Getting the right product to the right place in the right quantity at the right time, in the best condition and at an acceptable cost is the challenge of logistics. It's an area that embraces purchasing and supplier management, materials management and manufacturing, inventory management and warehousing, distribution and transport, and customer service. With all this said I do believe that the corporate world can benefit from anticipatory logistics.
First there must be a definition of what "anticipatory" logistics really is. Just like some might interrupt "logistics" and "Supply Chain Management (SCM)" as being the same, some communities have different definitions to what these and anticipatory logistics are. In my research on this module the term "anticipatory" logistics is enabled by digitization. For example, an engine sensor on a military vehicle records a value that it may begin to fail; via some sort of digital communication a request is made to either supply or replenish the repair part.
While this is a basic example anticipatory logistics is using real time data to make instant decisions about ordering or re-ordering, which in some cases may begin the process of SCM. Before I talk about anticipatory logistics I want to discuss logistics, supply chain management, and how they differ from military to civilian.
As in the article, "Anticipatory logistics: The Army's answer to supply chain management," the basic components and factors of SCM are extremely similar for military and civilian corporations. "Logistics is a process, which interfaces and interacts with the entire company and with external companies, vendors, customers, carriers and more. Logistics is responsible for the movements of products from vendors right through to the delivery at customer's door, including moves through manufacturing facilities, warehouses, third parties, such as repackagers or distributors. It is not shipping and receiving, nor is...