Although logistics activities have been carried out by individuals for many centuries, only a few decades ago, logistics has been seen as a new area of integrated management, that is, to think about products and services flowing seamlessly from the sources of raw materials to the final consumers (Ballou, 1999). The supply chain management (SCM) consists of the integration of the business logistics management processes involving not only units within an enterprise but also across units belonging to both upstream and downstream partners, such as suppliers, customers, and logistics service providers.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Virtual Construction Enterprise (VCE): Advanced form of cooperation among different construction companies (the business units) promoting temporary joint ventures as a means to rationalize costs on particular project(s).
Global Positioning System (GPS): Satellite navigation system developed by the U.S. Department of Defense comprising more than a dozen satellites in Earth orbit transmitting signals allowing GPS receivers to determine location, speed, and direction of a given object where they are installed. The system also serves map-making, land surveying, and precise time referencing as well as a means to synchronizing telecommunication networks. It is currently the unique fully functional satellite navigation system in use; in a few years, the European Union and the European Space Agency will be launching the satellite navigation system GALILEO.
Logistics: According to the Council of Logistics Management, logistics is “...the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.”
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): The automatic electronic exchange of (structured and standardized) business data or information between computers of different organizations.
Information System (IS): A system to collect, transform, and disseminate information in an organization.
Supply Chain Management (SCM): The strategic, tactical, and operational coordination of all the activities of the supply chain, aiming to improve the long-term performance of the individual units and the supply chain as a whole.
Information technology (IT): The set of hardware, software and, in general, other information processing technologies used by (electronic) information systems.
Geographic Information System (GIS): A system (hardware and software) used to store, retrieve, map, analyze, and manage geographic data and associated attributes.
Supply Chain: The set of all business units (firms, organizations), their activities associated with the physical flow and transformation of goods from raw materials to end products, and their activities associated with the information flow transmitted across units.