The different types of logistical flows
Internal logistical flows
Production flow: circulation of materials and components in the fabrication network. These flows are made of intermediate chains of operations for transformation, treatment, handling and storage.
External logistical flows
Supply flow or inbound flow: circulation of materials and consumables from the provider’s store to the store of the client company.
Distribution flow or outbound flow: circulation of finished and semi-finished products from the company’s warehouse to the one of another client company.
According to the supply method chosen in the process, the logistical flows can be in different shapes.
This is how we distinguish:
- Push approaches: a particularity of internal flows, in these types of flows, each fabrication step is triggered by the availability of the raw materials or components of the inbound station.
- Pull flows: the trigger of a product delivery or fabrication is only made on demand of the client station.
- Just-in-time production (tight flow) (a combination of the flows mentioned above): it’s the equivalent of a pull flow, but with a minimum of stock and work in progress spread along the logistical chain.
- Synchronous flow: in this type of organisation, the delivery of the different components is made in the respect of their order of entry in the fabrication process. So, they are delivered just at the moment of their use. That helps reduce the stocks and costs that are linked to them.