The move towards higher levels of customer service necessary to defend market share has come at a time when the economic climate has highlighted the need to reduce logistics costs. Compounding this issue is the added complexity many companies now face as they expand towards a European‐wide supply chain. In this environment it has become essential to address the management of the supply chain in a more formal way, and in particular to use modern information systems. The focus of these tools is away from the local cost‐reduction initiatives which prevailed throughout the 1980s, to a focus on logistics issues which span the “enterprise”. Enterprise logistics applications are now being used by many of the world′s leading corporations and have proven to offer substantial financial benefit in addition to the necessary operational improvements.
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