An essential part of any logistics system is the information flow related to the physical transactions. Without accurate and timely information the logistics system cannot respond efficiently and in a co‐ordinated way. Traditionally information systems in most companies have developed in a relatively unplanned, evolutionary way with little thought given to the inter‐relationships between the various subsystems. Manual systems have gradually been automated as the computer becomes more widespread, but the computerised operating units have normally been treated as independent subsystems. The next step in the development process is, however, to attempt to integrate all the inter‐related subsystems into an overall logistics information system. In this article we will focus on the general structure of the logistics information system (LIS), the interactions between the various subsystems, and the implications of integrating the system. The purpose is to present a conceptual framework around which an integrated logistics information system can be developed.
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