The wide utilisation of information communication technology has significantly affected also a development of logistics services concepts. Consequently, research in the area of virtual companies including logistics services is developing. Presented visions are commandingly optimistic, even though sceptics are already gathering counter-arguments against those visions. As an important factor of strengthening, the above-mentioned optimistic vision can be accounted for by a tendency of wider applications of outsourcing. Activities carried out by specialised external providers for a larger number of customers are usually cheaper, particularly because of fixed costs. Moreover, organisations that provide outsourcing bring into partnership their own know-how from optimisation of logistical activities. Cooperation in this field helps to eliminate or reduce unexpected idle periods in transport, such as long transport routes, reloading, customs clearing, and other. A higher form of outsourcing is the inclusion of logistical centers (LC) into a supply chain (SC). With the progressing globalization, the significance of integrated logistical centers is increasing. The aim of the article is to describe the concept of an integrated architecture of a logistic center reflecting progressive trends in logistic management. It also includes a model of features for a designing of a virtual logistical center and description of typical signs of virtual corporations.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Virtual Logistics: A management process that consistently obtains and co-ordinates critical logistical resources provided primarily by virtual corporation members, but also by externals.
Electronic Data Interchange: The electronic communication of business transactions, such as orders, confirmations and invoices, between organizations.
Logistics Center: An area that is administrated by one company and allows other companies to lease warehouse space to carry out warehousing and logistics services.
Virtual Corporation: An organization that is created from a network of suppliers, manufacturers and administrative services to accomplish specific objectives, such as flexibility and responsiveness (Fitzpatrick & Burke, 2000).
Supply Chain Management: The integration of business process from end users through original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers (Moberg et al., 2003).
Supply Chain: A worldwide network of supplier, factories, warehouses, distribution centers and retailers through which raw material are acquired, transformed, and delivered to customers (Fox et al., 2000)
Logistics Management: A part of supply chain management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.