Information logistics

What is information logistics?

Information logistics explained simply: the basis for efficient data exchange

Information of any kind that is important along the logistics chain requires a high degree of structure. After all, only interlocking processes can ensure a smooth workflow. But in what format is this specific information required? What distinguishes this data from other details that may also play a role?

Definition of information logistics: What exactly is it about?

There is a constant need for information, especially in warehouse management, which directly affects the efficiency of the entire system. The better processes interlock and workflows are optimized, the lower the effort and potential sources of error. However, not every organizational unit, regardless of its approach, focuses holistically on the management of information flows.

The problem: How do users find out whether a product is available? How is it ensured that data is stored, transmitted and made usable on site?

The solution: Improved information management, which ensures that information is provided as required (1), in the required format (2), at the right time (3), in the right place (4) and to the desired addressee (5).

Information logistics is therefore about optimizing all internal and external information flows. The respective user then receives exactly the information that is relevant at that time in the respective format.

What role does information logistics play in the exchange between companies?

Systematics and methodology are particularly important when two companies work closely together and regularly exchange information. The classic example would be the exchange between the supplier and the retailer. Not all information is of the same importance to the individual player, so it is also important to avoid unnecessary data transfers.

Below we outline the aspects of information logistics that are relevant depending on the perspective:

  • Supplier

The producer or supplier is dependent on receiving information such as the number of certain products, necessary adjustments or increased demand promptly and before any other information. This refers to details that are of central importance for optimal cooperation. The supplier's task is to ensure sufficient replenishment and to guarantee product availability on the retailer's side.

Information logistics is therefore part of Industry 4.0 or Logistics 4.0, which is essentially based on establishing an intelligent connection between manufacturer -> supplier -> wholesale and retail -> logistics service provider.

  • Retailer

Feedback from the customer, a change in demand and other details are aspects that affect the retailer. Its task in the context of information logistics is to communicate its own requirements to the producer in such a way that the processes interlock. For this to succeed, it requires not only a methodical exchange of data between the players, but also a high degree of trust. After all, a lot of information concerns sensitive internal information that is considered worthy of protection.

Methods and approaches that shape information logistics in everyday life

The high degree of automation that characterizes information logistics processes requires standardized and efficient communication. On the one hand, this relates to a cross-company information flow, as illustrated by the examples above. On the other hand, there are various hierarchical information flows within the company, e.g. across departments and responsibilities.

The following approaches are typically used in information logistics:

  • Shared database systems, also known as Electronic Data Interchange.
  • Automatically generated e-mails that are distributed via the intranet or extranet.
  • Standardized data retrieval at specific times to perform a data reconciliation.

Information logistics and supply chain management: how do they go together?

When it comes to inter-company information logistics, the value and supply chain is always affected. The focus of supply chain management is on optimizing costs and increasing the efficiency of processes, but also on reducing errors. However, how processes are planned and controlled along these chains is also determined by details based on information logistics data.

The point is: In the fast-paced, globalized world of the 21st century, the tasks of logistics and supply chain management are becoming increasingly similar. Only functioning logistics can guarantee processes that run along the value chain. Supply chain management shifts the focus to the overall construct, which is increasingly characterized by information logistics. This explains the complexity of the whole thing, as a perfect flow of money, goods and information is particularly important in areas such as retail and e-commerce.



Image: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Write to us!

You have questions? Then do not hesitate to contact us. We are gladly there for you.

proLogistik Holding GmbH Fallgatter 1 Germany - 44369 Dortmund +49 (0) 231 5194-0 +49 (0) 231 5194-4900