People often use logistics and distribution synonymously, but these two terms actually have considerable differences in the supply chain industry. While the two are both necessary for moving goods or products, they both provide different functions in the supply chain management process. For instance, logistics focuses on creating a strategic plan for moving goods, while distribution executes the transportation of such goods using thoughtful strategies. So, what is logistics and distribution? Take a look below to learn more!
What is Logistics?
Logistics refers to the planning, design, coordination, and management needed to begin the process of moving goods or products. A distinguishing characteristic of logistics is that it starts from the very beginning of the manufacturing stage of goods, and continues through the delivery of those goods and products to their intended retailers and consumers.
Also, logistics requires a significant amount of information to flow through all of its connected servers in order to successfully execute its goal. To illustrate, logistics requires the development of an automated inventory system that allows retailers to sync their company’s computer systems with their distribution centers. Integrating these two systems will put more automated and expedited processes in place for handling ordering, fulfillment, and transportation of goods or products.
To simplify, logistics is a strategic plan that starts at the beginning and sees it’s way completely through to the end. It’s end goal is to ensure that goods are stored and moved in the most efficient manner possible. Ideally, effective logistics techniques will move products safely and efficiently, in as little time as possible, at the lowest cost possible. This planning process will help improve warehousing and transportation functions so you can meet the needs of your retailer or consumer.
What is Distribution?
Distribution is one of the key elements used in the supply chain industry. It refers to the process in which a business makes products and plans how they’ll move the products so that they’re available to retailers or consumers. While the distribution process mostly consists of the physical transportation of goods through a specific distribution channel, it also includes the overall strategic plan for executing this action. For example, distribution considers:
- Transportation costs
- Transportation methods
- Examines and mitigates any obstacles that may affect the delivery of goods
Many people see distribution as the simple transportation of goods, but that’s not totally accurate. Distribution is able to provide transportation for goods by focusing on creating a strategic plan that finds the best methods for distributing products efficiently.
What’s the Difference between Logistics and Distribution?
While logistics and distribution require strategic planning in order to create effective solutions, there are some differences between these two concepts. For instance, logistics reviews the manufacturing process as a whole. It takes an overall view of the entire process to help improve distribution channels and warehouse management. This ensures the smooth flow of the supply chain and aims to focus primarily on creating effective solutions to accomplish this. On the other hand, distribution serves as a subcategory of logistics that focuses on getting goods delivered as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
- Transportation management
- Fleet management
- Warehouse management
- Proper handling of materials management
- Inventory management
- Packaging products
- Storage of products
- Order fulfillment of products
- Handles customer and vendor returns
Logistics and Distribution – Full Tilt
Our Reno logistics, trucking, and supply chain logistics team will optimize all of your distribution needs along with your warehouses in Reno NV. From online support staff to track and search software systems, Full Tilt Logistics and Transportation handles every detail from start to finish.
It’s a smart way to lower costs and improve efficiency, while utilizing the latest technology to assist you with all your supply chain requirements. Connect with us today!