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What is logistics and supply chain management and why is it important?

What is logistics and supply chain management and why is it important?


Learn the key components of logistics and supply chain management and explore an accredited MSc programme for a promising career in this dynamic industry.

Logistics and supply chain management drive an organisation’s success to help it grow. They impact a business’s bottom line, ensure customer needs and demands are met, and influence global reputations. 

Digital transformation has changed how we buy and sell goods and elevated customer expectations. Data analysis and cutting-edge technologies contribute to logistics and supply chain management strategies to drive success. 

What is logistics and supply chain management about? 

Logistics and supply chain management ensure the right product reaches the right person, in the right place, at the right time and price. 

Definition of supply chain 

A supply chain is the flow of materials and goods to their final destination. Supply chain management encompasses all aspects concerning this flow and is used across all sectors.  

Definition of logistics 

Logistics is a component of supply chain management. It intersects with supply chain management and involves the coordination, monitoring, movement, storage and shipping of materials and goods.  

Why are logistics and supply chain management important? 

Businesses, third sector and government organisations all rely on logistics and supply chains to deliver goods and services . Logistics and supply chain management keeps the mechanisms of supply and demand flowing. Without it, people cannot access the goods and services they want and need.  

Logistics and supply chain management add value to an organisation by enabling them to meet customer demand and expectations. Effective management also acts as a lever for success by optimising for cost, time and waste efficiencies.

As such, both logistics and supply chain management play a significant role in business performance. Get them wrong and lost revenue and reputational damage can follow. When launching new products and services or stepping into new markets, both logistics and supply chain management can be the deciding factor of success. 

What are the components of logistics and supply chain management? 

Logistics and supply chain management encompass the journey from raw materials through to delivery. They deal with demand, planning, and managing the transfer of information and goods in a cost and time-efficient manner. 

They involve risk management, relationship building and decision making. Problem solving helps mitigate internal and external stressors. Logistics is also a core element of supply chain management. 

Key components of logistics and supply chain management include: 

Planning - using data analytics, technology and modelling for forecasting, informed decision-making, monitoring and evolving an effective supply chain.  

Sourcing - supplier relationship management, ordering/purchasing, inventory management, payment authorisation, and resources. 

Logistics - warehouse storage, transporting goods, delivering goods to customers, packaging and returns. 

How an MSc in Supply Chain Management can help you succeed in the industry  

Studying supply chain management at postgraduate level, you will gain a deeper understanding of the intricate and interrelated issues that influence supply chains from sourcing to delivery. 

You'll learn research-backed strategies and practical skills to help you develop the entrepreneurial mindset needed to take up more senior strategic positions in this fast-paced, competitive, high-demand sector.  

People are at the heart of any supply chain, so the MSc Supply Chain Management course syllabus combines people management topics and related best practices with evaluating international business and finance frameworks and challenges.  

There is also a focus on developing data-driven decision-making to prepare you for the future of an increasingly digitalised global economy. 

Through the study of ethical, socially responsible and environmentally-conscious business practices, you will learn how to drive positive change to benefit those you work for and the wider world. 

The course culminates in a research project that allows you to apply the diverse, international perspectives and evidence-based strategies you've learned. 

Under the guidance of a research supervisor, you'll identify and evaluate supply chain issues in a real organisation and suggest improvements they should make to gain a competitive edge. 

A Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) accredited course 

The course is accredited by the professional body for those involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains, CILT. 

Plan your UK or global supply chain management career 

If you'd like to explore a career that combines: 

  • leadership 

  • analytical and problem-solving skills 

  • relationship management 

  • the power to steer the success of the organisations you work for 

supply chain management offers a wealth of opportunities.

The part-time MSc Supply Chain Management at the University of Central Lancashire is 100% online, giving you the flexibility to study online at your convenience, anytime and anywhere. Discover how this two-year course will prepare you for a strategy-level, UK-based or international career:

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Have questions?  

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