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Managing the flow of material goods between people and places is known as logistics management. This type of process is prevalent in large organizations, especially those that interact with other companies to buy their supplies. Any company that requires the movement or transfer of material to complete a business task uses this management processes.
There are many fields that deal with logistics management. These include the areas of retail, manufacturing, and general warehousing. The logistic manager is responsible for coordinating the movement of material goods from one location to another. This typically requires the management of personnel and processes to deliver products in an efficient manner.
The movement of military troops is an example of a logistics management operation. This requires extensive coordination between both material goods and troops themselves. Military logistics is one of the most complicated management problems because it normally requires movement of material goods by land, air, and sea.
Human aid organizations are constantly working with logistics management processes. These non-profit organizations receive goods and financial aid from their contributors. These charitable funds are converted into food and supplies that can be used for aid to poor countries.
Most human aid organizations distribute medicine and food in foreign countries. This is a significant process because it requires logistics control that is unique for each country. Once the products arrive in the receiving country, they must be routed to specific areas of need and distributed to people. This also requires the management of health and human service teams that can provide medical support. This requires detailed management of logistics.
The operations of the post office are a good example of a logistics management process. When a letter is mailed, it must be picked up, sorted and transferred to the mailing destination. This requires effective process management of people, material, and transportation vehicles. The post office has several processes that streamline the delivery of mail packages.
Most retail stores use logistics management to buy and sell goods. These companies work with wholesale manufacturing companies to purchase large quantities of products. Once the products arrive in the store, they must be organized and distributed into the appropriate area of the building.
Retail stores also manage warehouse inventories with logistics management software. These inventories are integrated with sales software to track the depletion of a company's supplies. When inventory levels meet a specific threshold, automatic orders are sent to the supply company to replenish the sold merchandise.
Awesome article on logistics management. Nowadays, logistics management plays a key role in transportation planning.
@pleonasm - What I remember about that show was that they often ended up trading with other army outposts for the parts they needed. Bribery was often involved.
I haven't done much work with logistics management but from watching the girl who handles it in my store I think that sometimes she does trade for items.
I'm sure there are also sophisticated supply chain management software systems in place, but when it comes down to it, she sweet talks the guy on the other end of the phone to get what she wants.
We've come a long way!
My first introduction to logistics management was in the TV program MASH, which of course did not make it look like the army was very efficient in this area.
I've heard though that transportation logistics management in the army can be very efficient most of the time. But occasionally they will mess up spectacularly! Usually all that happens is that people have a laugh about it.
But, of course, as they showed in MASH, when it is something like much needed medical supplies or weapons, or food, it becomes a much more serious business.
I can't even imagine organizing such an enormous operation though. I think anything that size is bound to screw up now and then.