Logistics Management: meaning, functions, importance, process and best practices

Logistics refers to the overall process of managing how resources are acquired, stored, and transported to their final destination. Logistics management involves identifying prospective distributors and suppliers and determining their effectiveness and accessibility. This is the process of strategically managing the procurement, movement and storage of materials, parts and finished inventory (and the related information flows) through the organization and its marketing channels in such as way that current and future profitability are maximized through the cost-effective fulfillment of orders.

In simple terms, the goal of logistics management is to have the right amount of a resource or input at the right time, getting it to the appropriate location in proper condition, and delivering it to the correct internal or external customer. Logistics managers are referred to as logisticians. Logistic resources, such as tanks, pipelines, and ships, have the main objective of making products, equipment, and raw material flow easier throughout processes to maximize profits. Logistics activities typically include inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory control, supply/demand planning and management of third-party logistics services providers.

To varying degrees, logistics functions include customer service, sourcing and procurement, production planning and scheduling, packaging, and assembly. Logistics management is part of all the levels of planning and execution, including strategic, operational and tactical. Further, it coordinates all the logistics activities, and it integrates logistics activities with other functions, including marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance and information technology.

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