The end of the 6 Rs of logistics? – Part 2

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The classic logistics view is limited to the now famous 6 R’s with regard to its tasks – as already mentioned in ” The End of the 6 R’s of Logistics? – Part 1 “. This approach to logisticsand supply chain management is comprehensible and “reasonable” for many in practice. But the question must be allowed: Is this very narrow, self-limited perspective really still up to date? Can it meet the demands placed on logistics today? A closer look – already in Part I – proved to be quite fruitful. Why?

Logistics, SCM and the markets

A cross-company perspective generates new market opportunities and new markets along the supply chains. These market opportunities arise first and foremost from the constant reduction of the companies’ service depth, also in the course of outsourcing. The redesign of entire supply chains and supply networks creates new procurement markets and new sales markets. Numerous opportunities open up for companies that take advantage of the newly gained options for action.

In numerous practical cases, meaning certain market constellations, actors are overly quick to speak of market failure. However, many experts usually and increasingly see this as a missing of opportunities to exploit the creative potential in companies and supply chains. Even if undreamt-of opportunities are involved, companies and supply chains are usually not creative and courageous enough to take calculated risks and accept uncertainty.

Thus, the supply and value chains have to be rethought system-wide, sometimes repositioned to open up entirely new options for action.

A good logistician cannot only be a logistician

New markets are created by changing patterns rather than by the increase of efficiency, whose marginal utility fades into nothingness. However, the change must first be implemented in the minds of the managers in logistics and supply chain. Logisticians must break out of the narrowness and dustiness of recent decades in order to better solve the problems of the 21st century. What does that mean?

Due to the upheavals in the age of global supply chains, market movements are underway that require rapid and entrepreneurial action. The incentives for managers must be set in such a way that they go beyond the scope of the traditional logistician. Logistics experts and supply chain managers are therefore challenged not only to be logisticians in the narrow sense of the word. Numerous problems with a logistical background are problems that can typically no longer be solved through classic logistics approaches alone. For example, a capacity problem in the service chain can be a logistical problem. Still, in many cases, it can only be solved by market-adequate measures, e.g. by price discrimination of a temporal or spatial nature. Sometimes strategic considerations have to be considered in order to solve particular problems of companies and supply chains with logistic symptoms beyond classical logistics. Here we are all challenged to go far beyond our self-imposed limits.

A few years ago at a lecture, a very well-known logistics expert – Bretzke – put the whole story in a nutshell: A good logistics expert cannot only be a logistics expert!

The first part of this article you can find under The end of the 6 Rs of Logistics? – Part 1 .

For further information on the tasks of logstics see the article What can logistics do?

About Ernst Kurzmann

Ernst Kurzmann

Ernst Kurzmann is a lecturer in the fields of internationalization, logistics and supply chain management. He also holds a Master of Business Administration (FIBAA accreditation) and has been a business trainer and consultant in Austria for decades, specializing in statistical and mathematical calculations in logistics & supply chain management. Ernst Kurzmann gained his professional experience at renowned companies such as Unilever, Alcatel or PepsiCo. He has been self-employed for 20 years and has published his specialist book "Supply Chain Management. How to survive in the 21st century with networked thinking", which has become a bestseller in this field, among others. His current publication "ManagemANT - What specialists and managers can learn from ants. With Swarm Intelligence towards Corporate Success" was published in August, by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch Verlag F.A.Z.

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