What Commercial Real Estate
Brokers Need to Know
By Gil Harper
Supply chain and logistics are popular terms, but many, even
those who use them, don’t truly understand them. As a result,
supply chain ventures are often unnecessarily risky and fail to
achieve desired results.
Logistics is the art and science of obtaining, producing, and
distributing material and product in the proper place and in
proper quantities. Logistics is an important part of the supply
chain, which is all encompassing. The supply chain spans the
entire life of a product or a service. It starts with a concept of
a product, ends when final payment is received, and includes
everything in between.
The basic design of a new offering can dictate the packaging
required, freight costs, and warehousing costs along the chain.
Inventory decisions impact capital costs, sales, warehousing,
and freight costs. Mode of delivery can compliment or compete
with other distribution decisions and can facilitate payment or
complicate it. Supply chains are complex and dynamic. They
require constant monitoring and management. You can improve
your supply chain, but it is unrealistic to think that you will ever
My first attempt at optimizing a supply chain was as an Army
lieutenant in England in the 1970s. Our collective mission was to
move ammunition from a mine in central England to Germany.
The commander of the depot was in charge of removing the
ammunition from the mine. Another officer was in charge of