Logistics is the process of accurately interpreting customer requirements or orders or marketing strategy, as also providing manufacturing operations support, with precise execution of the process of reaching the product material from the point of origin to the point of requirement consumption ensuring suitable care of the product material throughout to avoid damage deterioration, continuously ensuring the lowest possible cost throughout the process. Logistics is concerned with getting products and services where they are needed when they are desired. The responsibility of logistics is the temporal and spatial positioning of raw materials, work in progress, and finished inventories when and where required.
Integrated logistics support, when properly understood and applied, can provide the means to identify and resolve many logistic problems, frequently before they developed. Logistics, in the broadest sense of the word, can be considered as scope of activity comprised of three major areas or subsets.
- Subsistence logistics,
- Operation logistics, and
- System logistics.
Subsistence logistics is concerned with the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter .At any given time, within any given environment, subsistence logistics is relatively stable and predictable. Men and women, as rational begins, know within very narrow limits what is needed, how much is needed, where it is needed, and when it is needed. Subsistence logistics is primary activity of primitive societies and is an essential ingredient of an industrial society. It provides foundation of operations logistics.
Operation logistics extends beyond the bare necessities by incorporating systems that produce the luxuries or niceties of life. By definition, operations logistics incorporates the raw material required by the enterprise in the production. This category of logistics is also relatively constant and predictable. All enterprise, from the automobile manufacturer to the fast food chain store can determine the quality of materials and the resources needed for its production with high degree of accuracy. Operation logistic cannot, however, determine when a component of the enterprise is going to break down ,what will be required to repair it ,or the duration activity. Operation logistics, which is concerned with the movement and storage of material in to ,through ,and out of enterprise ,provide the foundation for system logistics .
System logistics incorporates the resources required in keeping a system in operating condition. These resources, or logistics elements, are spares and repair part, personnel and training, technical publication, test and support equipment, and facilities. A well designed integration of these logistics elements is critical when, for eg; repair instructions describe one methods of repair and tools are developed for another method . Thus repair may be impossible.