From logistics to supply chain and logistic networks


Logistics development


At the beginning of the logistics had only a minor role in the company. Each area was self-organized. But there have been cross-divisional interface problems. To remedy this, the logistics got higher up in the corporate hierarchy. From now on the task of logistics was to coordination the information and material flows company-wide and optimize them. Over time, and after everything in-house has been optimized, the idea arose to provide the logistics even further to the corporate boundaries to use further optimization potential. After the simple logistics there was the supply chain management. This refers to the value chain "from sheep to shop". So all sources and sinks of progenitors to the end customer.


The concept of holistic optimization of the flow of goods from the theoretical approach is quite understandable and meaningful. In practice, however, difficulties arise therefrom. For example, the question of which partner in the supply chain can be made responsible to solve the optimization problem. In this context, further questions arise. What happens if the same "powerful" large enterprises assume a leadership role within the supply chain for themselves, who must make cuts, be subordinate and who distributes the proceeds resulting from a holistic optimization (theoretically) result.


On the other hand, the idea of ​​supply chain also poses potential danger in itself. In order to optimize one must (also from a mathematical point of view) first define the optimization space. If the companies optimize their processes along the supply chain they can't be kicked out the supply chain without getting problems. Against this background, market mechanisms are overridden, since no competition exists. Thus, the supply chain is countering what they really want and thus weakens itself. Last aspect is that intersect in a company always different supply chains and overlap, because there is virtually no company with only one supplier and a customer. Therefore, the optimization of a supply chain is problematic because an improvement along a chain, a deterioration in other customers entails. Thus, it was the logical consequence that evolved from the concept of supply chain, the idea of ​​the logistics network.


Is the principle of non-coupler from the principle of rigid directions. This means that instead of focusing on those described above optimization of the entire supply chain set up the company their focus back on itself. Instead of seeking a global optimum, the individual companies take care of themselves and thus reach through the addition of the various local optima a satisfactory solution for all parties. Each company network remain interchangeable (loosely coupled) in this way. This in turn keeps the competition between the companies upright, so that in the end the innovative power of the parties is required and so a sustainable economy can be achieved.