Logistics And Supply Chain Management Definitions Business Essay

In modern competitive business world, every corporation strives for superiority. To achieve and keep maintaining this, the business needs to devote all necessary measures to stay competitive within the industry it confirms itself. One of such procedures is logistics excellence. (Durin et al 2011).

A major contributing function for organizational brilliance has to do with the management of its logistics. However in recent times, logistics quality is overlooked and presumed to be the norm, but and then be regarded when there emerges some significant problem.

Since the Criminal Libel Legislation was removed the statutes catalogs in 2001, the

Ghanaian media surroundings is currently touted or hipped as one of the most independent press regimes in the West African sub-region. It has resulted in the proliferation of print and electronic mass media to the degree that the press market happens to be becoming saturated. According to the National Media Fee (NMC, 2006), Ghana has 106 magazines consisting of 11 dailies, 67 weeklies, 23 bi-weeklies and five tri-weeklies. A lot more than 50% of the news papers currently in circulation have come into existence lately.

Many of these have sprung up before five years, providing readers with a variety of new magazines.

At national level, one of the 11 national dailies, the state-owned Daily Image is the oldest and most widely-read papers in Ghana, which is distributed in every 120 districts nationwide. Founded in 1950 and 100% government-owned, the Daily Image currently has the highest circulation body. The company's command role in the printing media as indicated above began prior to the advancement of the repeal of the criminal libel law. It really is interesting to note that Ghanaians casually make reference to any media printing initially as 'visual'. This not withstanding demonstrates the power the company pulls from this brand name.

However, due to the proliferation of other print out media as a result of the repeal of the criminal libel law, brutal competition has started to emerge in this industry. The state managed and private print media market is now saturated to the amount that almost all media prints practically sell at the same price. An example of such are the, "Ghanaian Times", "The Mirror", "The Ghanaian Observer", "90 Minutes", "Accra Daily Mail", and "the Regular Spectator" which provides at GH 1. 50, whilst others like "The Daily Guide", "The Dispatch", "Daily Graphic", "The Guide", "The Statesman" and" Business and Financial Times" also sell at GH2. 00.

One way to sustain customers and stay competitive and, at the same time increase bottom-line margins has gone to cut down prices. Oddly enough, price reduction in this instance might not be very possible because market stocks are somewhat fixed and would lead to reduced margins instead. A better way for companies to still make profits and remain viable is to attempt an efficient and useful logistics management system (Christopher, 2011). This is because sales revenue raises would be more difficult to attain than logistics cost reductions. The effective management of logistics activities such as customer support, distribution and reverse logistics would play significant functions alongside other logistics activities in bettering an organization's position in such an environment.

Reverse logistics to a considerable extent is not well known and not used within the Ghanaian business environment. This is because logistics has been looked at in most instances from only 1 perspective. It is definitely looked at from the point where products are made, packed, stored in a warehouse, sold, and then sent to the client and the process ends. However there will be more dimensions to the. Furthermore to taking care of outbound goods, logistics managers are also accountable for the flow of delivered goods, re-packaging, including customer support and final disposition of came back items.

Considering the print out media for illustration, the problem of unsold press prints could be considered as 'waste material' given that they cannot be sold the next day. The necessity to manage spend and came back goods is fast growing in a myriad of industries. Currently, companies notably Xerox, Eastman Kodak, Mobil, Home Depot, and Ethan Allen Furniture to name only a few, have recycling programs that meet up with the needs with their individual industries. Although they are foreign companies, they derive numerous advantages and benefits from the relevance of change logistics practices. In ways these could be very much applicable to many organizations in Ghana for which GCGL is no exception.

Undoubtedly, most organizations are now recognizing reverse logistics as a component of the full total logistics management process. Stock (1998) and Hansen Harps( 2002) advocated that impressive companies that develop an experience backwards logistics activities and considers them as a set of business process brings value, generate revenue, improve client satisfaction, achieve significant cost savings and gain competitive advantage in their various market segments.

The GCGL stands the opportunity of gaining each one of these benefits as well as competitive benefits over its competitors in the region of cost reduction, enhanced quality, branding of the product and maximizing customers devotion when opposite logistics methods are effectively implemented.

Reverse logistics gets the following benefits

Enhance Customer Service. The customer's perspective is one key economic element generating organizations to build up change logistics strategy. Customers now consider returns policies when coming up with purchasing decisions. If GCGL makes its comes back plans more restrictive while its competitors continue to offer liberal returns policies, the organization will have located itself at a competitive drawback. The whole purpose of logistics strategy is to provide customers with the level and quality of service that they might need and to do so at less cost to the total supply string. ( Rogers and Tibben-Lembke 1998)

Distinguish itself with Customers. Embarking on an effective opposite logistics strategy will offer you GCGL the opportunity to differentiate or separate itself with customers. This is because what sort of company handles results is often evaluated by customers as a key point to choose when a future purchase happens. According to Daugherty et al (2002), a smartly designed opposite logistics system can promote longer-term connections. Furthermore, customers are more likely to buy from suppliers who outperform other retailers on returns handling.

Knock Off Competition. GCGL management will stands to take advantage of the knowledge of the company's logistical performance which could be used to influence decisions and aid in the formulation of corporate and business goals and goals to offset competition.

Achieve Green Image. The GCGL by participating in reverse logistics stands to gain a good environmental image with the customer which could invariably promote better customer relationships. Having this image can participate a customer relationship strategy, especially due to the increase of environmental awareness by society as a whole. The overall opposite logistics programme success will have indirect benefits for the company, such as better corporate and business image or advanced levels of customer satisfaction to sustain customers and as well stand your competition within the industry. (Jayaraman and Luo2007)

Need to Control Costs. Frequently, manufacturers treat restoration of products and product packaging as an afterthought. A well-managed reverse-logistics program, however, may bring enormous savings in inventory-carrying, vehicles, and waste-disposal costs.

Enjoys Goodwill. The goodwill associated with doing a powerful and efficient distribution and change logistics strategy has not been fully uncovered by most companies in Ghana. The Goodwill that GCGL could earn from operating in a socially or environmentally sensible manner can produce real value. This can create large customer devotion. (Rogers and Tibben-Lembke 1998)

1. 2 Research Problem

In Ghana intense competition within the print media industry must a large scope stabilized the purchase price ceiling of media prints. The situation has been aggravated by political affects as political people have delved the chance of coming up with their own press prints to propagate get together agendas. Whilst GCGL marketing prints specifically the 'Daily Image' has been acclaimed a countrywide newspaper, and therefore mostly report on broad nationwide issues, numerous others concentrate and take attributes on political issues that would interest get together members. Because of this market shares are more or less stable and only sway whenever a particular media print out covers a more topical or sensational issue that reduces across an over-all national interest. The likelihood of dwindling margins can't be over emphasized in such circumstance. The more convenient opportinity for GCGL to make earnings is to attempt an efficient logistic management to cut down logistics costs and remain competitive running a business.

On the other hands most organizations never have fully embraced reverse logistics for reasons best known to them regardless of the benefits that may be realized on getting into effective opposite logistics practices. The problem is that there is little demand for knowledge within the mindsets because it has been presumed that change logistics inherently deals with the least popular aspect of organizational activities (Hansen Harps, 2002). It is because most businesses do not view reverse logistics as a central competence but as something to be ignored as much as possible (Hansen Harps, 2002).

The print mass media products normally have life cycles ranging from each day to maximum around a week. What goes on to unsold products and those that are no longer of use to the consumer does not seem to derive much concern from the web publishers. This situation will not only create loses but also would go to add filth to your environment causing health and other environmental problems in the long run.

Conducting a study to unearth the perfect means for GCGL to improve upon its current logistics management movements and practices, to improve profit margins and the create value for his or her products that contain finished their life pattern is the primary focus of this thesis.

1. 3 Research Questions

In order to identify the magnitude of logistics management activities that GCGL happens to be involved in and review them, the thesis would seek answers for the next questions

How will be the logistics activities pursued in the organization?

What distribution system is the company employing?

How is come back flows maintained?

1. 4 Research Objectives

The study gets the following objectives

To identify the logistics and supply chain activities the company is employed in

To identify and determine the potency of the syndication system

To describe and assess the impact of reverse logistics methods on profitability

1. 5 Significance of the Study

The study will bring out any shortfalls that are inherent in GCGL's logistics procedures and inform management properly to develop audio logistics strategies.

Additionally, it will provide as a guide doc for the GCGL logistics team to effectively control their day-to-day logistics activities.

The study will also be beneficial to the business's alternative party logistics providers, as the report will assist them to adopt the correct logistics procedures and hence ensure effective communication and integration among them.

The thesis may also be beneficial to other print multimedia organizations as well as those in other industries to concentrate on reverse logistics strategy as a way to obtain gaining competitiveness between others.

1. 6 Limitation of the Study

1. 7 Thesis Organization

The research will be structured into five chapters. Section some may be the introduction and will comprise the background, problem statement, aspires and goals and need for the analysis.

Chapter two is the literature review and can highlight existing meanings and functions by research workers related to the area of review.

Chapter three is specialized in the methodology found in this analysis. The chapter looks at the analysis area, design of study, data collection approaches, description of the analysis, sampling and the constraints/problems encountered and section four will summarize the major conversations of the study.

Chapter five will highlight on the important issues in the summation and make advice.




Fierce competition in today's marketplace has required business enterprises and organizations to invest in and concentrate on supply chain and logistics management to become more competitive and the, stay in business. Logistics has now been seen as the growth and dynamic functions in the success of several different procedures of a business. Logistics activities such as syndication communication, customer support, inventory management, materials handling, product packaging, and traffic and transport procurement have led to the progress in telecommunication and transport technologies (Rushton et al 2006).

Whilst logistics is often seen as planning orientation and platform that seeks to create a single plan for the movement of products and information through a business, supply chain management builds upon this framework. It seeks to attain linkage and co-ordination between the techniques of other entities within the pipeline, i. e. suppliers and customers, and the business itself (Martin Christopher 2011).

A whole lot of research works on the concepts of logistics and offer string management and their impacts on the successes and failures in industries and businesses have been carried out. This paper will therefore review aspects of the available literature and research works that view logistics and offer chain management in their definitive contexts with special emphases on activities that relates to customer service, logistics circulation systems and Opposite Logistics.


2. 2. 1 Logistics Management

The term 'Logistics' originated from the armed forces and was used quite simply to spell it out the movement of staff and materials during wars and also in emergencies. It had been later used by businesses and organizations and became an integral part of commonly used terminology in professional societies and educational programs, and was identified in various ways to fulfill trends and improvements (Rushton 2009).

The Council of Logistics Management (CLM), one of the leading professional organizations for logistic uses the word logistics management to spell it out the process of planning, implementing and handling the productive, cost-effective move and storage space of recycleables, in- process inventory, finished goods and related information from point of source to point of intake for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements (Lambert et-al, 1999).

Alan Ruston et-al (2007) described Logistics Management by the Council of Source Chain Management Experts (CSCMP) as that part of resource chain management that plans, implements, and regulates the efficient, effective forward and reverses movement and storage space of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers' requirements (CSCMP, 2006).

Martin Christopher (2011) mentioned that logistics is the procedure of strategically handling the procurement, movements and safe-keeping of materials, parts and finished inventory (and the related information flows) through the business and its marketing channels so that current and future profitability are maximized through the cost-effective fulfillment of purchases.

Starting from the first classification, although these authors' pointed out that the ultimate disposal, recycling and reuse of products is highly recommended as activities in logistics management, the CLM description above was silent on them. This is only took under consideration the forward facet of logistics focusing on the finish product reaching the final consumer relating to consumer's requirement. The questions here are that; what happens to the product if it generally does not conform to the customer's necessity and also how will the product be managed following the final consumer has fatigued the full use of the merchandise?

In other words, CSCMP suggested and emphasized on onward and reverse move and safe-keeping of goods, services and related information between the point of origins and the point of consumption in order to meet customers' requirements.

This meaning to a significant extent answers the questions which were ignored by the CLM as it considered slow moves in addition.

Martin Christopher pressured on how organizations could take full advantage of current and future profitability through the cost-effective fulfillment of purchases. Although the definition did not specifically mention change flows, maybe it's implied that such activities if undertaken could donate to the organization's success.

In summary, maybe it's described with certainty that all the definitions above place some emphasis on logistics activities to typically include inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, source/demand planning, and management of alternative party logistics services providers. And also the inclusion of sourcing and procurement, development planning and scheduling, packaging and assemblage, and customer support were described by Christopher.

It is worth mentioning that logistics must be involved in all levels of planning and execution. This has to do with the strategic, operational and tactical levels. Planning at these levels should not be done in isolation else the synergy to be derived from the various functions would not be noticed (Lambert et al 2009). Logistics management is therefore an integrating function, which coordinates and optimizes all logistics activities, as well as integrates logistics activities with other functions including marketing, sales making, finance, and it (Alan Mckinnon, 2001). It is essential that positive planning strategy is used by making certain the operation is set up to perform properly. Both parts of logistics management is due to inbound and outbound logistics. One method to envisage both concepts is about ensuring and managing that the operations are create to perform properly by doing the right thing or finding your way through and planning the procedure. Thus supply and material management signify the storage area and flows into and through the production process, whiles distribution represent the storage area and circulation from the final production point to the customer or end user.

Logistics management from this view point is the means whereby the needs of customers are satisfied through, the co-ordination of the materials and information flow that stretches from the market place through the organization and its procedure beyond that to suppliers. To achieve this, there must be a wide integration within the business and also a synergy between your marketing and making within the business rather than a fragment independent activities (Spekman, KamauffJr et al (1998)

Logistics is therefore essentially an integrative idea that seeks to build up a system-wide view point of a company. It is fundamentally a planning notion that seeks to create a framework through which the needs of the marketplace can be translated into a making strategy and plan, which links into a strategy and plan for procurement.

The CSCMP explanation laid emphasis of logistics management being part of supply chain management which pre-supposed that other affects on the logistics activities abound to ensure their effective working.

A working meaning for Logistics Management because of this thesis would therefore be the (CSCMP 2006), which says that, "it is the fact that part of supply chain management that ideas, implements, and handles the efficient, effective frontward and reverses movement and safe-keeping of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption to be able to meet customers' requirements".

2. 2. 2 Resource Chain Management

Supply string management has been described in the (CSCMP 2006) explanation for Logistics Management. It described logistics management as a subset of supply chain management. In the mean time these two conditions have been used interchangeably in most literature.

Supply String Management has described supply string management as the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, alteration, and everything logistics management activities. Essentially, it also contains coordination and collaboration with channel lovers, which may be suppliers, intermediaries, alternative party providers, and customers. Essentially, supply chain management integrates resource and demand management within and across companies (CSCMP, 2006).

Supply chain here is viewed as a single entity alternatively than group of fragment factor such as procurement, developing and distribution. It runs further to speak about the integration of information systems in the supply chain somewhat than merely operating in isolation for each and every of the individual component. It had been further indicated supplying chain management is an integrating function with main responsibility for linking major business functions and business techniques within and across companies into a cohesive and high-performing business model

Also, it included every one of the logistics management activities known above, as well as developing operations, and indicated which it drives coordination of techniques and activities within and across marketing, sales, product design, money, and information technology (Martin Christopher2011)

Christopher (2011) also described supply string management as the management of upstream and downstream connections with suppliers and customers to be able to deliver superior customer value at less cost to the resource chain all together.

From the author's perspective, supply chain is the blast of procedures of moving goods from the customer's order through the recycleables level from the dealer, right down to the creation process, work assembly, and circulation of products to the customer.

He argued that supply chain management could be termed as 'demand string management' to reveal the fact that the string should be powered by the marketplace, not by suppliers. Also the word 'chain' should be substituted by 'network' since there will normally be multiple suppliers and, indeed, suppliers to suppliers as well as multiple customers and customers' customers to be contained in the total system.

Extending this notion it has been suggested a supply string could more accurately be thought as a network of linked and interdependent organizations mutually and co-operatively working together to control, manage and enhance the movement of materials and information from suppliers to end users (Christopher 2011).

The CSCMP's and Martin Christopher's meanings above both made mention of the fact that supply chain includes logistics management which is the resource, materials management and circulation but rather moves further to argue that supply chain comes with suppliers, suppliers to suppliers, as well as multiple customers which looks for to achieve linkage and co-ordination between the functions of other entities in the offing and the organization itself through the posting of information on demand.

Chopra and Meindl (2007) described supply chain as consisting of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in gratifying a customer need. They went on further to say supply string includes not only the maker and suppliers, but also transporters, wholesalers, merchants, and even customers themselves. Here the supply chain is referring to the customer's need or what she or he intends to get. This implies that all the stakeholders that get excited about contributing their quota to fulfill the client should work hand in hand to fulfill that purpose.

Christopher (2011) finally mentioned that all firms have source chains of varying degrees, depending upon how big is the business and the kind of product produced and taking care of the chain of incidents in this process is what is known or referred to as supply string management. He went further to state that effective management must take into account the coordination of most the different bits of this chain as fast as possible without losing any of the quality or customer satisfaction, while still keeping costs down.

In essence, whilst logistics management deals with integration of functions within an organization, supply chain management manages this integration and expands it across companies in the supply chain. Shape. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of logistics and supply chain management indicating how logistics is integrated in supply chain management.

Raw material


Packaging items

Bought in part

Imported materials

Production process

Work-in- progress



Finished goods

Inventory warehouse



End user


Materials management





Supply chain

Supply side



Demand side

Down stream





Logistics = Supply +Materials management +Distribution

Supply Chain =Suppliers+ resource +Materials management +Syndication+ Customer (Alan Ruston et al 2007: 5)


The website of logistics activities is to provide customers with the right goods in the right place at the right time. It ranges from providing the required subcomponents for making to presenting inventory on the shelf of the store to having the correct variety. The major issue that logistics endeavors to resolve is to choose how and when raw-materials, semi-finished, and finished goods should be attained, changed, and stored.

Ensuring a competent, effective onward and reverse stream and safe-keeping of goods, services and related information as said by Rushton et al (2010) needs a highly effective and effecient logistics activities to have the ability to meet customers' needs and desires at the right time, with the right.

Lambert et al (2008) and Langley (2009) both layed out the main element activities required to facilitate the flow of something from point of origins to point of usage to meet the end user as follows

Customer Service

Demand forecasting/ planning

Inventory management

Materials handling

Order Processing


Part and Service Support

Warehousing and Storage

Procurement/ Sourcing

Return goods handling

Reverse logistics




2. 3. 1 Customer Service

Many efforts have been designed to define the word customer support. However, depending on organization's main business that it is provides, customer service will change.

Lucas (1996) identified customer support as the power of knowledgeable, in a position, and enthusiastic employees to deliver products and services with their internal and exterior customers in a fashion that satisfies recognized and unidentified needs and finally bring about positive mouth -to- mouth promotion and return business. Lambert et-al (1999) also used the word customer service to describe the procedure which occurs between the buyer, retailer, and the 3rd party. The procedure result in a value added to the merchandise or service exchanged. He went on further to say that the worthiness added in the exchange process might be short term as in a single transaction or longer term as in a contractual romantic relationship. He again talked about the worthiness added is also distributed, in that each one of the people to the transaction or contract is better off at that conclusion of the transaction than it was prior to the transaction took place.

Lucas (1996) distinguished between interior customers and external customers. The inner customers he said comprised peers, co-workers, bosses, and subordinates, whilst eternal customers constitute sellers, suppliers, walk-in-customer, various telephone callers. Despite the fact that Lambert et al (2009) didn't mention inner customers, he captured exterior customers in his explanation and went on further to talk about value creation within the exchange period to accomplish an inexpensive way in the string of activities. They explained that the value added products are increased when enough time and place power between your buyer and seller are met and as well extended and considered. Such conditions are generally regarded as the seven right of customer service. These are the right of variety, cost, product, customer, time, place, and condition (Rushton et al, 2007).

From the aforementioned, meeting the needs of customers should be very important in every organization though it is very hard in keeping them and to accomplish that is to make certain products and services are rendered at the right time, at the exact place in the right condition, at the right cost to add value to avoid customer complains.

Rushton et al (2007), Lambert et al (1999), Christopher (2011) all emphasized on the factor of customer support as, pre-transaction element, transaction aspect and post-transaction factor. Where the pre-transaction element focuses on the company's regulations concerning customer service. Transaction pertains to element directly associated with physical purchase such as order routine time, inventory availableness, condition of goods, system reliability, product substitution etc. Lastly those elements that took place following the delivery has taken place is known as the post- transaction element and these include installing warranty, fixes and service part, come back policy, customer grievances and claims. Customer support therefore plays an essential role in organizations as far as growth and success are worried.

2. 3. 2 Demand forecasting/Planning

Demand forecast is defined as statistically based initial estimation of future demand. It really is well indicated that a demand plan is an estimation of future demand produced by way of a consensus-driven review and endorsement of forecast to produce physical products in satisfying customers' needs (Scott F. Githens in Gower 2003). The need therefore with an accurate demand plan was further emphasized and provided the reasons the following

Lead time Imbalance. Lead time imbalance is when enough time an order is manufactured and when the merchandise is received. When it is prepared well the production process business lead time will be reduced to ensure that customers obtain their product promptly.

Marketing Management. The only way organization can grow effectively is when companies plan well to assist in their profit margins as well their market shares. When this is achieved it'll aid in minimizing promotion costs, other happenings and also to achieve the principles of seven right.

Financial planning and budgeting. Lacking any accurate demand plan the relationship of budget within an organization can't be achieved. Hence all organizations must plan their money and finances.

Medium-term functional planning. Acquiring capital intensive equipment requires a longer lead time to move the gear in other to fulfill customer's wants and need, therefore there may be the necessity to plan for exact demand.

Rushton et al (2007) also gave different approaches that can be used in forecasting the following.

Judgmental Methods. This is based on ideas of expects, such as suppliers, customers and sales and marketing personnel by brainstorming and making scenario planning when historic data can be involved.

Casual Methods. This can be used when the demand of product would depend on seasonal demand, the status of the economy, as well as under the control of its competition.

Projective Method. This type of forecast uses historic demand data to recognize any trend in demand and task these trends into the future.

From the solutions above, it presupposes that organizations take the necessary sensible steps in making certain a valid forecast is embarked on as it pertains to demand planning.

2. 3. 3 Inventory management

Managing inventory is one of the key areas of logistics activities that need not to be left when cost is involved. Decisions about the amount of inventory a firm should hold are very important to meet customers' needs and wants

Kotler (2002) mentioned that inventory management identifies all the actions involved in growing and managing the inventory degrees of recycleables, semi-finished materials (work-in-progress) and completed goods so that sufficient supplies can be found and the costs of over or under securities are low.

Gower (2003) as cited by Danks and Heath explained that inventory management is an essential process for everyone parties engaged in supply chain activities, from the procurement of organic material to the delivery of completed goods. Rushton et al (2007) and Danks and Heath in Gower(2003) all proven that, there are a number of different stock that can be found throughout the resource chain to permit companies to use smoothly without the interruption. They are raw material, work-in-progress (WIP), Semi-finished goods, done goods, Material Requirement Order (MRO) inventory.

Lambert et al 1998 also classified inventory based on the explanation for which they are accumulated. They grouped inventory to include pattern stock, in-transit inventories, safety or buffer stock. The direction and control of activities with the purpose of getting the right inventory at the right place, at the right time in the right number in the right form at the right cost is recognized as inventory management. It is rather important for management, to keep an eye on their inventory once in a while also to know when to get, how to buy and what to acquire in other never to stockpile material to produce or incur additional expense.

2. 3. 4 Materials Handling

Langley et al (2009) details materials handling as the useful short distance motion that usually takes place within the confines of a building like a vegetable or a warehouse and between a building and a vehicles agency.

They further detailed materials handling in conditions of four measurements such as activity, time, quantity, and space in conditions of logistics system where specially designed equipment most often perform the same functions in conditions of manual and mechanised. They grouped equipment in conditions of Dock Equipment, Conveyors, Automatic Guided Vehicle System, Oder-Picking and Safe-keeping Equipment.

Lambert et al (1998) also details materials controlling equipment and systems as a major capital outlay for a business and pointed out that the size and location of the warehouse will determine the type of equipment to work with in making movement easier and adaptable. They as well grouped the gear under manual or non- automatic materials managing system and robotic materials handling system.

Rushton et al (2007) also grouped storage and controlling systems in to the palletized and non-palletized which included the manual to superior computer managed equipment for moving goods surrounding the warehouse as well as for storage of goods.

Although the creators made mention of the way the equipment are grouped, Langley et al (2009) went on further to discuss about how other companies group their materials controlling equipment into three categories. These are flexible-path equipment, continuous-flow resolved avenue equipment, and intermittent-flow fixed-path equipment.

Some advantages of using the automated system were mentioned by Lambert (1998) and Rushton(2007) to add reducing immediate labor, increasing materials handling equipment efficiency, increasing warehouse space utilization, improving support services, lower cost, broadband of throughput, low levels of damage, integrity and security of inventory, and staff safety. Inserting much emphasis on the sort and management of controlling equipment is therefore essential to support day-to-day procedures within the organization.

2. 3. 5 Order Processing

The option of stocks that allows the order taker to identify immediately if stock can be provided off the shelf to customer is recognized as order handling (Rushton et al 2009). Out of this meaning the order taker must definitely provide accurate information whether or not if there are shares as wanted by the consumer with an agreed delivery particular date at the time when order is taking. They again made mention of the increasing order capability by using automated gentle wares such as Business Learning resource Planning (ERP) that allows for data get for the whole business into a single computer package and provides information such as customer and inventory financials. Software such as SAP, SSA and Oracle can be used to boost efficiency of order processing.

2. 3. 6 Packaging

Langley et al (2009) represents packaging as an interior or consumer package which provides information in advertising the merchandise to motivate the buyer to buy or to give the product visibility when it competes with others. Rushton et al (2007) also made mention of the fact that presentation is broadly identified in conditions of promotion, product cover, and the later being the function that is pertinent to logistics.

Rushton et al (2000) also talked about presentation as the art, technology, and technology of getting ready goods for transport and sale in addition to a means of guaranteeing safe delivery of something to the end-user at overall competitive price. Packaging is therefore targeted at providing safety, security, safeness and appeal to the merchandise. Besides providing safeguard, security, safe practices, and product appealing to the buyer, Rushton et al (2007) also cited some factors that would have to be considered as considerably as packaging can be involved in logistics operation.

The factors include simple handling, capability of storage, conveniently identifiable, and of shape that means it is best for space and other functions such as production, marketing, and quality control as well as overall logistics cost and performance.

2. 3. 7 Warehousing and Storage

Traditionally warehousing served the proper role of permanent storage for recycleables and done goods (Langley et al 2003). Manufacturers produced for inventory and sold out of inventory stored in the warehouse. Warehousing today has taken a different change with the entrance of just-in-time proper alliances and logistics supply chain philosophies. They have taken on the proper role of attaining the logistics goal of shorter pattern times (Langley et al (2003). Warehousing is often defined as the storage of goods. In wide-ranging terms this definition includes a wide spectral range of facilities and location that provide warehousing, like the storage on view field, safe-keeping of completed goods in the creation facilities, safe-keeping of recycleables and industrial goods whiles they are really in travel.

Rushton et al (2007) have explained that warehouses are necessary component of most modern supply chains. It really is involved in various phases of the sourcing, creation and circulation of goods, from the handling of raw materials and work-in-progress through to done products.

To meet customers demand for shorter circuit times and lower prices, organizations need to critically take a look at the warehouse process for output and cost improvement.

2. 3. 8 Procurement/Sourcing

Procurement is merely acquiring sufficient goods and services at the right place, of the mandatory quality, in the right place and at the right time for a business in order to decrease cost Rushton et al (2010). Bowersox et al (2007) also identifies procurement as purchasing of goods and services whether from manufacturer, wholesalers, or stores, to support an organization.

The procurement process permits an organization to gain considerable competitive gain if completed effectively and proficiently. It links users in the source chain and assures the grade of supplies. To effectively carryout the procurement process there is certainly the need to set audio procurement objectives and as well handling suppliers and conditioning buyer supplier human relationships (Rushton et al 2007).

2. 3. 9 Opposite logistics/ Go back goods handling

Return goods handling or reverse logistics is one logistics management activity that a lot of organizations change blind eyesight upon. Under most circumstances it requires place when there is a problem with the performance of something which results in a form of customer complaints, harmed products or manufacturer recalling its product consequently of defect.

Rogers and Tibben-Lembke (1999) define reverse logistics as the planning, implementing, managing the efficient and cost effective flow of raw materials, in- process, inventory, done goods and related information from the point of intake to the point of origin for the intended purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.

Langley et al (2009) described change logistics as the process of moving or carrying goods using their final destination for the purpose of recording value or for proper disposal. They went on further to talk about reverse logistic relating to the process of sending new or used products for repair, reuse, refurbish, and resale, recycle, and scraped or salvage.

Reverse logistics include services related to obtaining results from the field, and the processes required to analyze, examine, repair, and/or get rid of the returned models, products, parts, subassemblies, and materials, either back to the immediate/forward supply chain or into secondary markets or full disposal (Blumberg 2005).

Reverse logistics has comparative importance when it comes to organizations and what they do (Rogers and Tibben-Lembke, 1999).

An objective of this thesis is to spell it out and determine the impact of reverse logistics procedures on success hence the literature on opposite logistics would be further assessed in this chapter.

2. 3. 10 Transportation

Wide range of transportation alternatives has resulted in the support of source chain and consequently the value of transport is becoming higher than simply moving product from one location to some other (Bowersox et al 2007). Vehicles links product activity whether by means of materials, element, work-in- improvement or completed goods and also as product storage space (Bowersox et al 2007).

The five basic settings of transportation as identified by most authors are Rail, Road, Sea, Air, and Pipeline (Langley et al 2008; Rushton et al (2007); and Bowersox et al (2007)).

2. 3. 11 Distribution

Distribution channel has been described as the technique and means by which a product or group of products are in physical form transferred, or distributed from the point of development to the point at which they are created available to the ultimate customer (Rushton et al, 2009).

Lambert and Stock (2006) also defined channels of circulation as the collection of organization devices, either internal or external to the manufacturer, which perform the functions involved with product marketing. Langley et al (2009) identifies channel of circulation as one or even more company or individuals who take part in the flow of goods and services, information, and fund from the company to the final consumer or consumer.

All the explanations focus on movements of goods and services in one way or the other. Nevertheless the strategic role that effective distribution channels play within an organization encompasses the correct mix of intermediaries that are required to integrate and organize in the circulation of goods and services to attain to the ultimate consumer. In essence, objective of obtaining time and place energy is the best. Hence identifying the various channel structures becomes a prerequisite for adopting the most cost effective route. Langley et al (2009) and Lambert et al, (2006) provided examples as follows

manufacturer__ consumer

manufacturer __own store __consumer

manufacturer ____dealer ____consumer

manufacturer ____wholesaler ____retailer ____consumer

manufacturer ____sales agent ____ wholesaler ____ merchant ____ consumer.

2. 3. 13 Manufacturing

Manufacturing is actually providing information to the logistics plan such as location of current, prepared production facilities, designed volume level, and product combine. (Lambert et al 2006).

Rushton et al (2009) mentions developing in different framework. He explained it in conditions of demand system and the yank system. He again explained that the utilization of the work cell in the processing can be used in lean manufacturing environment where small band of workers are helped bring together in a single part to produce mini products.


2. 4. 1 Building Key Successive Skills

Customer logistics service may indicate different things to various organizations. Heavy emphasis within an firm may be placed on having something available at enough time, at the place, and in the quantities desired. In some companies also, it could be desirable to protect the relative freedom in the way and timing with which orders can be received from customers for control. In other organizations, management may concentrate on improving the condition of goods delivered to customers. (James H. Bookbinder, Maureen E. Lynch 1997)

All that customers want out for is value for their money hence there is certainly the necessity for organizations to make an effort to understand their needs and wishes by showing empathy specially when the customer hasn't received what he/ she wants, and also show courtesy and tolerance when the client is being unfair.

It is therefore crucial for organizations to develop the requisite skills in employees to ensure ultimate organisational success (Lucas 2005). An integral element to make your connection with customers successful is to recognize and ensure a positive communication between your organization and its customer's decision making.

One of the easiest ways is to ensure effective interpersonal communication. Organizations have to ensure that employees have requisite training skills to speak well with its customers because choice of words often lead to either satisfaction or can easily destroy a person provider romantic relationship.

Customers would not like to notice certain provocative words and what can not be done but instead how you are going to gratify them. Positive gesture like thank you, shaking palm and smiling and making sure they are part of the conversation are deem appropriate at this point.

Listening effectively is also a key means to use in identifying the needs of the clients and often these needs are communicated directly through inferences, indirect comment, or nonverbal alerts. It's the organizations duty to gather information from customer and as well choose the appropriate response to the success of the business.

Imposition of believes, norms, beliefs, attitudes and needs on others may lead to frustration without due to the fact human behaviors almost differs from one another. Customer activities should be comprehended all the time. Understanding these human being characteristics invariably improve and enhance communication, build better customer relationship and offer better services to the client. (Lucas 2005)

2. 4. 2 Managing Customer Grievances in Distribution

William Wagner (1994) referred to customer service issue as general in physical distribution operations. It is unavoidable that even the most effective of circulation systems occasionally come across some failures; it is similarly inevitable that from these failures will emanate grievances. Only if a dynamic and systematic work was created to handle these grievances can they graduate to become part of management's package of tools to make its circulation system better and more responsive to this company and its own customer's needs (William Wagner, 1994).

He argued that there surely is the need for management to identify that only a comparatively few resources are accountable for a large percentage of all grievances. Guidelines for working with these habitual will include: being attentive courteously to every issue regardless of merit and not using a deaf ear; knowing that ineffective handling of any complaint can produce the loss of the customer as well as other potential buyers influenced by that customer; realizing that each problem may be the product of several service failures by the firm, and knowing that complaints might provide opportunities for the company to identify and solve a lot of its own weaknesses and inadequacies.

2. 4. 3 A Sequential Approach to Handling Complaints

In distribution, customer service level requirements must be integrated into the design of any sensible distribution system. Included in such specs should be provisions for handling issues. Grievances stemming from distribution service inability should be sent to a person service division within the central syndication department.

This enables specialists in customer service to focus on this all-important function, in so doing freeing other syndication specialists from a location to that they cannot devote full attention. Constraints on expert for claim negotiation should be set up in accordance with corporate school of thought. (William Wagner, 1994)

Typically, the distribution customer service director should be in charge of the wide spectrum of service activities encircling the syndication function. Claims to designated staff should always be in a written form. Information should be documented on standardized varieties to enable better handling and filing, thus yielding a reduction in long-run time and cost. All vegetable, branch, and sales offices should own an adequate variety of forms to be completed by whichever staff received the complaint.

There is strong discussion that the handling of the circulation grievance in a formal and organized manner can be studied care and attention of, and normally looked after best, by the circulation section. The establishment of a separate division to deal exclusively with customer support should be of perfect importance to organizations.

The jurisdiction of the service department is obviously tempered by the problem, but commonly will include all circulation service issues received by the firm. Procedures by which to handle grievances must be designed. As the complaint is common to syndication management, it is imperative to develop methods by which to avoid it from becoming injurious to the full total operations. Those curative methods used shouldn't be superficial but instead in-depth.

Forms of course, should always be easily available and accessible to whoever is mandated to get the complaint. Standard varieties should be utilized to track record all complaints in order to ensure impartiality. (William Wagner, 1994)

2. 4. 2 The Importance of Customer Logistics Service in Source Chain

Logistic customer support and business practice have been defined in two ways; the professional of a product and the customer who's the recipient of the merchandise (Jan Dugosz 2010). Business practice subsequently, is usually much more complicated. Company's suppliers of products to customers have their own suppliers and sub-suppliers, and often also intermediaries in the field of distribution. This means that they are part of the supply chains and therefore not independent designers of quality in the long run customer service. The reason is that we now have also other source chain members who are to take part in this service. Some production companies sometimes provide services and then intermediaries in circulation channels. Hence, the grade of customer service is affected by the complete supply string, i. e. the manner of logistics co-operation among most of its individuals, including suppliers of logistics services (Jan Dugosz 2010).

Christopher (2000) evidently associates supply string with customers' needs, as the management of upstream and downstream associations with its suppliers and customers to be able to provide superior customer value at less cost to the resource chain all together.

He argued that the target of source chains on the customer is emphasized in various ideas. The Quick Response (QR) theory consists of recognizing demand and reacting to its changes as quickly as possible. The concept can be used to avoid losses related to appreciable changes of demand and unreliable forecasts. This in turn allows for customers to quickly provide their suppliers with the necessary home elevators demand and also suppliers to provide quick deliveries.

Secondly the concepts of time founded management (TBM) and total quality management (TQM) identifies customer target lead time lowering. Additionally it is one of the most crucial factors in your competition among companies and creates numerous benefits for customers (Ciesielski 2006)

Strategies based on low fat management (LM) and agile management (AM) concepts are also useful in utilizing demand overall flexibility. These concepts can be utilized both with a company and also in the complete supply string. LM is aimed; to start with at minimizing cost, making value for the customer through the elimination of all wastage notably securities of work happening, manufacturing deficits, redundant movements, objectives, excessive development and development shortages.

On the other hands, AM is aimed first and foremost at quick response to changes in demand both in conditions of their number and nature, to be able to achieve perfection in customer support. A built-in logistic strategy is therefore necessary within the complete supply string. This applies specifically to customized goods and two most important competition factors today, i. e. product quality and delivery time. Hence every resource chain should develop a clear customer service policy with regards to the specific mother nature of confirmed market. Sadly, such situations are very rare.

2. 5 Opposite LOGISTICS

2. 5. 1 Benefits/ Importance of Reverse logistics

Reverse logistics is not merely a hiccough in the day-to-day performing of an business. It really is an integral part of any business that is involved in supply chain, and could bring benefits to a business or an organization. A number of the benefits that a business or an organization stands to get in adopting an effective reverse are as follows: (source)

Increased earnings and reduced discount levels. Companies may benefit through the avoidance of markdowns on old product by taking care of inventories to keep "fresh" product at the point of deal. New stock orders higher prices than old stock. Therefore taking back unsold stock from stores and updating them with the new season's model preserves retail prices to avoid markdowns, thus keeping income (Mollenkopf and Closs2005).

Additionally, revenue is generated through the sales of reprocessed or remanufactured delivered products in different channels or market segments. Organizations therefore stand to benefit from increased revenues from "secondary" sales and from reducing discounting levels by offering fresh stock instead of unsold or slow-selling stock.

In terms of inventory management, came back goods are no not the same as new goods. Profits inventory adds investments both in conditions of the inventory itself and the facilities required to store it.

Effective results management can help lower inventory on revenue-generating items, in so doing reducing the necessity to store items which do not make revenue. Effective management on profits stops non-revenue creating items from being returned, and allow companies to change delivered inventory to saleable products regularly. (Mollenkopf and Closs 2005).

Good- will.

The goodwill gained from operating in a public or environmental dependable manner produces real value. Customers do react to companies' conducts, and the goodwill developed through opposite logistics and proper disposal of products can create considerable customer loyalty. Inside the Hanna downs program, customers were asked to email back again their children's delicately worn Hanna Andersson clothes. The company in return gave those customers 20 percent off the price of new Hanna Andersson clothes. This program has been very successful since 1996. 133, 000 apparel and accessories were delivered and then sent out to universities, homeless shelters. Also Kenneth Cole in the same industry allows used shoes from customers and donates these to those in need. Both of those dividends programs are costly to manage, but it is assumed their actions improve the value of their brands and also as a marketing incentive to purchase their products. While this strategy might not be the only real reason all customers purchase their products, they are considered a marketing incentive at a real cost with their businesses. ( Tibben-Lembke and Roger 1998)

Cost reductions through reduced cost of goods sold and lower operating expenses

Many products and parts can be easily reclaimed. As the reclaiming process may incur additional costs, every product or part that is reinserted in to the forward supply chain on the market is one less product that must definitely be procured or produced. ( Tibben-Lembke and Roger 1998)

2. 5. 2 Managing returns

Organizations can therefore benefit from reduced procurement costs by recapturing usable parts from came back goods. This process will enable a company to reduce the price of its service parts as well as purchase expenditures on parts to aid after sales. Better management of the stream returns also increases returns processing and labour efficiency, which also reduces adjustable expenditures, costs associated with storage area and congestion including environmental cost (Srivastava, 2006)

Concerns about environmental issues, ecological development and legal legislation have made organizations more attentive to RL. Increased competition, growing marketplaces and a big foundation of product users in expanding countries imply buyers are getting more ability in the source string even in these countries. Thus, handling product earnings in a highly effective and cost-efficient manner is of increasing interest running a business that brings about profits and at the same time increases customer service levels and higher customer retention.

An effective and efficient management returns in a corporation should develop models to calculate returns flow on the time frame at various collection centre locations. This should include period of time based on products-in-use, disposition, capacity and movement decisions for their conceptual opposite logistics network through a set of hierarchical models (Srivastava, 2006).

2. 5. 2 Process to use opposite logistics system

Reverse logistics includes controlling, storage, vehicles, inspection, repair, repackaging, refunds, and customer support. Retrieving the merchandise is the first rung on the ladder along the way. The quality and level of products retrieved must be coordinated with other marketers and customers. The merchandise must be efficiently transported to a central location, where it is inspected and sorted. (Scott Hudson, 2004)

In this step, processes must maintain place to know what products can be preserved, reworked, remanufactured, resold or disposed. In this process an automated monitoring and examining systems can be used for the sorting parts. The correct products are reconditioned utilizing design for disassembly (DFD) method. This technique allows products such as electrical power devices to be easily taken apart, reconditioned, and used again. The products that aren't reconditioned are recycled, resold for parts, or disposed (Scott Hudson, 2004)

The final step is circulation and sales of the reconditioned products. Companies must create a market for the refurbished products, that can be sold to the general public at cost or at a discounted price, or sold to foreign marketplaces (Scott Hudson, 2004)

The key steps involved in the return operations are local verification, collection, sorting and disposition. (Schatteman's (2003) study (cited in Gower 2003, p. 272-274) Even though both authors provided the same view of the process, Schatteman gave 3 ways of how products are disposed the following: Sell as (resale as new, sell via wall plug or discount store, e-auction, and sell to supplementary market), Repair or reuse ( repair, refurbish or remanufacture, modify and recycle, and Dispose as (scrap, donate to charity, and dispose in secure manner). For organization to increase further, e-auctioning of goods delivered will lead it to concentrate on maximizing of the costs for his or her goods and explore ground breaking ways to market come back goods.

2. 5. 3 Competitive gain through Change Logistics

Most companies have to have a source of competitive advantage in order to endure and improve, (Donaldson, 1995). Competitive gain can be defined as the "position of long lasting superiority over competitors in conditions of customer choice" (Christopher, 2011).

A dominant source for creating competitive benefit is the worthiness that the recognized features of a product or service brings to the customers of any company (Slater, 1996), i. e. how a company can distinguish itself from competitors through its products and services (Gr¶nroos and Sand, 1993; Donaldson, 1995). Porter's (1985) value chain model indicates the importance of logistics in value creation, as it considers inbound and outbound logistics businesses, marketing, sales and service as principal activities to build value.

Apart from the worthiness advantage related to product and service differentiation, companies can gain competitive benefits by operating at a lower cost and hence increasing earnings (Christopher, 2011). Christopher (2011) distinguishes between two ways of creating competitive gain, cost decrease and service development, quite simply building a (1) productivity gain or a (2) value benefit. Companies that combine production and value advantages becomes market leaders in both cost and service (Christopher, 2011).

However, while both advantages could improve the competitiv

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