Every company depends on flawlessly running supply chains, i.e. on having the necessary means of production and manufacturing available on time, in sufficient quantities and on the spot. The business unit or process designed to ensure just that is called inbound logistics. At its core, this is a sub-aspect of the supply chain that aims to procure all the resources needed and supply the company with them.
Inbound logistics includes procurement logistics, purchasing, warehousing, goods receipt and inventory management. The better and more efficiently the supply chains are coordinated, the more likely the company is to gain competitive advantages from this. Particularly in the handling of goods and merchandise and in the area of plant management, a high degree of automation makes it possible to work very efficiently and thus economically.
What is the difference between inbound logistics and outbound logistics?
All processes involved in inbound logistics, i.e. in principle the material flows starting from the supplier to the respective point of consumption, are designed to effectively supply the company with all important resources. Basically, inbound logistics serves to ultimately transform materials into finished products or goods and to make the necessary decisions and initiate measures for this along all supply chains.
Outbound logistics, on the other hand, refers to all material flows from the manufacturer to the customer. In particular, this refers to picking, packing, packaging, shipping and transport.
Overview of important aspects of inbound logistics
The entire procurement and production logistics form the process of inbound logistics; it encompasses the complete supply chain and deals with raw materials, individual components or finished products that are ultimately to be delivered to the customer. The challenge in inbound logistics is to plan and calculate in such a way that sufficient resources are available for these steps at all times and at the same time no excessive stocking is carried out, which in turn would result in a high capital commitment.
Especially for fast-moving items, i.e. products with high throughput times, a secure material supply is essential. With the help of suitable IT systems, companies can reduce the factor of chance to a minimum, take advantage of automation and make more solid forecasts. Depending on the strategy chosen (just-in-time or just-in-sequence), inbound logistics has a significant influence on the efficiency of individual production steps in the company.