The logistician organizes the movement of goods in large industrial, commercial or transport companies. It manages flows from receiving raw materials or materials to the delivery of finished products. Responsible for supplying the production workshops, he also intervenes after the manufacturing. It is he who ensures the shipment of finished products: processing orders, transfer of products to the shipping dock, packaging and transport.
The logistician masters and optimizes the purchase, storage and transport of goods. Its challenge: save time and reduce costs without losing sight of quality and safety. He is constantly looking for new markets and is looking for the best transport and storage techniques.
Upstream, this professional processes orders with suppliers. He manages the storage shops, carries out inventories. In supermarkets, it guarantees the availability of a product on the shelves. In an industry, it ensures the reserve of raw materials in relation to the production schedule. He inquires about malfunctions that can delay serial production. Then he organizes the stages of packaging and shipping finished products.
First of all, rigor
Logistics is a matter of method: you have to be precise, concrete, in a word rigorous. Responsive and organized, the logistician thinks of everything. Autonomous, it tracks the slightest failure and makes quick decisions in the face of unforeseen circumstances. In any case, it is available and resistant to stress.
The innate sense of diplomacy
In connection with all services, the logistician has an overview of the company. It strives to reconcile the sometimes contradictory needs and constraints of different services: purchasing, storage, marketing, production. Tact, flexibility and sense of dialogue are needed to reach an agreement and make the whole effective. The sense of customer service is appreciated, especially among logistics service providers. This professional is also able to animate and manage a team that can be important.
New technologies and English
The logistician must keep abreast of the evolution of transport techniques and their regulations. He masters the software essential for the effective management of stocks, orders and distribution. The practice of English is a “must”, that of a second language an asset.