A Defining Moment

This year’s annual conference of the Council of Logistics Management, held in Chicago, witnessed a milestone in the history of logistics and supply chain management when the organization issued its official definition of both fields and their relationship to each other. CLM’s definition committee comprised members representing practitioners, academics, third-party logistics providers, and consulting and research firms, as well as publishing companies.

Over the course of the past year, the committee reviewed some of the hundreds of extant definitions, wrote drafts of alternatives, and solicited the opinions of logistics professionals before arriving at its goal.

Logistics management has always clearly been a subset of the term “supply chain management,” and the language of the new CLM supply chain management definition recognizes that relationship: “Supply Chain Management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all Logistics Management activities.”

The new definition of logistics management delimits that area as the part of supply chain management “that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective, forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and relation (sic) information between the point of origin and the point of consumption….” For the complete text of the new definitions, visit www.clm1.org.

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