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CALS (Computer Aided Logistics Support)

CALS is a business strategy that enables more efficient product development, business transactions, and business management by using digital data to comprehensively carry out the reform and standardization of business processes and application of international standards to the business processes.

"CALS" stands for various phrases such as "computer-aided logistics support" and "commerce at light speed". I understand that persons who use a word "CALS" want to express various different concepts of what they think "CALS" is. However, paying respect to the first origin of the word, i.e. "computer-aided logistics support", I think it conveys the new business concept the most straightforward. "CALS" is none of technology, standardization, tool, or product, but a base of business strategy in the global market that enables more efficient product development, business transactions, and business management by using digital data to comprehensively carry out the reform and standardization of business processes and application of international standards to the business processes.

If "CALS" means "computer-aided logistics support", the word can be an extension of other words such as CAD (computer-aided design), CAE (computer-aided engineering), CAM (computer-aided manufacturing), and CIM (computer-integrated manufacturing). All of those words contains a word "computer-integrated" or "computer-integrated" before the words that indicate business processes and very easy to understand together with "CALS". The words "design", "engineering", "manufacturing", and "logistics" are all expressions of business processes, and the aim of CAD, CAE, CAM, CIM, and CALS is to support those business processes by computers to shorten lead times and reduce costs through automation. Compared to "design", "engineering", and "manufacturing", "logistics" has a broader meaning that encompasses not only distribution but also functions such as procurement and manufacturing. For that reason, the concept of "CALS" is expanded and regarded as a definitive methodology for electronically conducting transactions between companies and some compare "CALS" to "Black Boat" by the image of dominating world industries by the U.S. However, I think that "CALS" strongly indicates "multimedia corporate society in the 21st century", "creation of new industrial policies", and "technical infrastructures for communications".

Supply Chain Management (SCM) aims to "improvement of corporate management to increase cash flow" that is built on those technical infrastructures and so it is rather management oriented than technology oriented. Management of throughput improvement through improving lead times and service levels of a supply chain includes improvement of company quality to increase company profitability.

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Taken with kind permission from the book:
"Understand Supply Chain Management through 100 words" by Zenjiro Imaoka.
Published by KOUGYOUCHOUSAKAI
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