In early days of industrialization, companies focused on developing products or services with features / benefits superior to competitors offerings. This Unique Selling Proposition (USP) was used for both improving Sales and Brand building. With rapid spread of technology competitors quickly caught up with each other. Thus the product based USPs started diminishing. Entry of MNCs with their well proven products and aggressive pricing and advertising policies intensified the competition in Indian markets. Companies began matching each other not only on products but also on prices / promotion strategies.
Thus there is hardly any “Differentiation” between competing firms on 3 out of 4 Ps of marketing mix, namely Product, Price and Promotion; resulting in “Me Too “ offerings.
This brought the realization that the 4th P – Place (Distribution) can be used to create competitive advantage for supplying the required product at Time and Place of customer’s choice. Resultant customer satisfaction leads to both improved sales and profitability.
Traditional Approach To Distribution
Initially, Distribution Strategies Were Developed For:
1) Breaking the Bulk so that manufacturers could produce large quantity and get economies of scale and yet consumers can buy in small lots of ones and twos.
2) Reaching finished goods to Point of Sale (PoS ) for fulfilling customers pending orders. It was achieved by using long channels comprising of number of partners and warehouses. Though the costs were high this worked well when demand was much higher than supply.
3) As the demand / supply situation balanced, companies maintained high production rate to meet expected demand as per sales forecasts. This resulted in very high inventory in the system adversely affecting profitability. Additionally, despite high inventory, companies did not have right product at required location. This led to customer dissatisfaction and even loss of sale.
4) Add to this the costs of storing mismatched inventory for long periods and resultant write offs / refurbishing expenses. To minimize such losses companies started using “Incentive Schemes“ causing further erosion of profits.
Against this background, this Programme has been designed to share real life experiences of practicing managers from different areas.
Expected Learning :
1) Using distribution as a competitive advantage for enhancing sales & profits
2) Reduction in delivery time to meet customer’s expectations
3) Understanding cost drivers and methods to control them
4) Guidelines for identification / appointment / performance evaluation
5) Management of channels and conflicts
6) Use of multi modal transportation system to reduce both costs and transit time
Who Should Attend: Managers and Executives handling Sales and Distribution, Planners of Sales Strategy and Channel Design from Marketing function, Managers and Executives from Logistics and Supply Chain companies, Solution providers from IT companies. Controllers of Costs and Budgets, etc.
Faculty For The Programme : The Programme has been conceived and developed by Mr. A P Chaudhari who has more than 35 years of experience in various senior positions at large / reputed companies like Mahindras, Greaves, Eichers etc. He has done considerable pioneering work in both Channel Management and SCM / Logistics. He along with other Industry experts would be
sharing real life experiences with participants.