Many times as logisticians, we find it difficult to explain that most of the time our work has an impact far beyond transportation, or not only our work, but our area of influence goes beyond programming a container to set sail on a ship. When I tell my family or friends that I offer supply chain solutions, their expressions say it all… They have no idea what I’m talking about! And it is not their fault, since the term Supply Chain or “Supply Chain” has always been synonymous with logistics and logistics, it is synonymous with transportation. This is my opportunity to explain what a supply chain is to me.
Logistics as part of a supply chain
Yes, logistics is part of a supply chain. The most hackneyed and heard definition of logistics is for me almost the perfect definition. Logistics is: carry out a planning and operation to deliver a product or service to the client: when and how they want, in the quantities and places they want, at a competitive price and using the least amount of resources possible.
Now imagine a link in a chain. That link is part of a large chain through which these products and services pass, one link may be an iron mine, another link a large iron warehouse in the port, another, an iron foundry plant on the other side of the world , one link plus a padlock factory and finally another link is a hardware store. All of these links can work independently, but if they work together, it is easier for us to meet the needs of customers, transforming that cost into a value for the customer. Thus:
Where does a supply chain start? What is the first link?
Since, the client throws us a large amount of information or data that we need to know, transform into intelligence and knowledge in order to design our chain, logistics, strategy and be able to fulfill what the client requires.
Ultimately, a supply chain is the flow of information and materials through a series of suppliers and customers, to achieve the satisfaction of an end customer or consumer.