Logistics

Logistics management encompasses both problem solving and supply chain management.

Course Code: BBS212
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Manage the Supply of Resources

Learn about Logisics and Supply Chain Management with this online course.

Managing Logistics is all about organising the supply of resources so that work happens more smoothly, without interruption or waste and ,when done effectively, can result in increased proffitability within a business.

What resources? 

  • Materials
  • People/manpower
  • Equipment
  • Inventory

How Can this Course Benefit You?

This course helps you to understand the factors that can impact the smooth operation of any type of business.  It can:

  • expand and sharpen existing skills and knowledge
  • bring a new perspective to people who have experience but are short on formal training in supply management and logistics
  • enhance efficiencies within a business
  • increase understanding of how businesses can streamline and make the most of resources and how to make sure the customer gets the final product.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Logistics Management
    • Introduction to logistics
    • Inbound logistics
    • Outbound logistics
    • Logistics or supply chain management
    • Goals and objectives of logistics
    • Increased efficiency
    • Responding efficiency
    • Reducing unexpected events
    • Keeping inventory to a minimum
    • Just-in-time inventory management
    • Transport cost reduction
    • Improving quality
    • Supply chain channels
    • Direct & indirect channels
    • Types of distribution channel
    • Choosing the best distribution channel?
    • Nature of the product
    • Value of product
    • Target market
    • Legal requirements
    • Competitor activities
    • How e-commerce has altered supply chain management, logistics & business
    • Changes globally
  2. Logistics – Strategies and Operations
    • Logistics
    • Strategies and operations
    • Decisions within logistics
    • Customer service
    • Logistics network design
    • Vertical integration vs outsourcing
    • Vertical integration
    • Outsourcing
    • Developing a logistics strategy
    • Components of logistics strategy
    • Designing a logistics strategy
    • Implementing logistic strategies in strategic planning
    • Developing a strategic plan
    • Identifying a key strategic focus
    • Using kaizen as a business strategy
  3. Procurement
    • The procurement cycle
    • A focus on tendering
    • Procurement – raw materials
    • Forecasting
    • Monitoring supplier performance
    • What needs to be monitored?
    • Evaluate supplier performance
    • Challenges around procurement
    • Risk mitigation
    • Reputation
    • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
    • Sustainability
    • What is a green strategy?
    • What do companies need to consider?
  4. Warehousing and Storage
    • What is a warehouse?
    • The purpose of a warehouse
    • Activities required in warehouses
    • Advantages of warehousing
    • Types of warehouses
    • Private
    • Public warehouses
    • Bonded storage
    • Co-operative warehouses
    • Distribution warehouse
    • A focus on drop shipping & warehousing
    • Warehousing management systems
    • How does a WMS work?
    • Case study: Amazon
    • Technology affecting warehousing
    • Big data
    • Robotics and autonomous machines
    • Blockchain, tech networks and the cloud
    • Customer service in warehousing
    • Warehouse regulation
  5. Materials
    • Introduction to materials in logistics
    • Types of materials
    • Material handling
    • Designing a material handling system
    • Material handling equipment
    • Bulk material handling
    • Engineered systems
    • Industrial trucks
    • Storage and handling equipment
    • Packaging
    • Containers
    • Pallets
    • Materials used for shipping
    • Ethical issues and sustainability
    • Ethical sourcing of materials
    • Reusing materials
    • Ethical packaging
  6. Transport and delivery
    • Transportation management
    • Modes of transport
    • Road transportation – truck freight
    • Marine transportation – ship
    • Case study: the Suez Canal obstruction
    • Rail transportation – train
    • Air transportation – plane
    • Intermodal transport
    • Delivery scheduling
    • The importance of a good schedule
  7. Inventory management
    • Types of inventories
    • How inventory is planned & controlled
    • Planning approaches
    • Challenges with inventory planning
    • Inaccurate or incomplete data
    • Multiple locations
    • Insufficient order management
    • Human error
    • Software & systems
    • Automated store ordering
    • Robotic stock handling
    • Blockchain
    • Supply and demand
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Review systems
    • Vendor managed inventory
    • Case study: toilet paper during covid
    • Case study: impact of semiconductor shortage on car manufacturing
  8. Risk management – health & safety issues, legislation
    • Health & safety: warehousing
    • Slips, trips, and falls
    • Vehicles in and around the warehouse
    • Dangerous goods
    • Employee stress & management
    • The positive side of stress
    • The negative side of stress
    • Chain of responsibility
    • Risks in logistics
    • What is risk?
    • How to mitigate risk
    • Evaluating risks
    • Time frames
    • Legalities
    • Strategies
    • How to react: processes to mitigate risk
    • Tools
  9. Supply chain dynamics
    • Predicting change – is it possible?
    • Types of change in a business
    • Identifying problems
    • Planning for change
    • Organisational change management
    • Choosing the right behaviour change intervention
    • Step 1 involves identifying the behaviour
    • Step 2 involves identifying the most valuable intervention option(s)
    • Step 3 involves identifying and conducting policy change
    • Behaviour change techniques
    • Reverse logistics
    • Returns
    • Reselling
    • Repairs
    • Recycling
    • Replacement
    • Obsolescence
    • Traceability
    • Mapping
    • Transparency
    • Building a better supply chain
    • Future technology
    • Artificial intelligence (AI)
    • Drone technology
    • Robotics
    • Advances in ecommerce
    • Drop shipping
    • Outsourcing
    • Track and trace
  10. Problem based learning (PBL) project
    • Logistics plan for organic energy
    • Your logistics plan
    • Presentation component

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Discuss the nature and scope of logistics management.
  • Develop strategies for improving business operations.
  • Apply logistics to more effective procurement.
  • Apply logistics to more effective warehousing.
  • Determine and manage appropriate materials to use for different scenarios.
  • Compare transport and delivery options for different goods and services.
  • Determine appropriate inventory management for different business or organisational contexts.
  • Formulate a risk management strategy for supply of good or services in an organisation or business.
  • Predict changes that may impact supply within a business or organisation and develop appropriate responses to change.
  • Develop a logistics plan for a company manufacturing, selling, and distributing a product.

WHAT VAN BE ACHIEVED WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND LOGISTICS BETTER?

  • Efficiency Increase
  • Faster Response
  • Fewer Surprises
  • Less Wastage
  • Less overstocking
  • Reduced Transport Costs
  • Better Quality

Increased Efficiency 

Efficiency should be a priority for both inbound and outbound logistics as well as transportation. Transportation rates and other overheads need to be examined for potential cost reductions. Monitoring costs per order can indicate potential areas for revision. Vendors could also carry out quality assurance checks to inspect the goods being transported as well as their packaging to identify any errors. For example, if a product’s packaging is ineffective this can lead to damages during transportation.

Faster Response Time

Responding quickly to customer requirements can lead to higher levels of customer service satisfaction and improvements in working relationships. This may lead to a competitive advantage within the logistics marketplace.
Using inventory management technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) stock tagging and tracing and real-time data capture can reduce the issue of holding excessive inventories as the rapid response approach means that you’re only moving inventory when the customer requires it. RFID stock tagging uses radio frequencies to track the location of specific items within stock. Individual items are tagged with microchips that carry unique ID codes; these codes act as geotags which can be tracked with an RFID reader. When an employee needs to track down stock, they can simply carry the RFID reader to roughly the right place in the warehouse then follows the signal sent by the microchip/geotag to find the correct item. Real-time data capture means that inventory systems can be updated from various sales points or mechanisms to ensure stock levels are up to date, while reducing the need for human counting cycles. This technology can also feed into click and collect systems at points of sale, meaning that web sales can identify local points for collection within windows as short as two hours. Both technologies, individually or working in tandem, mean that companies can respond to orders quickly and ship or order more stock as needed.

Fewer Surprises/ Reduced Risk

Unanticipated events can lead to logistical disruptions during manufacturing, transportation or delays to customer receiving their orders. This causes huge issues with wasted time and resources and can add costs to the process.
Historically, companies may have decided to hold stock ‘just in case’ or to use higher cost transportation which could guarantee delivery within a set time. The development of more sophisticated software has given businesses greater control over the logistics system. While unexpected events still happen, contingency plans can now be activated to reduce their effects.

Minimised Inventory

Inventory management is a critical aspect to successful logistics. Effective logistics management aims for a high inventory usage (referred to as turn velocity), reducing the likelihood of inventory taking up space and not being used. A high turn velocity indicates efficient stock management. This is particularly important when you are dealing with perishable products.
Reducing the inventory kept on site will support a reduction in overall costs. This may mean smaller warehousing facilities are needed or that more efficient transport can be arranged with fewer deliveries. The reduction in costs could be passed on to the customer, leading to more competitive pricing in the market.

Just-In-Time Inventory Management

Just in time inventory (JIT) management is a key element of the kaizen approach to organisational procedures. We will discuss kaizen more in the next lesson
One of the key aims of kaizen is to reduce waste and to increase efficiency. A JIT inventory strategy allows an organisation to minimise excess inventory by matching raw material supplies with the organisation’s production schedules

  • This helps reduce costs as the manufacturer does not have to pay additional inventory costs.
  •  It also reduces waste as the company is not left with extra inventory if a customer cancels or postpones an order.
    For example, say an organisation produces steel-based goods for the railway industry.
    They may need 100 tonnes of steel a month, so rather than buying 600 tonnes every six months, they buy 100 tonnes a month. This reduces the cost of storing the additional steel before its usage (reducing warehousing costs) and means that if they do not need the steel for some reason, they can further reduce costs by cancelling the order for that month.
    JIT has substantial benefits. However, there are also disadvantages. Just in time means that the organisation relies on precise coordination between the organisation and their suppliers. If there is a delay in the supply of raw materials, this can cause problems as the business does not have a store of inventory.
    This was shown in the COVID-19 pandemic when supermarkets and other stores struggled to stock their shelves when there was a shortage of lorry drivers.
    Other issues with JIT are that they do not take account of:
  • Unexpected demand for their product or services 
  • Large orders

Transport Cost Reduction

Transportation is one of the key costs involved in logistics and is dependent on many things including the product volume, size, and how far it needs to travel. It is important to consolidate shipments to reduce transportation costs where possible. Software is now available to support this process.
The growing awareness of climate change and the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment means businesses must consider sustainability in their transport plans. These concerns apply to the whole supply chain as transport is a significant contributor to CO2 emissions worldwide. Many logistics companies are making use of fleets of vehicles with more efficient engines and aiming for carbon neutrality. More forward-thinking companies are striving to be carbon positive.

Improving Quality

Total Quality Management (TQM) strategies are frequently used to manage the business’s overall service as this leads to enhanced customer satisfaction. TQM strategies are the strategies the whole organisation uses to ensure customers are provided with quality service, and that the company meets its customer satisfaction goals. Generally speaking, TQM strategies are part of the company’s overall customer retention strategy, with a particular focus on customer loyalty through strong, reliable service and products; these strategies are heavily reliant on feedback.
Although TQM strategies may seem irrelevant to logistics in a broader sense, they are important because when something goes wrong, there is rarely anything a company can do from a logistics point of view, when a shipment is delayed or goes missing, the organisation cannot make a new one appear. Having strong TQM strategies provides a buffer for problems and unforeseen circumstances; implementing quality assurance measures is vital to ensuring quality service and customer satisfaction over the long-term.

 
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Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Michael Brugman

Mike is a graduate of Rhodes University and has experience in the Earth Science field. His working experience includes working as a consultant in geology, environmental and atmospheric science.

More recently he has been focused on research and academia including research interests in areas such as air quality and carbon emissions.

Lachlan Allan

Lachlan has experience of the hospitality, banking and utilities sectors in managerial positions in the UK. Following a career change after moving to Australia, he is also experienced in the medical engineering field where he was an engineer responsible for devices at hospital sites and laboratories

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

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