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Outbound Logistics And Distribution Management

Matthias Klumpp, Sunderesh S. Heragu
Published 2019 · Business

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Distribution and outbound processes are important for many companies because they directly connect them with the customers in a value chain. Market and customer demands relative to quality, speed as well as information and service orientation of logistics processes matter in terms of overall evaluation and satisfaction. At the same time, there are significant cost advantages or disadvantages. In the trade and retail sector, this operational field is especially of high strategic importance and closely connected to e-commerce or multi-channel strategies. It can be said that all the excellence as well as product and service quality built up throughout the value chain can be delivered or destroyed within these last miles of distribution, point of sale, and customer contact. This chapter outlines the core definitions and objectives for outbound logistics and distribution management (Sect. 14.1) before providing an extensive case study for this specific topic (Sect. 14.2). It then provides the operational concepts for distribution in Sect. 14.3 (basic level). In Sect. 14.4 (advanced level), it describes differentiations in terms of multi-echelon inventory models and multi-objective concepts (service levels, cost optimization, batch and emergency deliveries etc.). Current trends and developments such as sharing economy and customer integration concepts as well as cooperation and new technologies are elaborated in Sect. 14.5 (state-of-the-art). Future topics for distribution management research are discussed briefly and further reading materials are listed in Sect. 14.6.
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