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Heskett, James L., "Logistics – Essential to strategy", Harvard Business Review, Vol. 55, No. 6, Nov/Dec 1977, pp. 85-95.



Logistical considerations have always played a strategic role in business. Among retailers and wholesalers, they transcend inventory management and transportation to include one of the most critical factors in business success - location in relation to markets or sources of supply. Among manufacturers, logistics concerns itself with matters as basic as plant location, sourcing of raw-materials, and standards of customer-service. In recent years, changes in the business environment have forced companies to pay particularly close attention to how this function relates to others. Government regulation, the health of the nation's transportation system, energy restrictions, and technological developments all represent important considerations in the formulation of a business strategy. Many companies have developed competitive strategies based, in part, on such concepts as postponement and speculation, standardization, consolidation, and differentiation.