Guide on How to Write University Essays, Courseworks, Assignments and Dissertations

E-Logistics, Distribution and Supply Chain Management

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Logistics is defined as “handling an operation that involves providing labour and materials to be supplied as needed”.  E-logistics is defined to be “the mechanism of automating logistics processes and providing an integrated, end-to-end fulfilment and supply chain management services to the players of logistics processes. Those logistics processes that are automated by e-logistics provide supply chain visibility and can be part of existing e-Commerce or Workflow systems in an enterprise”. (Watson Research Center, 2007).


In a typical E-logistics process, three components come into play: Request for Quotes (RFQ), Shipping and Tracking. The Logistics intercommunicate with the business process manager in an e-commerce server. It is the role of the business service manager to invoke the RFQ (request for Quote) process. After getting the response, the purchase order is updated, after which the shipping process is invoked by the business process manager. Once the products are shipped for the specified destination, the tracking number is then provided to the customer. This tracking number is mapped to the PO number in an e-commerce system. This facilitates easy tracking of shipments for the customers. This is the essential interaction of a business process manager and e-logistics.


Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the operations of the supply chain as efficiently as possible. A retail supply chain may pose a few challenges like “linking the consumer in the supply chain planning process, managing product life cycles, promotional planning, planning for seasonal products, determining cost-effective supply channels, forecasting (CPFR) and scheduling in a volatile economic environment and many more”. (Wipro Technologies, 2007). 


The process of Supply Chain Management includes the movement and storage of all raw materials, current inventory, and the finished commodities from point-of-origin to point-of-consumption. The Supply Chain Management process embraces all related aspects including planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics management activities. It also involves effective integration of supply and demand management, both within and between companies.


The process of Supply Chain Management is all-inclusive, comprehensive, complex and needs to address issues like:


Distribution Strategy: Centralized versus decentralized, direct shipment, Cross docking, pull or push strategies, third party logistics; Distribution Network Configuration: Supplier location, number of suppliers, production facilities, distribution centres, warehouses and customers; Inventory Management; Cash-Flow and streamlined information process i.e. integration of systems and processes through the supply chain which includes information like demand signals, forecasts, inventory and transportation etc to be shared. (Wikipedia, 2007).


In order to stay within the league of competitors and successfully compete in the global market, it is important for the organizations that they rely on “effective” supply chains and networks.

In simple words, distribution can be described as a commercial activity of transporting and selling goods from a producer to a consumer. A distributor actually serves as a middle man between the manufacturer and retailer. Today, a distribution channel may constitute one or all of the following:


           Direct selling, via email or internet.

           An agent who sells on behalf of the producer

           A distributor (or wholesaler)who sells to the retailer

           A retailer who sells goods to its customers


Distribution in effect is an important aspect of marketing. The other aspects include product management, pricing and information.




Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (2007) “Supply Chain Management”

Available from: Supply_chain_management

Accessed: 10/26/2007


Wipro Technologies (2007) “Distribution, Supply Chain Management”

Available from:

/industries/distribution/scm.htm Accessed: 10/26/2007


Yadav, Pooja, Zhang, Liang-Jie, Chang, Henry research IBM (2007) “ELPIF: An E-Logistics Processes Integration Framework Based on Web Services”

Available from:

/b/bth/OOWS2001/zhang.pdf. Accessed: 10/26/2007

S/OM/43. Critically appraise the essential pre-requites for cross-docking, and highlight the key benefits to Wal-Mart

S/EI/27. Critically evaluate the changes and proactive actions required to upgrade a procurement process in FedEx

S/EI/28. Utilizing relevant models, and concepts of procurement evolution, critically evaluate the stage of development of the procurement function, highlighting the problems being caused by the lack of development at Woolworths

S/EI/26. Global Communications (GC) Case Study. Critically evaluate the impact of the introduction of an E-procurement and E-supply chain strategy to the company

P/EI/88. E-procurement: theoretical and practical approaches

C/OM/35. Bluetooth technology and the creation of strategic flexibility and strategic options

C/EI/14. E-business and the supply chain: Illustrations from the airline industry

P/EI/19. Analysis of current situation and future perspectives of Internet as a distribution channel to deliver groceries and banking services in the UK


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