STUDENTS' CORNER -49
So far, friends, we have spent our time studying the relationship between GDP and its quality indicators of life. Now, we shall go into the Logistics, as a subject.
We have already pointed out that the logistics was originally associated with the movements of the military personnel and other things like weapons and even food items etc to the place where they are needed, say in the front line of defense. We will discuss logistics and its other auxiliary topics in very simple terms preferably taking illustrations from the very common life. After all, life is the source of all knowledge.
What is logistics?
Without bothering now about innumerable definitions of logistics from various scholars, it finally and fundamentally means getting the right things at the right place in right time. Truly, things, place and time are the major three components that almost cover all the related areas of logistics. For example, you know you need many things for your daily living, beginning from toothpaste to medicines and food for you to subsist, to survive. You need clothes to dress yourself neatly and go about your business. Infinite is the list of things we need and our needs keep growing not only in number but also in sophistication. We have moved from a very hard heavy black table-phone to slim smart phone. This improvement applies to almost all the things we use in life.
What does this situation tell us in effect?
An object that you use, say soap or toothpaste, must be first of all produced and distributed at a cost so that you can buy it and use it. There must be a manufacturer of soap and he must sell it; there must be a shop that buys it and sells it to you. We have just mentioned only three important stages leaving aside many sideline stages which we will discuss at the proper time. From the place of production, the soap must reach you, a consumer. This process is called logistics.
The businessman who produces soap and sells it must see to it that he has in time all the things necessary to make soap so that his business proceeds without any break. It means he has to plan well in advance so that his production does not stop. So, planning is involved in the process. Plan on the paper will not do; the plan must be carried out which means the plan must be implemented. So, planning and implementation become the essential parts of the process. The owner of the business will not be running around to buy things required for the production of soap; it means he must have some employees to carry out his orders and he must also be careful that his employees do not fail in their duties. Here comes another factor: control. Controlling is guiding all the actions of the employees in such a way that they reach their goal in time effectively and efficiently as well. When adequate number of pieces have been produced, they must be transported to the places where they are sold to the customers. Transport thus becomes an integral part of the process. Now we can put in simple words the entire process called logistics: Logistics is the process by which goods are transported from the place of origin to the place of consumption.
We will see how logistics has developed in course of time in our next session.