Logistical information involves two major types of flows:
- Coordination flows
- Operation flows
1. Planning and coordination flows
Coordination is the backbone of the overall information system. Coordination results in plans specifying:
- Strategic objectives
Strategic objectives detail the nature and location of customers, which are matched to the required products and services to be performed.
- Capacity constraints
Capacity constraints coordinate internal and external manufacturing requirements. Capacity constraints identify limitations, barriers, within basic manufacturing capabilities and determine appropriate outsource requirements.
- Logistical requirements
Logistics requirements specify the work that distribution facilities, equipment and labour must perform to implement the capacity plan.
- Inventory deployments
Inventory deployments are the interfaces between planning/coordination and operations that detail the timing and composition of where inventory will be positioned.
- Manufacturing requirements
Manufacturing plans are derived from logistical requirements and typically result in inventory deployment.
- Procurements requirements
Procurements requirements schedule material and components for inbound shipment to support manufacturing requirements. In retailing and wholesaling situations, procurements involve manufacturing requirements.
Forecasting utilizes historical data, current activity levels, and planning assumptions to predict future activity levels. Logistical forecasting is generally concerned with relatively short –term predictions.
The overall purpose of information planning/coordination flow is to integrate specific activities within a firm and to facilitate overall integrated performance.
2. Operational flows
The second aspect of information requirements is concerned with directing operations to receive, process, and ship inventory as required supporting customer and purchasing orders. Operational requirements deal with
- Order management
- Order processing
- Distribution operations
- Inventory management
- Transportation and shipping
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