Converting data to information, portraying it in a manner useful for decision making, and interfacing the information with decision-assisting methods are considered to be at the heart of an information system. Logistics information systems are a subset of the firm’s total information system, and it is directed to the particular problems of logistics decision making.
There are three distinct elements that make up this system:
- the input
- the database and its associated manipulations
- and the output
Logistics: The Inputs
The inputs are data items needed for planning and operating logistics system obtained from sources like customers, company records, and published data and company personnel.
Logistics: The Database and Its Associated Manipulations
Management of the database involves selection of the data to be stored and retrieved, choice of the methods of analysis and choice of the basic data-processing procedures.
Logistics: The Outputs
The outputs of a logistics information system include:
- summary reports of cost or performance statistics,
- status reports of inventories or order progress,
- exception reports that compare desired performance with actual performance, and
- reports that initiate action.
Output can also be in the form of documents such as transportation bills of lading and freight bills.
Source: Ballou, R.H. (1999). Business Logistics Management. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.