Logistics plays a crucial role in today's economy. It varies from logistics at a macro level such as the container traffic to and from the 'Tweede Maasvlakte' near the Rotterdam harbour, to supplying retailers from a local distribution center and the internal logistics within companies. In turn, IT plays a crucial role in any form of modern logistics at every level. These are not just applications that support logistics processes and enable and facilitate systems, but also the software logistics systems themselves.
A good example is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Almost every large company today has an ERP system, to implement a comprehensive and centralised administration, or to keep stock inventories. The advantage of an ERP program is that a large number of processes or departments can be accommodated. In addition, data such as product or customer-related information, need be entered only once because a single database is used. Other frequently mentioned benefits of ERP systems are better communication, cost reduction and a more efficient way of working.