Logistics can be broadly termed as a complex, integrated and controlled process that involves an efficient management and control of the flow of resources including goods, services, personnel, information, capital and energy from the source of production to the site of consumption.
Logistics is a separate branch of science that deals with the procurement, distribution, maintenance, storage, movement and replacement of goods, services and personnel.
The term ‘logistics’ is believed to have been derived from an ancient Greek word ‘logos’. However, the requirement of military to supply goods and other services from one arduous destination to other during war seems to be the basis for the origin of the concept of logistics. Here, logistics is an individual branch that deals with the processes involving evacuation and hospitalization of personnel, construction and operation of facilities, and their disposition apart from procurement, distribution, maintenance and storage of goods.
Today, logistics is an inseparable part of business community. According to a recent survey conducted, around 10 percent of the cost of a domestic product is due to the costs incurred on logistics.
The concept of logistics can be applied in several areas. Production logistics deals with the process of an efficient manufacturing, production and quality control procedures of a product in an industry. Acquisition logistics covers the entire process of identification, designing, delivering, acquisition, and installation of new equipment or personnel. In case of military, acquisition logistics involves the process of acquiring and commissioning of new weapons system.
It is the prime responsibility of a properly structured logistics team to ensure a regular inflow of products that are reasonably priced and are of the best quality. Many companies are looking to improve their supply chain technology to cut costs. Apart from this, the logistics team also ensures that the entire process is properly planned, streamlined, funded and executed. Logistics team executes control over multiple functional areas including transportation, traffic, and packaging, inventory, warehousing, material handling and shipping of goods apart from their import and export operations. This entire process is exercised through the means of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS).