Are Logistics and Supply Chain the same thing?

Word choice is always important — even when it comes to shipping. So what are your thoughts about how “supply chain” and “logistics” are often used interchangeably? Clearly, there’s a belief out there that they’re the same thing. But are they really, and does it matter?

This is another myth that needs busting. The terms are not the same, but the distinction is necessary. Logistics is a vital yet narrow part of the supply chain that describes the coordination and transportation of products within a company’s operations. The supply chain is the coordination of production and sourcing in ADDITION to the movement of goods and materials (a.k.a. the logistics).

Why’s the distinction important? Calling logistics the supply chain ignores the broader function and complexity that goes into all the other parts of supply chain management (e.g., sourcing, coordination of suppliers, PO and inventory management, etc.) Conversely, generalizing logistics as the supply chain does a disservice to the critical and specialized work that goes into coordinating and managing transportation assets and partners to pick up and deliver the goods.

Yes, it’s all related, and teamwork is always a requirement, but let’s give credit where credit is due by recognizing supply chain and logistics professionals for their specific roles.