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Barrels per day (measure of petroleum production).


Business conducted between companies, rather than between a company and individual consumers.


See Business to Consumer


British Airports Authority


Baltic Air Charter Association

Back scheduling

A technique for calculating operation start dates and due dates. The schedule is computed starting with the due date for the order and working backward to determine the required start date and/or due dates for each operation


Method for issuing (reducing on-hand quantities) materials to a manufacturing order. With backflushing, the material is issued automatically when production is posted against an operation. The backflushing program will use the quantity completed to calculate through the bill of material the quantities of the components used, and reduce on-hand balances by this amount. There are usually options during the backflush process to report scrap. In operations using backflushing it is advisable to set up specific machine locations and have materials transferred from storage locations to machine locations when they are physically picked for production. The backflush operation will then issue the material from the machine locations.


Transportation term that describes the activity of picking up, transporting, and delivering a new load on a return trip from delivering another load.

Backlog Customer

Customer orders received but not yet shipped; also includes backorders and future orders.


A specific quantity of a specific item that could not be filled on the requested date.

That portion of requested stock not immediately available for issue and not passed to another source of supply for action. Record of obligation to file the backorder is known synonymously as backorder or due out.


Pulling a function back in-house as an outsourcing contract expires

Backward Integration

A form of vertical integration that involves the purchase of suppliers in order to reduce dependency.


Banker’s Automated Clearing System


Bunker Adjustment Factor, used to compensate for fluctuating fuel costs

Bagged cargo

Various kinds of commodities usually packed in sacks or in bags, such as sugar, cement, milk powder, onion, grain, flour, etc

Balance of Stores Record

A double-entry record system that shows the balance of inventory items on hand and the balances of items on order and available for future orders. Where a reserve system of materials control is used, the balance of material on reserve is also shown

Balance of trade

The balance of trade (or net exports, sometimes symbolised as NX) is the difference between the monetary value of exports and imports of output in an economy over a certain period. It is the relationship between a nation’s imports and exports.

Balance sheet

A basic financial statement that measures the positions of a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity as of a given date and usually compares those positions to the status on the same date in the previous fiscal year

Balance to Ship (BTS)

Balance or remaining quantity of a promotion or order that has yet to ship. Also see: Backorder

Balanced Scorecard

A structured measurement system developed by David Norton and Robert Kaplan of the Harvard Business School. It is based on a mix of financial and non financial measures of business performance. A list of financial and operational measurements used to evaluate organisational or supply chain performance. The dimensions of the balanced scorecard might include customer perspective, business process perspective, financial perspective, and innovation and learning perspectives. It formally connects overall objectives, strategies, and measurements. Each dimension has goals and measurements. Also see: Scorecard.


An inventory of product in the warehouse shown as warehouse total, reserve total, and pick location total


A large compressed, bound, and often wrapped bundle of a commodity, such as cotton or hay.

Ball transfer table

Another form of gravity conveyor that utilises balls rotating in sockets over which the load is passed and thereby easing effort of movement.

Ballast movement

A voyage or voyage leg made without any paying cargo in a vessel’s tanks. To maintain proper stability, trim, or draft, sea water is usually carried during such movements.

Ballast tank

Compartments at the bottom of a ship or on the sides which are filled with liquids for stability and to make the ship seaworthy. Any shipboard tank or compartment on a tanker normally used for carrying salt-water ballast. When these compartments or tanks are not connected with the cargo system they are called segregated ballast tanks or systems

Balloon number

A reference number that points to a component or assembly on an engineering drawing and corresponds to a part number, usually listed in a table on the side of the drawing. (syn: bubble number)


See Business Activity Monitoring

Bank Guarantee

A guarantee from a lending institution ensuring that the liabilities of a debtor will be met. In other words, if the debtor fails to settle a debt, the bank will cover it.

Bar code reader

A device used to identify and read a bar code symbol


A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data. Bar codes represent data in the widths (lines) and the spacing of parallel lines

Bare Boat Charter

A charter in which the bare ship is chartered without crew; the charterer, for a stipulated sum taking over the vessel for a stated period of time, with a minimum of restrictions; the charterer appoints the master and the crew and pays all running expenses. See Demise Charter.


An agreement establishing the terms of a sale or exchange of goods or services

Bargaining power

A concept related to the relative abilities of parties in a situation to exert influence over each other. If both parties are on an equal footing in a debate, then they will have equal bargaining power, such as in a perfectly competitive market, or between an evenly matched monopoly and monophony.


A capacious, flat-bottomed vessel, usually intended to be pushed or towed, for transporting freight or passengers; lighter

Barge aboard catamaran

A way of loading cargo into large barges and then in turn loading the barges into a ship.

Barge carriers

Ships designed to carry either barges or containers exclusively, or some variable number of barges and containers simultaneously. Currently this class includes two types of vessels, the LASH and the SEABEE


An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud


A hollow cylindrical container traditionally made of wood staves and bound with iron hoops. It also can be made of aluminium or plastic

Barrier to Entry

Factors that prevent companies from entering into a particular market, such as high initial investment in equipment


A type of trade in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services, without the use of money

Base Demand

The percentage of a company’s demand that is derived from continuing contracts and/or existing customers. Because this demand is well known and recurring, it becomes the basis of management’s plans. Synonym: Baseload Demand

Base Index

See Base Series

Base Inventory Level

The inventory level made up of aggregate lot-size inventory plus the aggregate safety stock inventory. It does not take into account the anticipation inventory that will result from the production plan. The base inventory level should be known before the production plan is made. Also see: Aggregate Inventory

Base pallet

Utilised to form the base for a larger group of pallets or a larger structure.

Base Series

A standard succession of values of demand-over-time data used in forecasting seasonal items. This series of factors is usually based on the relative level of demand during the corresponding period of previous years. The average value of the base series over a seasonal cycle will be 1.0. A figure higher than 1.0 indicates that the demand for that period is more than the average; a figure less than 1.0 indicates less than the average. For forecasting purposes, the base series is superimposed upon the average demand and trend in demand for the item in question. Synonym: Base Index. Also see: Seasonality

Base standard

In a costing system, the initial standard established at the beginning of a fiscal year used for creating budgets and performance measurements for that period. The base standard may be frozen to provide a consistent starting point for the period; the current standard is updated to reflect changes in process or material costs during the year

Base Stock System

A method of inventory control that includes as special cases most of the systems in practice. In this system, when an order is received for any item, it is used as a picking ticket, and duplicate copies, called replenishment orders, are sent back to all stages of production to initiate replenishment of stocks. Positive or negative orders (called base stock orders) are also used from time to time to adjust the level of the base stock of each item. In actual practice, replenishment orders are usually accumulated when they are issued and are released at regular intervals


A set of measurements that establishes the status of a system or other item as of a given date. Used to provide a common denominator and starting point for later measurements and comparisons.

Baseload Demand

See Base Demand

Basic Load

The quantity of supplies required to be on hand within , and which can be moved by a unit or formation. It is expressed according to the wartime organisation of the unit or formation and maintained at the prescribed levels.

Supplies kept by using units for use in combat(for other than ammunition). The quantity of each item of supply in a basic load is related to the number of days in combat the unit may be sustained without resupply.

Basic Producer

A manufacturer that uses natural resources to produce materials for other manufacturing. A typical example is a steel company that processes iron ore and produces steel ingots; others are those making wood pulp, glass, and rubber

Basing Point

Geographic point to which transportation rates are set so that rates to adjacent points can be constructed by adding to/deducting from the basing point rate.

Batch and queue

The production of multiple parts at a given operation as a batch that is finished and moved to the input queue of the succeeding operation.

Batch bill of material

A bill of material typically used in process industries that describes an ingredients list required for a batch quantity of the end item, instead of a quantity of one as typically used in discrete manufacturing environments.

Batch Control Totals

The result of grouping transactions at the input stage and establishing control totals over them to ensure proper processing. These control totals can be based on document counts, record counts, quantity totals, dollar totals, or hash (mixed data, such as customer AR numbers) totals

Batch Number

A sequence number associated with a specific batch or production run of products and used for tracking purposes. Synonym: Lot Number

Batch pick

The combining of a group of order requirements by SKU into a single picking activity to optimise productivity by allowing one picker to select all the ordered merchandise within a predetermined group with one trip through the pick path. Batch picking required subsequent mechanical or manual sorting of the merchandise to re-establish order integrity before shipping.

Batch processing

A computer term which refers to the processing of computer information after it has been accumulated in one group, or batch. This is the opposite of “real-time” processing where transactions are processed in their entirety as they occur

Batch production

The primary characteristic of batch production is that all components are completed at a workstation before they move to the next one.

Batch pull

An order picking efficiency technique that combines multiple orders for a date or customer range and summarises the total requirements for items on all orders. It allows going to an inventory location once to pick for several orders instead of returning to the same location multiple times.

Battlefield damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR)

A wartime procedure to rapidly return disabled equipment to operational condition by expediently repairing, bypassing, or jury-rigging components to restore the minimum essential systems required for the support of a specific combat mission or to enable the equipment to self-recover.


A computer term describing the rate of transmission over a channel or circuit. The baud rate is equal to the number of pulses that can be transmitted in one second, often the same as the number of bits per second. Common rates are now 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600 bits and 19.2 and 56 kilobytes (Kbs) for “dial-up” circuits, and may be much higher for broadband circuits

Bayes’ theorem

A formula that considers the conditional probability of the existence of a given event or variable as being caused by a second variable, and the probability of the occurrence of the second variable.


Banker’s Cover Note


See Business Continuity Plan


The maximum breadth of a ship

Bearing plate base

A base of an industrial container with bearing plates and steel stacking legs.

Beginning Available Balance

See Available Inventory

Beginning inventory

The calculated (perpetual) inventory at the start of an accounting period; often generated from month-end close functions that use the ending inventory of one period as the beginning inventory of the next.

Belly cargo

Freight accommodation below the main deck.

Belt conveyor

A conveyor that utilises endless belts, made from fabric, rubber, plastic, leather, or metal, energised by drives and operating over those drives, tail ends, bend terminals, belt idlers or slider bed. Handles bulk materials, packages and any object placed directly on the belt.

Belt driven live roller conveyor

A form of powered roller conveyor which is distinguished by a drive motor connected to a wide, flat belt which contacts the underside of the roller surface causing the rollers to rotate and move the load. The load is place directly on the belt which is supported by the rollers.

Bench marking

Measurement of the quality of a firm’s policies, products, programs, strategies, etc., and their comparison with standard measurements, or similar measurements of the best-in-class firms.

Bench Stock

Consumable class 2, 3 (packaged), 4 and 9 supplies used by maintenance personnel at an unpredictable rate. Bench stocks are authorised for support level maintenance activities, including aviation unit maintenance activities.

Beneficial ownership

Designates the owner who receives the benefits or profits from the operation.


A firm or person on whom a letter of credit has been drawn. The beneficiary is usually the seller or exporter


An analytical tool used in public planning; a ratio of total measurable benefits divided by the initial capital cost

Bermuda agreement

An agreement concluded in 1946 between the UK and the US, designed to regulate future international air traffic. Most governments accept its principles and follow it inter alia by limiting traffic rights on international routes to one or two carriers


Is the place beside a pier, quay or wharf where a vessel can be loaded or discharged

Berth cargo

When a liner cargo vessel accepts extra cargo to fill up the empty space remaining

Berth liner service

Is a regular scheduled steamship line with regular published schedules port of call ) from and to defined trade areas

Berth or liner terms

Is an expression covering assessment of ocean freight rates generally implying that loading and discharging expenses will be for ship owner’s account, and usually apply from the end of ship’s tackle in port of loading to the end of ship’s tackle in port of discharge.

Best fit

In forecasting, software functions that compare multiple possible forecast methods to past actual demand to determine the best method to use in the future. Generically used to indicate the best alternative from given choices.

Best of breed

Systems or functions that exhibit the highest level of performance in their class. Trade-offs occur in multiple-function systems when the costs of integrating several systems offset the benefits of having the best system in each individual area.

Best practice

A specific process or group of processes which have been recognised as the best method for conducting an action. Best Practices may vary by industry or geography depending on the environment being used. Best practices methodology may be applied with respect to resources, activities, cost object, or processes


An organisation, usually within a specific industry, recognised for excellence in a specific process area

Beta test

A software version released to a limited population of users for functionality and bug test evaluation before the final release to the general user base

Beyond charges

Charges for movement beyond discharge port to final destination by connecting carrier.


A set of results consistently above or below an established centreline that indicates the need for corrective action


Bidding is an offer of setting a price one is willing to pay for something. A price offer is called a bid. The term may be used in context of actions, stock exchange, card games, or real estate transactions.

Bidrectional bar code

A bar code that can be scanned in either direction


British International Freight Association.

Bilateral agreement

An agreement usually between two countries but could be between two parties

Bilateral contract

An agreement wherein each party makes a promise to the other party

Bill of activities

A listing of activities required by a product, service, process output or other cost object. Bill of activity attributes could include volume and or cost of each activity

Bill of entry

A shipper’s detailed statement for customs purposes of the nature and value of goods in a consignment.

Bill of Exchange

Legally defined as “an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum certain in money to or to the order of a specified person, or to bearer”. It is the most general method of obtaining payment for goods shipped abroad.

Bill of Lading

A legal document between the shipper of a particular good and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the good being carried. The bill of lading also serves as a receipt of shipment when the good is delivered to the predetermined destination. This document must accompany the shipped goods, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorised representative from the carrier, shipper and receiver.

Bill of Lading Act

An act of congress (USA) relating to the preparation and negotiability of bills of lading.

Bill of Materials

A structured list of all the materials or parts and quantities needed to produce a particular finished product, assembly, subassembly or manufactured part, whether purchased or not.

Bill of material accuracy

Conformity of a list of specified items to administrative specifications, with all quantities correct

Bill of material comparison

A tool that compares two or more bills of material to identify duplicates and highlight exceptions and differences in the components. Used in database maintenance and obsolescence reporting.

Bill of material explosion

The function of using the bill of material to generate component item demand quantities and timing given a requirement for the parent

Bill of resources

A listing of resources required by an activity. Resource attributes could include cost and volumes

Billed weight

The weight of a shipment as shown on the freight bill, not necessarily the actual weight.


A carrier terminal activity that determines the proper rate and total charges for a shipment and issues a freight bill


Baltic and International Maritime Council


To store in a bin.

Bin pallet

A four-sided superstructure that is mounted on a pallet base, with or without a cover. Also known as a box or container bin pallet.

Bin storage

May be considered a special case of shelving. The horizontal opening would typically be much narrower than that found in shelving and would have a vertical restraining member across the lower face of the bin opening.

Black belt

In the six sigma quality improvement methodology, a full time leadership position in teams that develop related programs and monitor progress

Black cargo

Cargo banned by general cargo workers for some reason. This ban could be because the cargo is dangerous or hazardous to health

Blanket order

A type of purchase order that commits to purchase a specific quantity over a specific period of time, but does not necessarily provide specific dates for shipments. Blanket orders are placed for the quantity of an item (or group of items) that you expect to purchase over extended period of time (3 months, 6 months, a year etc). A blanket purchase order may provide estimated required dates for specific quantities, but actual releases to ship against the blanked order are triggered by separate requests from the customer to the supplier; the specific quantities and dates of these separate requests (releases) may or may not be similar to the estimated dates and quantities.

Blanket order

See Blanket Purchase Order

Blanket purchase order

A long-term commitment to a supplier for material against which short-term releases will be generated to satisfy requirements. Often blanket orders cover only one item with predetermined delivery dates. Synonym: Blanket Order, Standing Order

Blanket rate

A rate that does not increase according to the distance the commodity is shipped

Blanket release

The authorisation to ship and/or produce against a blanket agreement or contract

Bleeding edge

An unproven process or technology so far ahead of its time that it may create a competitive disadvantage


The mixing or combination of multiple ingredients to create a liquid, powder or gas form identified by a unique item number. An initial batch may be modified with a subsequent blend based on the analysis of quality tests that require additional processing to meet specifications

Blind count

A physical inventory or cycle count in which the count tag or sheet contains item and location information but does not include the book (calculated) inventory as of the time of count

Block pallet

A pallet designed with blocks of material between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck that serve as strengtheners and posts

Block schedule

A schedule based on blocks or periods of time rather than quantities. Sometimes required when the process dictates a fixed drying or curing time, or a contracted vendor turnaround time.

Block Stacking

The action of putting objects into a block pattern in a floor storage area, usually more than one tier in height

Blocking bug

A defect that prevents further or more detailed analysis or verification of a functional area or feature, or any issue that would prevent the product from shipping

Blow molded pallet

A pallet manufactured by heating a plastic material and extruding it into tubing. A section is cut to the desired length to create a parison which is then introduced into a mold cavity. Air is introduced into the parison to inflate the parison until it conforms to the geometry of the mold. When the part is fully formed and cooled, it is released from the mold for secondary operations such as machining and trimming.

Blow through

An MRP process which uses a “phantom bill of material” and permits MRP logic to drive requirements straight through the phantom item to its components. The MRP system usually retains its ability to net against any occasional inventories of the item. Also see: Phantom Bill of Material

Blue label

Warning label affixed to radioactive cargo.


See Business Performance Measurement

Body of knowledge

The prescribed aggregation of knowledge in a particular area an individual is expected to have mastered to be considered or certified as a practitioner


This is a piece of equipment equivalent to the bottom of a container without sides. Often used for stacking parcels of sawn timber and bags of cocoa. Otherwise known as a flat or pontoon

Bolt on

A third party, specific application designed to enhance or extend a base system through increased functionality.

Bona fide

Latin for “in good faith”; without fraud or deceit.


Contractual description of service delivery performance specifying terms and conditions that may involve posting a bond.

Bonded blocking

In order that boxes do not topple or turn over when they are stacked, the boxes are overlapped in a wall configuration. This overlapping forms a bond as such

Bonded Warehousing

A type of warehousing in which companies place goods in storage without paying taxes or tariffs. The warehouse manager bonds himself or herself to the tax or tariff collecting agency to ensure payment of the taxes before the warehouse releases the goods.

Book inventory

An accounting definition of inventory units or value obtained from perpetual inventory records rather than by actual count

Bookable route

A multi-modal collection of carrier specific scheduled legs, connecting a departure origin to a target destination.


The sum of the value of all orders received (but not necessarily shipped), net of all discounts, coupons, allowances, and rebates


British Overseas Trade Board


A constraint, obstacle or planned control that limits throughput or the utilisation of capacity

Bottom Block

The device at the bottom of a hoist’s lifting medium (chain/wire rope) through which the medium is reeved and supports the hook and/or an attachment. May be stationary or rotating depending upon the requirements for the piece of lifting equipment

Bottom-up replanning

In MRP, the process of using pegging data to solve material availability or other problems. This process is accomplished by the planner (not the computer system), who evaluates the effects of possible solutions. Potential solutions include compressing lead time, cutting order quantity, substituting material, and changing the master schedule.


Something that indicates a border or limit

Box Crane

An overhead travelling crane that utilises a “box” configuration in fabricating the bridge girder. This box girder design incorporates a four-sided box with a running surface plate for the hoist trolley attached to the bottom of the box. The advantage of the box girder is that it possesses greater loading capabilities and is able to span greater bridge distances. Generally utilised in pairs with the hoisting mechanism operating on rails attached to the top of each box girder.


An enclosed rail car typically 40 to 50 feet long; used for packaged freight and some bulk commodities

Box-Jenkins Model

A forecasting method based on regression and moving average models. The model is based not on regression of independent variables, but on past observations of the item to be forecast at varying time lags and on previous error values from forecasting. See: Forecast.


A graphical representation of a quality test that shows process variability distribution based on the mean, upper and lower specification limits in the form of a box.


A voluntary refusal to purchase or sell goods


See Business Process Outsourcing


See Business Process Re-engineering


Securing a shipment inside a carrier’s vehicle to prevent damage

Bracketed recall

Recall from customers of suspect lot numbers plus a specified number of lots produced before and after the suspect ones


A device, incorporated into material handling equipment, utilised to retard or stop the motion of that piece of equipment. Often utilised in conjunction with the motor of that equipment or may be mechanical in nature, utilising a “ratchet and pawl” configuration

Branch line

Railroad line providing train service to one or more stations beyond a junction with the main line or another branch line.


The use of a name, term, symbol, or design, or a combination of these, to identify a product


A specific application of Kanban, used in coordinating vendor replenishment activities. In making bread or other route type deliveries, the deliveryman typically arrives at the customer’s location and fills a designated container or storage location with product. The size of the order is not specified on an ongoing basis, nor does the customer even specify requirements for each individual delivery. Instead, the supplier assumes the responsibility for quantifying the need against a prearranged set of rules and delivers the requisite quantity

Break even analysis

An examination of changes in fixed and variable costs based on varying revenue and production levels that identifies a break-even point where revenues are equal to costs. It highlights the profit results from alternative levels of operation. (syn: cost-profit-volume analysis).

Break even point

The level of production or the volume of sales at which operations are neither profitable nor unprofitable. The break-even point is the intersection of the total revenue and total cost curves. Also see: Total Cost Curve


The separation of a consolidated bulk load into smaller individual shipments for delivery to the ultimate consignee. The freight may be moved intact inside the trailer, or it may be interchanged and rehandled to connecting carriers.

Breeder bill of material

A bill of material that accounts for the generation and cost implications of by-products as a result of manufacturing the parent item.

Bricks and Mortar

The act of selling through a physical location. The flip side of bricks and mortar would be where selling is conducted via the Internet. An informal term for representing the old economy versus new economy or the Industrial economy versus information economy

Bridge Crane

A lifting and horizontal movement device mounted on a “bridge” of one or more horizontal girders (bridge girders) which are supported at either end by trucks (end trucks). These trucks are attached at right angles to the girders and move on runways which are attached to a building’s columns, overhead trusses, frames, or via a free standing system of columns


A high-speed, high-capacity transmission channel. Broadband channels are carried on radio wave, coaxial or fibre optic cables that have a wider bandwidth than conventional telephone lines, giving them the ability to carry video, voice, and data simultaneously.

Broken case

An open case. The term is often used interchangeably with “repack” or “less-than-full-case” to name the area in which materials are picked in that form


One that acts as an agent for others, as in negotiating contracts, purchases, or sales in return for a fee or commission.

Brombadier sorter

A device in which items are dropped down through swinging doors to a desired location.

Brussels definition of value (BDV)

The rules on Customs valuation according to the BDV are based on the notional concept of “value” which treats the dutiable value as the “normal price” at which the goods would be sold in an open market between an importer and an exporter operating independently. The “normal price” is the open market price at which the goods are freely available to any buyer subject to compliance with certain conditions. For example, if a sole agent receives a special discount, which is not granted to other importers, it has to be added to the price to arrive at the normal or open market price for Customs valuation purposes.

Brussels tariff nomenclature number

The customs tariff number used by most European nations. The United States does not use the BTN, but a similar system known as the harmonised tariff schedule.


British Shippers Council


British Standards Institution


British Standard Specification

Bucket loader

A form of portable, self-feeding, inclined bucket elevator for loading bulk materials into cars, trucks, or other conveyors


A reporting system that accumulates multiple daily records into a larger, user-specified time frame (weeks, quarters, years, etc.). Enables easier analysis when daily detail is not required

Bucketed system

An MRP, DRP, or other time-phased system in which all time-phased data are accumulated into time periods, or buckets. If the period of accumulation is one week, then the system is said to have weekly buckets

Bucketless system

An MRP, DRP, or other time-phased system in which all time-phased data are processed, stored, and usually displayed using dated records rather than defined time periods, or buckets.

Budgeted cost of work performed

The earned (standard) cost or budget value of project tasks completed for a given time period. It is compared to actual cost of work performed (ACWP) to determine variance conditions.

Budgeted cost of work scheduled

The earned (standard) cost or budget value of project tasks scheduled to be completed for a given time period. A cumulative view of the planned costs based on the budget schedule.


An estimation of the revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time. A budget can be made for a person, family, group of people, business, government, country, multinational organisation or just about anything else that makes and spends money. A budget is a microeconomic concept that shows the trade-off made when one good is exchanged for another

Buffer management

The set of processes used in the theory of constraints to manage the buffers used to ensure continued operation of the constraint. Activities and materials processing operations are prioritised on the basis of their criticality to maintaining or rebuilding buffer stocks.

Buffer Stock

Stocks held in the vicinity of a movement agency, to ensure rapid dispatch, cater for unforeseen urgent demands, or overcome delays in obtaining stocks from normal sources.


The process of storing “back-up” or reserve stock/inventory to absorb expected variations in usage between the time reorder action is initiated and the first part of new orders is received in stock

Build to order

Product or service to be made upon receiving order.

Business unit

A division or segment of an organisation generally treated as a separate profit-and-loss centre.

Logical element or segment of a firm (such as accounting, production, marketing) representing a specific business function, and a definite place on the organisational chart, under the domain of a manager. Also called department, division, or a functional area.


The classic use of the term bulk (bulk materials, bulk inventory, bulk storage) in inventory management and distribution refers to raw materials such as coal, iron ore, grains, etc. that are stored or transported in large quantities. This would include rail cars, tanker trucks, or silos full of a single material. However, this term can also have a variety of other definitions based upon the specific industry or facility. For example, a small-parts picking operation may refer to a case storage area as “bulk”, while a case-picking operation may refer to the full-pallet area as the “bulk area”.

Bulk bin

Plastic or metal bins that are designed to handle larger or “bulk” quantities of materials or merchandise. Bulk bins tend to large in size, relative to other types of bins, and are generally designed to be higher capacity in terms of load capabilities

Bulk carrier

Ship specifically designed to transport vast amounts of cargoes such as sugar, grain, wine, ore, chemicals, liquefied natural gas; coal and oil. See also LNG Carrier, Tanker, OBO Ship.

Bulk container

Bulk containers are heavy duty containers designed for bulk storage material handling.

Bulk issue

Components and materials issued to the production floor based on the cumulative requirements for multiple production orders, shifts or days. Not used in to-order environments where lot traceability is an issue

Bulk packing

The process or act of placing numbers of small cartons or boxes into a larger single box to aid in the movement of product and to prevent damage or pilferage to the smaller cartons or boxes

Bulk storage

The process of housing or storing materials and packages in larger quantities, generally using the original packaging or shipping containers or boxes


A name given to any vertical partition which separates different compartments or spaces from one another.

Bullwhip Effect

The Bullwhip Effect (or Whiplash Effect) is an observed phenomenon in forecast-driven distribution channels. The concept has its roots in J Forrester’s Industrial Dynamic (1961) and thus it is also known as the Forrester Effect. Since the oscillating demand magnification upstream a supply chain reminds someone of a cracking whip it became famous as the Bullwhip Effect.

Bumpers, dock

Pieces of rubber or other resilient material located at the floor level of a dock opening to cushion the building from truck trailer impact


A group of products that are shipped together as an unassembled unit


The space in which fuel for the vessel is stored.

Bunker surcharge

Additional shipping charge incurred or charged due to fuel price increases


To replenish the fuel

Burden rate

A percentage or fixed-dollar amount that allocates department or product overhead expenses to production on a labour hour, machine hour. labour dollar, material dollar or unit basis. (syn: overhead rate

Bureau of Export Administration

The mission of the American Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) is to advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic interests. BXA’s activities include regulating the export of sensitive goods and technologies in an effective and efficient manner; enforcing export control, antiboycott, and public safety laws; cooperating with and assisting other countries on export control and strategic trade issues; assisting U.S. industry to comply with international arms control agreements; monitoring the viability of the U.S. defence industrial base; and promoting federal initiatives and public-private partnerships across industry sectors to protect the nation’s critical infrastructures.

Burn rate

The rate of consumption of cash in a business. Burn rate is used to determine cash requirements on an on-going basis. A burn-rate of $50,000 would mean the company spends $50,000 a month above any incoming cash flow to sustain its business. Entrepreneurial companies will calculate their burn-rate in order to understand how much time they have before they need to raise more money, or show a positive cash flow.


A measure of capacity (8 gallons) for dry commodities


A legally recognised organisation designed to provide goods and/or services to consumers.

Business activity monitoring

A term which refers to capturing operational data in real-time or close to it, making it possible for an enterprise to react more quickly to events. This is typically done through software and includes features to provide alerts / notifications when specific events occur. See also: Supply Chain Event Management

Business application

Any computer program, set of programs, or package of programs created to solve a particular business problem or function

Business case scenario

A common, defined situation encountered in normal business operations; systems and procedures are developed and documented to define the standard methodology used for that process.

Business continuity plan

A contingency plan for sustained operations during periods of high risk, such as during labour unrest or natural disaster. CSCMP provides suggestions for helping companies do continuity planning in their Securing the Supply Chain Research. A copy of the research is available on the CSCMP website

Business executives enforcement team

Town-hall meetings, hosted by export enforcement personnel, which provides opportunities for government officials and business executives to discuss export control and enforcement issues and to develop cooperative relationships within the business community. (USA)

Business intelligence

Systems that provide directed background data and reporting tools to support and improve the decision-making process.

Business logistics

The process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements. Note that this definition includes inbound, outbound, internal and external movements.

Business performance measurement

A technique which uses a system of goals and metrics to monitor performance. Analysis of these measurements can help businesses in periodically setting business goals, and then providing feedback to managers on progress towards those goals. A specific measure can be compared to itself over time, compared with a pre-set target or evaluated along with other measures.

Business plan

A statement of long-range strategy and revenue, cost, and profit objectives usually accompanied by budgets, a projected balance sheet, and a cash flow (source and application of funds) statement. A business plan is usually stated in terms of dollars and grouped by product family. The business plan is then translated into synchronised tactical functional plans through the production planning process (or the sales and operations planning process). Although frequently stated in different terms (dollars versus units), these tactical plans should agree with each other and with the business plan. See: long-term planning, strategic plan.

Business process mapping

Techniques that specify the steps, control points and resources involved in current state business processes, identify desired changes and risk/reward trade-offs, and create the methods to implement cross-functional systems that support the desired new processes.

Business process outsourcing

The practice of outsourcing non-core internal functions to third parties. Functions typically outsourced include logistics, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and human resources. Other areas can include IT development or complete management of the IT functions of the enterprise.

Business process re-engineering

The fundamental rethinking and often-times, radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic organisational improvements

Business Strategy

Redirect form Strategic management. the art, science and craft of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organisation to achieve its long-term objectives. It is the process of specifying the organisation’s mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives and then allocating resources to implement the policies, and plans, projects and programs.

Buy Back

An act of buying something that one previously sold or owned.


An enterprise that arranges for the acquisition of goods or services and agrees to payment terms for such goods or services.

Buyer behaviour

The way individuals or organisations behave in a purchasing situation. The customer-oriented concept finds out the wants, needs, and desires of customers and adapts resources of the organisation to deliver need-satisfying goods and services. The way individuals or organisations behave in a purchasing situation. The customer-oriented concept finds out the wants, needs, and desires of customers and adapts resources of the organisation to deliver need-satisfying goods and services

Buyer’s right to route

When a seller does not pay freight charges, the purchaser has a right to designate the route for shipment, and the seller is responsible for following the buyer’s instructions. Complete routing is permitted for rail shipments, but limited to the first carrier in motor shipments


Bureau Veritas


An item, automatically generated by the production process of another item, that has value and is inventoried. The by-product is not scheduled but can be planned as an expected receipt as a result of scheduling the generating item, and its cost may be netted against the original item.

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