Logistics, an essential management tool
Etymologically, the word logistics It comes from the Greek "logistikos", which means knowing how to calculate. The Romans used the word logistics When referring to their army administrators and also logistical, they were called a group of medical scientists who based their theories on observation.
We should also note that in World War II there was a profound professionalization of logistics. The American Army defined logistics as the strategic area that must deal with:
- Design, handling and distribution of materials.
- Movements, evacuation and hospitalization of people.
- Acquisition and supplies of materials.
- Acquisition and supply of services.
The logistics strategy must have special intervention in the communication units to maintain the traceability of situations.
All the concepts developed have been taken into account by the organizations and have detected that the application of the concepts prior to management business, can be translated into the generation of sustainable and structural competitive advantages.
Logistics is perceived as an area of opportunities for organizations where there are still opportunities for major rationalizations.
According to the CEL (Spanish Logistics Center), it defines that logistics is perceived as a tool for obtaining competitiveness, that performs value-added or value-added activities that result in increased profitability of companies.
Logistics at the business level and taking into account the above concepts has been defined for the management organizational:
... as the technique aimed at analyzing and optimizing material flows, with the appropriate information support to maintain the traceability of products / services, eliminating those activities that do not add value to products / services and through the management Effective logistics will differentiate companies from the competition.
In turn from the above concepts, it follows that logistics managers are professionals who must know how to calculate, manage and observe product / service flows, based on the support of information, material movements, storage and transport systems.
Logistics has ceased to be perceived as a restricted concept within organizations, to become a strategic area for the generation of added value.
The hierarchy of logistics within organizations in the XNUMXs has been due to the rationalization efforts in traditional areas such as production, marketing, quality They have been heavily tackled by organizations in recent decades.
Today in a globalized environment and facing the need to place products / services in the hands of customers in less time and effectively, the management Logistics has entered the "head office" of business management and is considered an essential variable in the value generation process and in the strategy of penetration / capture of new markets.
In the traditional 4P schemes of the marketing, companies in search of product differentiation have attacked the P = Product + Prices + Advertising.
The P referring to Plaza (Logistics) has gone more unnoticed and is now seen as the area pending to be thoroughly attacked in the management of organizations.
Taking into account some of the concepts of the Association for the Development of Spanish Logistics, we can highlight that the shortening of cycles, the integration of markets and processes, Outsourcing companies are breaking down the barriers between companies, to the point that in Europe there is no longer talk of competition between companies but of competition between logistics chains or supply chains.
The concepts JIT (Just In Time), Customization (Clientization), Logistic Platforms, Distribution Center, Deposits as process centers and added value, have begun to be present among the priority areas of the top management of organizations.
Also the effective management of logistics chains exceeds the traditional limits of organizations and leads to the development of relationships of integration and complementation between suppliers, producers of goods / services and customers. These relationships are developed in a "Win-Win" scenario, disrupting the traditional relationships between the actors.
In the processes of rationalization of production processes, the redesign of logistics networks and supply chains are a fundamental part of specialization and logistics effectiveness.
This implies taking advantage of economies of scale of production, the consolidation of effective inventories and the ability to reach customers with an expanded product portfolio and at a competitive price.
According to Market Line International, it is perceived that logistics operators and supply chain management strategies will be fundamental development areas in organizations. Relationships of "partnership" or client / partner or supplier / partner, together with the appropriate strategic alliances will be common currency in many sectors to which logistics does not escape.
La logistics it is the location of resources in the right place and at the agreed time. La logistics it is applied for the effective management of the supply chain or logistics chain.
Trends in Logistics Management.
Logistics, as we have indicated, is applied to the effective management of the supply chain, and this has led to the development of management instruments or tools, which have given logistics the ability to generate sustainable and structural competitive advantages.
A first view is that deposits have become platforms from which, the multimodality, storage systems, material movement systems, information systems, traceability systems and distribution systems, have caused their transformation into process centers, being these stages of the supply chain the most intensive in labor and where the basic product is transformed into the expanded product as received by the end customer.
Basic product - It is the product that comes out of the last productive stage.
- Logistics Platform - Integrated set of facilities where management, handling, control, registration is carried out, value is added to transform the basic product into the expanded product.
- Value added - Set of transformation activities on the basic product to reach the expanded product, such as statistical quality controls, labeling, assembly, packaging, etc. These activities are carried out as close as possible to the consumption of the products.
- Location - This activity usually referred to in the bibliography as “customization”, implies the adaptation of the products / services to the different consumer markets (type of packing, requirements on the labels, consumption methods, etc.).
- VAL - Value Added Logistics or value added logistics activities.
- GloCalization - Companies that carry out activities global (economies of scale, productive specialization, etc.) and making use of resources local effectively reach end customers.
- Logistics has ceased to be merely operational, to become the catalyst for process of effective contribution of value to products. It should be noted that in this process of adding value, the activities to be carried out are labor intensive.
- The level of training, knowledge and tools Placed within the reach of professionals, they make logistics a fundamental strategic discipline to survive in the competitive environments that await around the corner.