What is material flow?
The material flow represents the entire logistics value chain - from the first supplier to the last customer. It encompasses all related processes, from raw material extraction to distribution of the finished products to the respective end users.
For example, material flow includes these processes:
- Transportation of goods and raw materials
- Storage of goods and raw materials
- Product quality management
In logistics is also often called the directed flow of materials. Here, the flow direction of raw materials is predetermined, for example in assembly line production.
How does material flow differ from logistics?
Logistics is similar to material flow in some task areas and processes. Nevertheless, there are differences. Thus, although material flow deals with transportation, it does so from a technical, organizational, and economic perspective. Thus, it mainly includes the elements of conveyor technology, control technology and information flow.
Logistics, on the other hand, deals with the internal and external planning, control and monitoring of material flows.