Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management Blog

The Origin Of Logistics And Supply Chain Management In India

What Is Logistics And Supply Chain Management?

Logistics and Supply Chain Management has been a song which has been sung in this industry for quite some time. But I guess most of these singers have not been differentiating the main lines of the song from the chorus. This has led to a ton of confusion and as a way to provide awareness and information regarding supply chain management discipline and to understand it as a matrix unfinished that is particularly left to be solved by the professionals in other industries and commoners like us. 

Logistics And Supply Chain Management

Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management is quite vast and compound by nature.  And its intricacies seem to deepen every day due to the need of global outsourcing, which is relentlessly driven by demand and supply forces in the market. It has also been observed that due to an increase in the rate of global trade the supply chain is also becoming more and more intricate and that is exactly why the experts are striving to bring modern technology on board via the use of the internet to try and make the supply chain process cost-effective and efficient. 

Logistics by and large is one of the detailed and elaborated sectors and execution of complex operations. In general trade terms, Logistics is the management of the streaming of goods and services between the point of origin and the point of deliverance or consumption so as to meet the necessities of service providers(CONSOL Agent, Freight Forwarder, IATA Agent, Custom House Agent) and consumers(Exporter and Importer).
There are varieties of tangible assets that are managed in logistics, which include goods such as vehicles, machinery, electronic equipment or gadgets, furniture, etc. As well as food or other edible items. The logistics of materials generally include the effective integration of data flow, handling of materials, production, packaging, stock, transportation, warehousing, distribution, and security.

The History Of Logistics:

A quick glance at the history of Logistics will help us better to understand its enlightening and powerful journey from rags to riches. Logistics is basically known as the commercial activity of transporting goods to the customers. It is the management of the movement of goods and services within the nodes and links of the supply chain network. 

The inception (origin) of logistics can be traced back to Roman and Greek times when their military commanders known as ‘Logistikas’ were allotted with the duty of providing services that were related to supply and distribution of various resources. This was basically done to empower soldiers to effectively change their location from one place to another, which could prove beneficial in deciding the course and outcome of the war. It was basically done with the intention of causing damage to the supply chain of the enemy and safeguarding their own supply locations as well. Thus the historic commencement of logistics set the course for the development of a unique logistics management system and the industry that we know and deal with today. 

At the time of the Second World War (1939-1945), we got a chance to witness the growth and development of logistics and supply chain management. The military logistics of the United States and its allies proved to be more powerful and efficient than the German army could fathom. The United States military ended up wreaking havoc on the supply locations of the Germans army that caused some severe damages to their supply chain networks. Whereas the German army failed miserably to wreck the same damage or havoc to the supply chain of her enemies. The United States military never failed to supply the right service at the right place & at the right time. At the same time, they also ensured that these services were provided in the most optimal and economical manner wherever and whenever it was possible. The best accessible alternatives were formed, created or developed. Additionally, this led to the arising of several military logistics methods and techniques which are still being used in its advanced form by us. 

In spite of its evolvement, it still isn’t considered as an exact science. The field or sector of logistics does not follow a definite set of rules and regulations. A logistics manager performs his duties based on his educational qualification, skill sets which he has developed through his past experiences and most probably through his intuitions as well.   These skills are nurtured by their consistent application for the development of his organization. The Manager of Logistics administration ensures that the organization is profited by a successful, efficient and productive system of logistics administration. Likewise, he needs to make sure that the right sort of product and services are given at the opportune time and at an appropriate cost, regardless of whether it’s inside the premises of an organization or conveyance of shipments outside the premises of the organization. 

In the current scenario, logistics has become some sort of comforter for some selective organizations that initially considered it as a burden. Understanding how important logistics has become for the successful survival of the company and the vital role it plays for entrepreneurs as well. It’s significant due to how enormous a role logistics plays. This concept is also preached by Business Leadership and Management degree providers. Organizations these days are procuring individuals with essential information to provide sustainable improvements in the field of supply chain management. As has been the situation all throughout the history of logistics and supply chain management, the leader of the logistics division needs to have a clear understanding and a drive inside him to deliver results under strict time frame apart from his usual duties and responsibilities.

During those days academics programs were not centered on logistics or distribution. Rather there was hardly any focus on them. For the most part, they were identified as individual operations such as transportation and purchasing. There was little effort to merge and stabilize the operations, which later came to be known as the logistics activities, which were an expense and/or service conflict. Therefore the leaders or managers of logistics hardly had any window of opportunity to learn about the broader concepts of the functioning of logistics.  

Conclusions:

There have been a few powerful lessons that have been learned from the past which led to the reformation of the field of logistics and supply chain management that we know today. Initially, the physical dispersion and logistics were imagined to have wide obligations regarding overseeing the flow of operations that were related to obtaining the raw-materials to securing the final consumer. Despite the fact that the extent of the field was broad, current administration practice was constrained to the coordination of operations inside the network of logistics or among those exercises that were related to the flow of the product. Extending the boundaries of the core business was embraced but was seldom practiced. Secondly, the total cost concept became the core of managing certain activities in bulk. Certain activities or operations such as transportation and inventory control were overseen together because they were in cost conflict. All the activities that were part of product flow and related to displaying cost trade-off characteristics were considered to be associated with the new field of material distribution or logistics. 

Despite the fact that the extent of the field was broad, current administration practice was constrained to the coordination of operations inside the network of logistics or among those exercises that were related to the flow of the product. Extending the boundaries of the core business was embraced but was seldom practiced. Secondly, the total cost concept became the core of managing certain activities in bulk. Certain activities or operations such as transportation and inventory control were overseen together because they were in cost conflict. All the activities that were part of product flow and related to displaying cost trade-off characteristics were considered to be associated with the new field of material distribution or logistics. 

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Third material distribution and logistics were adopted by both the domains of marketing and production, but diminutive attention was given to the problems that concerned the flow of the product. Due to which physical distribution and logistics commenced functioning independently within the business. This measure was taken by the acknowledgment of the fact that cover expenditures of logistics were high and that there was an unexplored possibility to decrease them. 

Fourth, among the sectors of production, procurement, and physical distribution, there was little coordination, in spite of the fact that this directly affected the management of product flow. This coordination turned out to be a noteworthy topic in upcoming years. 

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