Difference Between Logistics and Supply Chain

It is no doubt a tricky and much debated question regarding what the difference between logistics and supply chain management is.

Rather than trying to come up with a definitive answer it’s best to look at how the terms have evolved and take a closer look into the specific semantics around both supply chain and logistics management. Difference between Supply Chain Management and Logistics

The concept of logistics dates back to 1898 and was used in reference to military operations and more specifically the management and supply of troops.

Logistics over time has evolved to be an all emcompassing term that has been taken on in a number of different contexts.

A great definition of logistics is the following:

“Logistics is the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies.”

Many people who work in the logistics field will typically define supply chain management as relating to the activities they conduct within the context of the logistics discipline.

Supply chain management as it has evolved has really grown to describe the fully closed loop process starting with demand planning/forecasting and the management of raw materials through to finished goods, ending with customer satisfaction including returns processing.

Truly separating the differences between Logistics and SCM is challenging because of the many different opinions and interpretations out there. Hopefully this has provided a good base level understanding around some of the perceived and actual differences between the two.

Learn more about logistics companies that can help support the effective management of your supply chain.