The opportunities of logistics & transport
Logistics refers to leading and controlling material flows and the related information, resources and monetary flows. The goal of logistics is to achieve the greatest potential efficiency through better service and lower costs, satisfying the various parties in a supply chain along the way. There are several different branches of logistics related to various professional groups.
Delivery methods of purchasing, logistics & supply chain courses
Logistics & transport courses come in a vast range of formats to suit you and your organisation.
After you have found a course that meets your needs, ask the course provider for more information about their course teaching methods. For instance, trainers can come to your office (in-house training), you can attend an open course with delegates from other companies or you can take an online/distance course.
Points to consider regarding your course are:
- Where will the course be held? In-company, in the student's home, at one of the course providers’ locations, or online?
- How will the course be run?
- Can the course accommodate your specific industry?
- Will the expected finishing level of the course match your requirements?
- What qualifications does your course teacher have?
- What experience does your teacher have in your professional area?
- What opportunities for organised social interaction for continued learning are provided?
Online logistics & transport courses
In-house logistics & transport training
Open / Public logistics & transport courses
The logistics function in more detail
Logistics affects your company's functioning, affects its economy and affects its competitiveness. It’s a far-reaching function that’s success is vital to the organisations.
A basic logistics course will give delegates the entry level concepts, definitions, approaches and techniques of the logistics function. Logistics training at more advanced levels gives delegates the knowledge to plan and calculate various streams of work more strategically.
Moving goods from A to B is the basic premise of transport logistics. The four most common modes of transporting are air, rail, road and sea.
Sometimes transport modes need to shift, an occurrence usually taking place at a “terminal”. To ensure the journey of goods from A to B via the terminal happens as efficiently as possible, the logistics function needs to coordinate the correct method of transfer and whether to use a “terminal”, etc.
Production logistics specifically focuses on improving the flow of production, in order to achieve the highest possible efficiency, by controlling and reducing lead times. Optimal efficiency can be reached via a number of different strategies. These strategies can often involve more than one company.
One of the most basic steps in production logistics relates to creating an optimal batch size. If an organisation knows what its optimal batch size is, it should produce according to this. The overarching goal of this method is to have batch sizes tailored to match customers’ orders precisely.
Production flow can be controlled in various different ways. The two most common methods are Push (suction) and Push (pressure) methods. Pull Systems are used heavily in lean production and when designed with Kanban systems, can produce according to customer needs. Push Systems involve production maximising what it can from raw materials, giving the advantage of the customer being more likely to receive goods within a specified time. The risks of Push Systems are that they must hold larger stockpiles compared to Pull Systems.
A major challenge in the production logistics is efficiently scheduling orders from customers while maintaining adequate production capacity. If an organisation has a long production process, with long lead times and long order backlog, it is naturally more difficult to rapidly respond to a clients’ needs.
Third Party / Outsourcing
In logistics, this is when a third-party enters and performs a value-added process in between two other parties. Examples of third part logistics can be assembly, storage, specialized transportation plus much more. This is most commonly known as outsourcing.
Fourth party logistics
In logistics, this is where a fourth-party enters and controls the logistics strategy for an entire supply chain, in order to create maximum efficiency.
Controlling a supply chain is specifically known as Supply Chain Management. In many cases it may be difficult to control an entire supply chain; this is often because the individual organisation, or organisational group, doesn’t have sufficient information about their production and/or logistics. One of the largest challenges of Supply Chain Management is in determining who should be responsible in whole or in part for the supply chain.
Logistics and the Law
The legal connection to logistics usually regarding transportation, however, inventory management may also be affected by legal requirements. The laws present in most cases usually lie with the various transportation laws (both international and national) as well as in contract law and the laws of sale.
What is unique about logistics and transportation contracts and sales, is that the duration of contracts can often be difficult to estimate or even to define. Many cases see companies having different standardized contracts for transportation and goods; for example, one of these is “Incoterms”, which are a known framework for the standard of delivery requirements related to international shipments.
The benefits of IT in logistics systems
The link between IT and logistics is becoming increasingly important to organisations in the context of globalisation and in developing IT communities. In a world where businesses have production, warehouse and planning dispersed around the globe, IT becomes increasingly important as both a communication and control facility.
Many companies therefore can realise enormous benefits when investing in sophisticated business systems (such as SAP or Movex) or labelling their own goods. A well-functioning business logistics system can give an overview of logistics activities within and outside the company. In turn, this facilitates the planning of production and transportation. Recently, the RFID labelling system attracted a lot of attention, as it offers the opportunity to label/mark goods and products with a small computer chip / electronic tag, which can contain a large amount of information about the product. When used effectively, the RFID chip and a well-functioning logistics system can offer a more efficient logistics chain.