The company has a very flexible manufacturing process and can retool quickly to produce a large number of products.

Logistics Policy

Case 2 Is logistics a science?


Copyright 2017 as adapted Dr. Paul Battaglia and Florida Institute of Technology for use ONLY in MGT5062-IU-SP18 term for the Virtual Site. Other use requires explicit written permission.


Light Up My Light, Inc.

LUML is a medium sized, niche manufacturer of light fixtures.

The company has a very flexible manufacturing process and can retool quickly to produce a large number of products. LUML has not yet reached the point where it can produce fixtures in lots of one fixture and still make a profit. But LUML is making progress. As a result, LUML can take orders for as few as 100 units and produce them at a profit at market prices. LUML is headquartered in Melbourne, Florida. The office is collocated with the manufacturing plant.

LUML distributes the fixtures in the US using a network of eight warehouses throughout the US including the warehouse located at the Melbourne location. LUML was an early adopter of Third Party Logistics (3PL). All of the warehouses are contracted out. Individual contractors (one at each site) provide the needed services (e.g., receiving, shipping, stocking, fulfillment, etc).

The CEO (Mrs. Elise Ennis) holds weekly reviews which cover the key aspects of the firm’s operations. As expected, during the last review various information was presented including information on the status of logistics. A number of metrics for logistics functions were presented and discussed. During the discussion one of the chief engineers commented along the lines that “this logistics stuff is all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo”. Engineering (such as for the design and manufacturing of the electrical lighting units produced) was a “real science”. And although the engineer found logistics to be useful, there was no way that he could recognize logistics as a science.

Of course some other parties in the meeting took a different tack on the answer to the question — Is logistics a science?

The CEO found this to be an interesting discussion. But in the interest of time she halted the debate.

The CEO asked if it would be possible to do a quick analysis of the question. Of course that was really a rhetorical question. As you might expect, the answer from Tom Perkins, a VP and the head of the logistics department, was “sure we can do an analysis for you”. The CEO said that she would send over some more specific questions after the meeting.

As a senior logistician for the company, Tom approaches you and says that you are to play a key role in doing the analysis and writing the memo reply to the CEO of the results.

The next day when you get in to work, you find a note on your desk with the questions that the CEO had promised to send over. In turn Tom Perkins (the head of logistics & your boss) had scribbled a note to you — essentially to please handle ASAP.

{your name}

This is from yesterday’s meeting. Please handle ASAP.


Jan 15, 2018

TO: Tom Perkins

Ref the weekly briefing and the discussion on logistics. Very interesting. Not too often that we go off on an academic-type discussion. Here are the things that jumped into my mind as the topic was being discussed, and when I got back to my office. I’d like a memo per our schedule.

Thank you.


#1. (100 points) What is a science, anyways?

#2. (100 points) We use the term “logistics” very often. Is there a definition of logistics? A picture can be worth a thousand words — what might this look like?

#3. (100 points) What are the pro’s and con’s of considering logistics as a science?

#4. (100 points)What is your net assessment? Yes, a science? No, not a science? Explain.

#5. (50 points) Will you provide an article or other recent publication that would help to support your analysis? [Restriction. You cannot use any article that is part of the basic course materials — such as an item in “notes”.]

(50 points) Interpret this for me.

#6. (100 points) Any other comments that you think I or the other managers should know about logistics as a science. Negative reply required if you have no other comments,.

Grading. Recall from case1 that there are certain other elements to the grading. So as a reminder ……

*** on time/late.

*** use of references (in-text and reference list).

*** use of a memo.

*** Grammar, punctuation, and the like.

*** Answers to the specific questions in an easily discernible format.

*** Accuracy of any answers (especially quantitative work but also qualitative/ narrative); and presentation of those answers.

*** Explain as appropriate to a person who is unfamiliar with the subject matter.


Your mission? Prepare a memo to the CEO with the answers to her questions. One key reason that we study subjects such as logistics is to help manage better, solve problems, and the like.

Of course we can also do the stuff in this class for other reasons — such as a lot of it is just plain interesting, or it can even be fun.

So interpreting the information in relation to the business situation and context is pretty important. And it also aligns with the MS degree program objectives!


#1 remember that the CEO asked for a memo.

#2 the answer to each question needs to be easily identifiable. The CEO is probably not going to remember the details of each and every question that she asked. And she is unlikely to “go looking” for the answer somewhere in a document.

Hint: You can make it easy on the CEO and other readers if you label the questions/answers. Where it makes sense, can include the question itself or at least a brief recap as a memory jogger.

#3 Each answer needs to have the answer plus supporting rationale. However, that does not mean that each answer needs to be pages long! The answer itself and the rationale can usually only be a couple of sentences. An exception is probably question #3 on pro’s and con’s. This would probably be longer. And make it in a format that facilitates reviewing the pro’s and con’s.

#4 This is also an academic work so please include references. APA standard convention (DES’s preferred format) uses (a) in-text citation; and then (b) a reference list at the end. Other formats (e.g., MLA, Chicago) can “work”, but be consistent with whatever format you decide to use. The most difficult approach is usually footnotes. You can use these if you want to.

#5 The CEO asked for at least one article. You might have two or three articles if that better meets how you developed your answers.

*** If possible, include the article or articles as an attachment or as a separate file.

*** If you cannot provide the article itself, then we need a very complete citation on how to get to the article. A URL alone is not satisfactory (for neither the in-text nor the reference list). A hot link alone will not suffice since the CEO may not be reading the memo on an internet connected computer. But providing the reference citation AND a hot link might help.

#6. There are a large number of sources for the article (or articles). One fairly recent one (at least as far as wide availability is concerned) is

Logistics Research

A Springer open publication journal.

If you plan to stay in logistics you might note the site & check back from time-to-time to see what topics are being looked at. You might even consider writing an article for this publication or another publication.

The Florida Tech library might be a big help.


In any case, we do NOT want to use a only a URL nor a WIKI-type source unless it is the only remaining option (which you need to justify!).