Distribution or ‘place’ is one of the four known Ps of the marketing mix – refers to activities of organization through which the product or a service moves on to the next organization (i.e. made available for the user for consumption). The companies need to decide on in evincing out the best possible way to handle, store, or to move the products or services which they are offering in a way that these are available to the customers in the right assortments and particularly at the right time, at the right place.
It is feasible for the managers to keep in regard the fact that the customers of today are pretty different from the ones before, in terms of shopping and buying. The reason for that is that adept access to the high-quality information through mediums like internet etc which has created the customer rather more sophisticated in terms of decision making as compared to the customers of the past. So what is the best way to take out your products / services to the market? A company which is rather more product focused needs to establish the most apt distribution strategies which hence maximizes the sale and profit ratio. To establish top-notch distribution strategies, the company must:
• Map the products to the end user
• Correctly determine the channels preferences of the customer and compare these preferences with what actually is available
• Recommend the new channels, and answer to “why”?
• Examine your competitor’s distribution strategies and compare those with yours in terms of analyzing effectiveness of both of them
• Confidentially conduct interviews with your distribution partners in order to monitor your areas of improvement, as well as to encourage your existing strengths.
To some managers, physical distribution means only trucks and warehouses, but modern logistics has to do much more than this notion. Physical distribution – or marketing logistics involves planning, implementing, and controlling the physical flow of materials, final goods, and related information from points of origin to the points of consumption to meet up with the customer’s requirements in order to generate profit. In short, it involves getting the right product to the right customer at the right place and above all at right time. The traditional distribution typically started with the products at the plat and then tried to find low cost solutions to get them to customers.
However, today’s marketers prefer market logistics thinking, which starts with the market place and works backward to the factory. It involves the management of the entire supply chains, value added flows from suppliers to final users,. Thus the logistic manager’s task is to coordinate activities of the suppliers, purchasing agents, marketers, channel members, and customers. These activities include forecasting, information systems, purchasing, production planning, order processing, inventory, warehousing and transportation planning.