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What is Channel Management Anyway?

Defining a channel management strategy for each segment allows you to be more effective within each segment, while gaining efficiency at the same time. Still, maintaining brand consistency across all channel segments is critical to your long-term success. So find a good balance between customization and brand consistency and youll be on your way to successful channel management. Logistics includes physical distribution, warehousing, freight transportation (inbound and outbound from manufacturing plants and in some industries customer service (sales order processing, inventory planning and production planning. Supply chain (for a manufacturer)includes the logistics business functions above, and also includes purchasing, sourcing, procurement, buying, manufacturing operations, production scheduling and inventory control and materials management, facilities location planning, the information technology to coordinate between suppliers, the company, and customers (wholesalers and retailers and end users. In a retail and wholesale company, the manufacturing company would be the suppliers or sometimes the wholesalers for a retail company.

The Distinction between Logistics and Supply Chain Management While I was shopping at a local hardware store the other day, I started to think about just how much of a role we play in the whole supply chain picture. Think about it, some of us are suppliers, some are distributors and we are all consumers. Logistics also takes on a significant role here. Thanks to our customers, we may well be one of the means through which the pieces of plywood I needed eventually reached this store I was shopping in, and

ultimately my kitchen at home. But we are only one of the links in a long complex chain. To make sense of it all, although many tend to assimilate the meaning of chain management with logistics, there are bold differences between the two which cannot simply be summed up in one or two sentences. So here goes my attempt to help clarify these distinctions.

According to years of research, some experts have alluded to the notion that logistics falls under the supply chain management umbrella. Needless to say, to them, logistics may not exist if indeed supply chain management is not present. To evade confusion lets analyze supply chain management at its core. Supply chain management is the management of a network of interconnected businesses involved in the ultimate provision of product and service packages required by end customers. Ultimately the goal of managing the supply chain is providing excellence to customers by moving the product to the final destination and making it a priority to meet all requirements set forth by customers. This makes it possible for the business details to be monitored from an overall depth. From financial aspects, to how accurate the information is given and to how intricate the organization is. All the movement involved begins from the moment a customer agrees to do business. Like the term suggests, its a chain!

This includes all the details such as the time from which the goods are placed on the vessel, to the time the goods are shipped to the other end of the spectrum. In addition it deals with the securing of raw materials, and processing the inventory accordingly. Contrary to supply chain management, logistics first came into play in the early 1950s. It deals with managing the succession of goods between the point of the departure and the point of arrival. Logistics involves compacting the information and the actual business aspect of the transaction. This includes factors such as: transportation, material handling, packaging, and security measures. The essence of logistics is vital, because without it the routing, scheduling, preparation, distribution, plan, procedures, departure and arrival times of the physical materials being shipped from point A to point B might be distorted. Essentially, supply chain management and logistics go hand in hand, small details mark the bold differences. The overall spectrum is controlled by the supply chain management team, being that they are not only responsible for achieving customer satisfaction ultimately but also contributing to maximization of profit. Logistics is like the small puzzle piece fitting precisely into the supply chain management picture, being that it takes into account the projection of each step prior to the time of arrival of the expected product. Logistics and Supply Chain Management do not intertwine, in definition. None the less, mutual contribution by both leads to more than just shipping.

The Difference Between Supply Chain Management and Logistics WiseGeek, April 8th, 2011 The terms Supply Chain Management and Logistics are often used interchangeably within the Transportation industry. They are, however, distinct areas, each involving specific processes, duties, and responsibilities. The confusion may stem from the fact that, according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Logistics is actually a subcategory of Supply Chain Management. It is a specialized part of the entire Supply Chain Management process. Generally, Logistics focuses on the actual transportation and storage of goods. It deals with inbound and outbound freight, reverse shipping, communications during transit, storage and warehousing, delivery of goods and freight, coordination among third party carries, fleet management, and other activities directly related to the actual transportation of goods from one point to another. Depending on the needs of a particular company, Logistics Management might also encompass manufacture and packaging, price negotiation for different aspects of transportation, third-party integration and procurement, technology and communications, and customer service. Supply Chain Management, for the most part, encompasses a bigger picture. Supply Chain Management is the umbrella which covers all aspects of the sourcing and procurement of goods. Basically, Supply Chain Management forms and manages the business to business links that allow for the ultimate sale of goods to consumers. Logistics, basically getting the freight from one place to the other, is a function that falls under the wide umbrella of Supply Chain Management, but is only one part of the entire process. Supply Chain Management is a much broader, integrating process which entails many other aspects aside from Logistics. Those aspects include finding and obtaining the goods to sell, negotiating pricing, manufacturing, storage, packaging, inventory control, distribution, cost allocation and control, third party negotiation and collaboration, and management of supply/demand. Because of the broad territory covered by Supply Chain Management, some of these processes have splintered off into another subcategory of Supply Chain Management known as Demand Planning, which, like Logistics, may be viewed as a separate but related area of expertise. Its important to keep in mind that these are just general guidelines. The details and precise definitions for both the process of Supply Chain

Management and the subcategory of Logistics Management will vary from company to company and will overlap to various degrees. By necessity many of the duties and responsibilities inuring to Logistics management will cross over into Supply Chain Management, and visa versa. Depending on the size and specialization of a particular company, the two areas may be lumped together as one, and the individual who manages Supply Chain and Logistics may be one in the same. It is important that anyone person seeking to become involved in either Supply Chain Management or Logistics Management within a certain company ensure that the parameters of their responsibilities are clearly defined.