Logistics involves managing the movement of resources. This not only includes products, but the movement and storage of materials, tools, equipment, services, people and information. It includes transportation, packaging, warehousing, materials handling and condition management. It involves both forward and reverse flow, as well as managing inventory and warehousing. Logistics tracking refers to the methods and systems used for tracking resources throughout their movement and storage. With logistics tracking you'll know where your products, materials, or other resources are physically located at any time, as well as what is scheduled.
Logistics Tracking Used in Production Logistics
Production logistics involves ensuring each machine and workstation has the needed resources, when those resources are needed. Logistics tracking is critically important for production logistics to be successful. Manufacturing is a constantly changing environment, and it is commonly necessary to adjust the flow of materials to prevent both shortages and over-supply. Logistics tracking provides the real-time status of the supply chain allowing adjustments to be made as needed.
The use of lean manufacturing techniques such as Kanban, Total Productive Maintenance, and SMED is growing. These are reducing the both production times and production batch size, and this is allowing production to be more closely tied with customer needs. This requires rapid changes in production, and that requires the knowledge of your supply chain status provided by logistics tracking. Using logistics tracking, and an information system with logistics analytic capabilities, actions can be implemented to adjust the flow of resources to align them with customer demand and production requirements.
Logistics Tracking Used to Support Outages and Repair Work
Logistics tracking is also important when preparing for turn-arounds and maintenance outages. When a facility is down the lost profits can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more, per day. That means parts, components, equipment and other needed materials must arrive on the site when needed. Logistics tracking is used to monitor the location and status of shipments, allowing manpower to be scheduled and actions taken should early delivery or delays in delivery become possibilities.
Depending on the type of materials, method of transportation, and customer requirements, logistics tracking may involve bar coding, RFID and GPS devices. In some cases all three technologies may be employed.