Logistics management activities typically include inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfilment, logistics network design, inventory control, supply/demand planning and management of third-party logistics services providers.
To varying degrees, logistics management 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.
Effective logistics management is important to companies for a number of reasons, both positive and negative.
Good logistics management ensures that products are shipped in the most economical, safe, efficient and timely manner. This results in cost savings for the company and more satisfied customers.
In contrast, poor logistics management can result in damaged or delayed shipments, which can then lead to dissatisfied customers, returns and scrapped products. The consequences of these problems include higher costs and customer relation problems. In order to avoid these results, effective logistics management includes careful planning, proper software system selection, proper vetting and selection of outsourced vendors, and adequate resources to handle the processes.