One definition of business logistics speaks of “having the right item in the right quantity at the right time at the right place for the right price in the right condition to the right customer”. As the science of process, business logistics incorporates all industry sectors. Logistics work aims to manage the fruition of project life cycles, supply chains and resultant efficiencies.
Logistics as a business concept evolved in the 1950s due to the increasing complexity of supplying businesses with materials and shipping out products in an increasingly globalized supply-chain, leading to a call for experts called “supply chain logisticians”.
In business, logistics may have either internal focus (inbound logistics), or external focus (outbound logistics) covering the flow and storage of materials from point of origin to point of consumption (see supply-chain management). The main functions of a qualified logistician include inventory management, purchasing, transportation, warehousing, consultation, and the organizing and planning of these activities. Logisticians combine a professional knowledge of each of these functions to coordinate resources in an organization.
There are two fundamentally different forms of logistics: one optimizes a steady flow of material through a network of transport links and storage nodes; the other coordinates a sequence of resources to carry out some project.