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Logistics -(from The Greek "logos", means: word, reason, bill) - is the process of planning and controlling activities aimed at cost-effective flow and storage of raw materials, inventory, finished goods and related information from point of origin to the place of consumption in order to meet customer needs.

The purpose of logistics is to provide appropriate goods for the right customer in the right quantity that should be delivered at the right time and the right place. Customers expect goods in excellent condition at the lowest possible price.


The beginning of logistics is closely linked with the history of the army because the military needs constant supplies. The first inventor of the logistic system was Alexander The Great whose army consisted largely of cavalry. A slave on a horse was being assigned to the cavalry who led a horse with supplies. Infantry that was also a big part of his army had a slave with a horse with supplies.

The first information about the use of logistics in warfare was found in the annals of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor Leo VI in his work: " The aggregate liner art of war " distinguished next to strategy and tactics, the third study war - logistics. According to him the task of logistics was taking care of regular payments of soldiers, adequate equipment, facilities and preparing soldiers for battle.

In feudal Europe, sign of logistic activities was the use of standardized uniforms and weapons. As a result, it lowered the costs of equipping the army and reduced the problem of supply.

Modern understanding of the logistics refers to issued in 1837 by AH Jominiego's work: "Outline of the art of war ". He described the logistics as a practical art movement the army, which also includes the continuous supply, and engineering. Milestone in the history of logistics was the Second World War. At that time, the U.S. Defense Department established a special teams whose task was to develop mathematical models of planning and their application in solving the supply problems of the U.S. Army that established the foundations of mathematical science of planning, known today as operational research, as well as the economic discipline - logistics (FJ Beier, 2004, p 15).

The use of logistics for civilian purposes was in 1956 after the publication of results of research on the interdependence of air transport costs and maintenance costs of inventories in the distribution of goods. It turned out that the high cost of air transport should not be the sole determinant of its use. Much more important for the company are the total costs of transportation and inventory management. Thanks to this research, many companies began to see a way of reducing logistic costs.

Today logistics is a very broad concept. It consists of network management vendors, storage of products or chain customers. The advent of cheap digital technology, logistics system management has become easier. Within a few seconds, you can now find the right merchandise, from hundreds or even thousands of others, and read its features such as quantity, price or place of origin.

Definition of Logistics

According to the Council of Logistics Management - "Logistics is a term that describes the process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient and cost-effective flow of raw materials, materials for the production, finished products and relevant information from point of origin to point of consumption in order to meet customer requirements." (F. J. Beier, 2004, p 16)

According to S. Krawczyk - "Logistics covers the planning, coordination and control of the course in terms of both time and space, in real processes in which the implementation, the organization is a member in order to effectively achieve the objectives of the organization. " (S. Krawczyk, 2000, p 33)

According to S. Kummer and J. Weber - "Logistics is the concept of process management and the potential for coordinating the implementation of commodity flows across the enterprise and the relationships between its market partners. " (F. J. Beier, 2004, p 21)

Distribution of functional logistics

The most common logistics division is the division of functions due to the logistics of supply, logistics, manufacturing, logistics, distribution.

  • Supply logistics subsystem - refers to providers whose main purpose is to provide goods at the right time, quantity and quality in accordance with the needs of the recipient.
  • Production logistics subsystem connects procurement logistics and distribution logistics covers all activities related to the supply of raw materials and semi-finished materials and their passage through all stages of production, up to the warehouse.
  • Distribution logistics subsystem - is the flow of products from the manufacturer to the final purchaser.

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Author: Bartłomiej Maruszak, Marek Dziuba