Sales logistics

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Logistics subsystems: procurement , production , sales and disposal logistics

The sales logistics (including physical distribution , product distribution , sales logistics , distribution logistics includes) the design, management and control of all processes of the distribution policy , which are necessary in order goods (finished products and merchandise) from an industry - or trading company to its customers to convert. The central control variable is the delivery service .

It thus represents a link between production and the downstream economic level - the inquiring customer - and is aimed at external market supply. This direct connection to the sales market makes it clear why the term (sales-side) marketing logistics is often used for sales logistics. If the customers are companies, the procurement logistics perform a similar linking function on their procurement side , which is why this sub-area of ​​logistics is also assigned to marketing logistics. Depending on the division of labor in the distribution channel, individual logistical activities can either fall into the area of ​​distribution or procurement logistics.

Classification and importance of sales logistics

Distribution or sales logistics are of strategic importance for a company and serve to secure its long-term existence. Fast, customer-oriented delivery is a prerequisite for the return flow of investment funds from the procurement and manufacturing process, plus a reasonable profit: what is invested must at least flow back again.


In the sense of distribution encompasses all activities that concern the transfer of goods between economic subjects .

From a business point of view, the entirety of all marketing activities or all sales-related activities that are in contact with the transfer of goods is referred to as distribution .

Distribution channel

The distribution channel is formed by the company's own and external organizational units, which guarantee the physical route of goods and sales by performing functions in the distribution and sales process. Among these sales intermediary institutions, trading companies are of particular importance. The sales logistics depend largely on the design of the distribution channels , the so-called distribution policy , as the selected sales channel determines the number of receiving points that are to be served by the manufacturer's logistics system .

Distribution system

A distribution system in the broader sense corresponds to the totality of all economic units that are connected to the flow of goods or information in distribution. It consists of an acquisition and a logistical component.

The logistical or physical distribution coordinates all activities related to the flow of goods , which serve to bridge spatial, quantitative and temporal differences between the completion of the production process and acceptance by the customer. Basically, storage, transport and handling processes, the so-called TUL processes , are carried out in order to achieve this type of bridging.

The acquisition-distribution includes the remaining areas of responsibility, which has to deal with a distribution system. This includes, above all, the management of the distribution channels / channels, i.e. their legal, economic, informational and social design.

The spatial structure in which the processes of physical distribution take place and are implemented is called the distribution network or distribution system in the narrower sense. The distribution network is determined by the distribution of production locations, storage facilities and customer demand in the geographical area. Depending on how far the geographical area extends, it can be global, continental or national distribution systems. The production facilities , warehouses and places of customer demand are connected via the transport infrastructure.


The efficient provision of goods for customers in compliance with specified quality criteria is the basic task of distribution logistics. It takes on a balancing function with regard to the dimensions of space, time, quantity and range between the economic levels of production and sales market. The tasks of transport, warehousing, transshipment and order picking serve to bridge these disparities and are counted among the classic operational tasks of corporate logistics. This is also evident in the name TUL logistics , which expresses the original view of the scope of tasks in logistics in the 1970s. Since all of these core functions have to be fulfilled in distribution, sales logistics are of particular importance for the effectiveness of the entire corporate logistics. The following can be seen as the basic physical distribution processes:

Processes in distribution
  • Administrative tasks in the context of order and order processing

In addition to the operational activities within the individual task fields, the logistics organization of a company also has to deal with planning tasks such as the design of optimal distribution networks or the IT design of logistical processes. The supply chain management is today largely perceived as a core function of logistics. Such planning is usually carried out on a level that is more dominated by strategic considerations. This once again underlines the transformation of logistics into an instrument of corporate management.

An example of a strategic task in sales logistics is the choice of location for distribution warehouses. An example of a tactical task is determining the level of service. An example of an operational task is short-term route planning and effective fleet management .

Goals of sales logistics

In general, logistics goals always relate to the costs and services of logistics. The main goal of sales logistics is to minimize the logistics costs of distribution while maintaining a defined delivery service level.

Delivery service

The delivery service consists of a bundle of various indicators that serve to differentiate measurement of distribution performance. It represents the main logistical service of the distribution system. Basically, the delivery service is divided into the following four basic components:

Distribution costs

The selling expenses include all expenses related to the physical distribution of products from the factory to the end user. This definition can be interpreted in different ways in individual cases. Based on the main tasks of distribution, it can be broken down into the following components:

In addition, the shortage costs , i.e. costs that arise from inability to deliver, are regularly cited as an important cost item for distribution.

further reading

  • Ulrich Thonemann , Marc Albers (employee), Michael Becker-Peth (employee), Kai Hoberg (employee), Marcel Sieke (employee): Operations Management: Concepts, Methods and Applications. 2., updated Edition. Pearson, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-8273-7316-8 .
  • Ulrich Thonemann among others: Supply Chain Champions. Financial Times Deutschland / Gabler, 2003, ISBN 3-409-12441-1 .
  • W. Delfmann: Industrial distribution logistics. In: J. Weber, H. Baumgarten (Hrsg.): Handbuch Logistik: Management of material and goods flow processes. Schäffer-Poeschel Verlag, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-7910-1226-6 , pp. 181-201.
  • B. Fleischmann et al. (Ed.): Advances in Distribution Logistics. Springer-Verlag , Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-540-64288-9 .
  • SLK Freichel: Distribution Management? Design of international logistics systems. In: W. Stölzle, K. Gareis (Eds.): Integrative management and logistics concepts. Gabler-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2002, ISBN 3-409-11840-3 .
  • J. Tompkins, D. Harmelink (Ed.): The great manual distribution. Verlag Moderne Industrie, Landsberg / Lech 1998, ISBN 3-478-91650-X .
  • N. Hoppe, F. Conzen: European distribution networks: requirements, project process, case studies. Gabler-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2002, ISBN 3-409-12073-4 .
  • GB Ihde: Distribution logistics. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-437-40051-7 .
  • C. Mandl: Integrated distribution management? New logistical questions. In: M. Gronalt (Ed.): Logistikmanagement: Experience reports and concepts for (re) designing the value chain. Gabler-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3-409-11664-8 , pp. 97-107.
  • H.-Chr. Pfohl: logistics systems? Business basics. 7th edition. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-540-40586-0 .
  • G. Specht: Distribution Management. 3. Edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-17-015014-6 .
  • A. Vastag, A. Schürholz: Distribution. In: A. Arnold, H. Isermann, A. Kuhn, Horst Tempelmeier (eds.): Handbuch Logistik. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-540-40110-5 , pp. B5-1 – B5-53.
  • H. Krampe, H.-J. Lucke, M. Schenk: Basics of logistics. Theory and practice of logistic systems. HUSS-Verlag 2012, ISBN 978-3-941418-80-6 .

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