The scope and the influences of logistics have evolved immensely in the late 40’s to 60’s of the last century. Initially only the military organizations used logistics, but later the scopes of logistics were extended beyond the army organizations and were widely known as one of the most important apparatus to develop competitiveness. The term ‘competitive advantage’ means that the association has the required capability to distinguish itself in the eyes of the customers and also is working at a lower price and greater revenue (Griffis, Bell and Closs 2012). The logistics facilitates in receiving the products or goods and services as and when they are required and preferred to the clients. Logistics as well helps in various economic connections and serving as a significant enabler of expansion of trade and commerce in a particular economy.
The logistics nowadays is widely known as a different purpose along with the rise of the mass production systems. The distribution and production in previous days were seen as a chronological chain of particular actions. Thus the position of the logistics is to make sure the accessibility of all the needed resources prior to each step in the sequence. Inevitably the inventory of raw resources, completed goods and semi-finished merchandise is a must across the sequence to make sure the smooth functioning. The basic notion of logistics has its foundation upon the systems approach. There is a solitary chain with a run of resources initiating from the provider, after that to the plant and lastly in the end purchaser and also those actions were done in sequence to attain the customer satisfaction at low cost (Seuring and Gold 2012). Thus to be successful, there must be a harmonization in the actions of the department. With references to a specific association, the organizations get a tangible shape because of its arrangement. Earlier times, the suppliers in distributional activities were spread across the whole structure, resulting in an overlapping of the activities and finally are inexplicable authority and responsibility. In today’s world, the organizations, which are process driven organizations, the focus has shifted from the functions to process and logistics has thus become a significant element of the process.
The American Council of Logistics Management describes logistics being the processes of planning, controlling and implementing the efficient, storage of raw materials, cost effective flow, fished merchandise and related information from the origin to consumption for the reason of in compliance to the necessities of the customers (Griffis, Bell and Closs 2012). Experts defined logistics as the planning, controlling and implementing the physical flows of the resources and finished products from the point of origin to the point of use to meet the customer’s needs at the profit.
The inventory can be seen as one of the main factors that can have an effect on the revenue of an organization to a huge amount. Traditionally, the organizations had to carry a lot of inventory to satisfy clients and in order to make sure an excellent customer service (Zhang et al. 2013). Later on when the funds are blocked in inventory and those were not used for any other productive purposes. Those costs will exhaust any organization’s profits and logistics also helps to maintain the inventory next to the lowest level to achieve the customer objective. This can be done by small but recurrent supplies.
Freight is a significant starting place of charges in logistics and this might get reduced by the measures by choosing the appropriate mode of transport, long distance shipments, route planning, consolidation of freight etc.
The materials required by the clients have to be delivered on time and not ahead of the scheduled time or behind it. There must be a suitable planning of modes of the transportation with availability of the inventory would ensure this (Seuring and Gold 2012).
At some times the goods might be damaged because of the improper packing or frequent handling of the delivery or other reasons. These kinds of damages add to the logistics costs and the usage of proper logistical packing, mechanized material handling equipment would diminish the harm (Zhang et al. 2013).
An organization should have the potential of extending the service to the clients in te shortest time span. Using the most up-to-date technologies regarding giving out information and communication would progress the process of decision making, and that enables the organization to be elastic so that the company can satisfy the necessities of the clients within the shortest time span (Janvier-James 2012).
The dispensation of the orders taken from the clients is an action that is vital by itself and also consumes much time and paperwork (Mangan and Lalwani 2016). This involves the stepladder like inspecting the orders for any deviations in the negotiated terms, payment, price and delivery terms and checking whether the materials are obtainable in stock, and scheduling and producing the materials for any kinds of shortages and giving acknowledgements to the owners by signifying any deviations.
Managing the inventory helps an organization to maintain an optimum level of inventory that will help to satisfy the clients. Various actions like inventory forecasting, manufacturing the order quantity, proper deployment of inventory and many more are concerned in this matter.
Warehouse is the place where all the finished products are reserved before they are sent to be sold in the market. This is the most significant cost center and inappropriate warehouse management can create a lot of issues in future (Seuring and Gold 2012).
Transportation helps moving the finished products to the customers place and this can be done by choosing a variety of methods like rail, seaways, air and roadways.
Packaging is the most critical element in the physical allotment of the goods and it also influences the competence of the system of logistics.
Nowadays the globe has turn out to be a global community, and because of liberalization and globalization the business associations are much more forced to provide the goods further than their nationalized boundaries (Janvier-James 2012). Thus in those state of affairs, the function of logistics is to offer time place and usefulness of the goods to clients. Also organizations are striving to achieve competitiveness and in their resistance to endure, the focus has shifted towards supply chain, and to deliver the worth for money for their clients. Logistics plays a significant role in the process of delivering the value and how flourishing the supply chain management is, greatly dependent on support and planning of logistics. In recent years, the trend is to outsource and organizations are continuing to farm out their operations as it is better to outsource the useful areas to experts who know how to carry out the job at a significant lower cost and this is one technique of adding value.
Usually, the in-house logistics departments in manufacturing companies consider all the aspects of logistics (Griffis, Bell and Closs 2012). This is certainly not the area of the core capability of manufacturing or trading corporations. Nowadays, a lot of thriving business organizations throughout the globe is outsourcing logistics to the third party providers of logistics; those are having the necessary communications and expertise to do the work in a better way. Complete solutions of logistics are provided to manufacturers and traders by the third party logistics providers and they help to integrate a variety of operations of logistics, thus making it sure a speedy and consistent movement of supplies across the supply chain. Logistics is nowadays extensively used in almost each area. The accomplishment of a logistics service providing corporation heavily relies on how they conceptualize and put into operation the logistics solutions, and also adjust to the necessities of the customer (Bosona and Gebresenbet 2013).
These days’ organizations only look for sustainable competitive advantages, not for only the growth, but also for the need to sustain (Lee and Lam 2012). There are so much steep rivalry that companies are bound to analyze their process of business whilst they distribute the goods and services to clients, who are searching for more worth for the sum that they are spending. The focal point of rivalry has moved from the manufactured goods to the supply chain. Nowadays, logistics management is supported by the system concept and cost approach. Transportation, managing of materials, warehousing, and order processing and inventory management are the key logistics activities that impact the client cost and operation. Integrated logistics helps to take out the price of the supply chain and it also improves the level of customer service (Mangan and Lalwani 2016). When seeing at the macro level, the growth of a nation’s economy is wholly based on the accessibility of good logistics infrastructure. The pace of the movement of merchandise is based to a great extent on the range of ways of transportation like road, rail, air, and sea. Logistics actually has a bright prospect, especially in countries like India, but definite pressing issues such as abolition of octopi levy, rationalization of customs formalities, and various improvements regarding road and rail infrastructure, creation of modern warehouse facilities and many more, must to be taken care of (Cozzolino 2012).
Clients are definitely the center of any action as the most important cause at the back of this, being that eventually every product, service or scheme lastly needs to be catered to the customer’s necessities. According to experts, the Customer service as a multifaceted of behavior that involves all areas of the industry that combines to deliver and invoice the company’s manufactured goods in a fashion that is supposed as acceptable by the client and which moves forward the company’s objective. Customer service, as a notion has numerous aspects to it. Logistics management has a key role in increasing the customer satisfaction and also retention and thus creating a lifetime client value. In other expressions, customer service as a amalgamation of activities enables a business organization to add some more value to the purchaser It is a chief constituent of the merchandise or service that is offered to the purchaser. With good quality of customer service, the existing clients are content and this attracts new clients throughout word-of-mouth system of communication. Customer Service is not just a function or an activity (Lee and Lam 2012). It is a philosophy, and attitude. With so much importance given to customer service, companies are trying to increase the level of customer service and scale up to the expectations of the client. Unless the goods are in the hands of the purchaser at the time and place of condition, goods do not have any worth attached to them. To achieve a praiseworthy service level, the organization has to plan a closely incorporated logistics strategy (Mangan and Lalwani 2016). In today’s marketplace, clients are so much difficult to deal with, not only in the quality characteristic but also in relation to the service aspect. Clients form a only some perceptions in relation to the variety of aspects of customer service like reliability, trustworthiness, responsiveness, competency etc (Seuring and Gold 2012). With the help of these cues, purchasers evaluate the company’s services and state whether they are content or not (Zhang et al. 2013). Physical distribution has a key role in providing customer service. As there an increase in the competition is seen, along with a progression in technology, firms today are faced with the increasing pressure to develop even more ground-breaking strategies for customer service. Two key factors that contributed immensely for the growing significance of customer service as a spirited weapon are the incessant progress expectations of customer and the stable shift of customers from branded goods to local unbranded products (Janvier-James 2012). An extremely good example would be the personal computer market, where the buyer finds it hard to make a difference between a branded version and an unbranded one. The swiftness of technological alteration and a decreased product life cycle has additionally enhanced the significance of customer service.
It has to be ensured that over the years there has been a radical change in the mode of customer satisfaction. With changing milieu of the customer behavior and their want of the products from a company, the mode of service provision has also witnessed a certain change (Lee and Lam 2012). Thus better or to be specific, an active and effective supply chain management has the key to provide an impactful option to the companies to work on the process. In the past, the satisfaction of the customers depended more upon requirements like the quality and quantity. However, this was highly entrenched that focusing on the customer satisfaction would highly become effective depending upon the cost reduction process (Bosona and Gebresenbet 2013). However, cost reduction strategies and process in supply chain has often resulted in the breaching and violation of sustainability and the regulations oriented with it. There has been a question pertaining to the reliability and adaptability of the companies with the suppliers and vice versa (Griffis, Bell and Closs 2012). In this regard there has been a proper understanding of the process pertaining to the effective supply and logistics management. Considering the quality of the supplies, the companies would prefer the positioning of the warehouse. Both logistics and customer service goes hand in hand. Requirement such as shifting, shipping, delivery and packaging includes better problem solving attitudes in need. However, there has to be certain understanding of the process which led to the understanding of the entire case.
In terms of manufacturing companies, this has to be ensured that quality raw materials are provided to the manufacturer. Management systems and policies and principles are quite oriented with agile and lean production process. This has to be ensured that the specific understanding has to be taken into certain understanding of the process. In this process, there is a certain case that has actually provided effective learning method while addressing customer satisfaction level (Mangan and Lalwani 2016).
Many papers have been written providing ample information about customer satisfaction and the strategies that the companies should undertake while addressing to the greater number o the customers.
One of the most important aspects in innovative logistics management is the intervention of information technology (Lee and Lam 2012). Proper implementation process would also meliorate the disturbed situations in a company. ICT or information and communication technology in supply chain and logistics has been proving quite effective to determine customer satisfaction. The elementary mantra for ensuring customer satisfaction is the quality of product provided to the customers and post sales services (Cozzolino 2012). Two key factors that contributed immensely for the growing significance of customer service as a competitive weapon are the incessant progress of customer expectations and the steady shift of customers from branded goods to local unbranded products. A very good example would be the personal computer market, where the buyer finds it difficult to make a difference between a branded version and an unbranded one. The swiftness of technological change and a decreased product life cycle has additionally developed the significance of customer service. In terms of post sales services most of the companies use third party organizations or the outsourcing companies. In this case, those third party organizations provide ample scope to broaden the path for the core companies to reach to the greater number of customers. In this case, the outsourcing companies are highly equipped with proper ICT systems that are supplied to them from the top-class organizations (Griffis, Bell and Closs 2012).
Since this is performed through a chain system, all the organizations and the agencies are to be well equipped. In this context, proper incoterm management system comes in to existence. In collaboration with the supply chain partners, the automation of the process has also eased the business practices. According to Gunasekaran et al (2004), the measurement of the performance of the suppliers is considered to be something quite important in terms of creating an essence with ease. However, this has to be taken into certain consideration pertaining to the effective supply chain process. This is how, a particular group of logistics solutions are highly effective in terms of service provision to the clients (Cozzolino 2012). In this case, classification of the customer needs to be taken into account. Since supply chain is managed in B2B process i.e. business to business process, there is a clear understanding of the process pertaining to the identification of the business clients as well as the identification of the retail customers in the market (Mangan and Lalwani 2016). For instance, for shipment, the companies with high quality ICT services are always prioritized. Customer service as a complex of activities involves all areas of the business which combine to deliver and invoice the company’s product in a fashion that is perceived as satisfactory by the customer and which advances the company’s objective. Customer service, as a notion has numerous aspects to it (Bosona and Gebresenbet 2013). Logistics management has a key role in increasing the customer satisfaction and also retention and thus creating a lifetime client value. In other expressions, customer service as a amalgamation of activities enables a business organization to add more value to the buyer.There is a need, as Del Baldo said, to ensemble the integration between the carriers, information technology firms, and the manufacturing companies. One of the widely used technological interventions has been FlashView software that tracks the usage and storage of inventory data. The aim of using this software is to provide effective information to the clients pertaining to the update. The other important technological acceptance is the acceptance of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), which is one of the most important and vital piece of technologies that ensures effective service provision to the clients in the business process. Through RFID chips, the companies are able to focus on the usage of ultimate foundational cases (Zhang et al. 2013).
Social media in any business process plays an important role. However, the plethora of social media services and its synchronization has to be ensured with proper usage. Through social media optimization, the supply chain management is precisely performed. Through proper usage of social media, it would be strengthened (Cozzolino 2012).
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