Wal-Mart is not just a retail-wonder but also a classic example of a well developed and well managed supply chain. Wal-Mart’s sophisticated distribution system and information technology to track inventory has significantly improved its efficiency and productivity – making it far more profitable than other retailers. With India sitting on the brink of a retail revolution, supply-chain management will soon have a prominent role to play. “Convenience” is the food, your calling card, your courier, and all at a petrol pump!
When ITC entered into the biscuit business, it knew that if it had to make a place for itself among giants like Britannia and Parle, then apart from offering a large variety of products, it had to have a distribution network. It’s common knowledge that the FMCG products distribution channels are very important. So ITC used its old distribution network and soon all paan-beedi shops had stocks of biscuits too! Today, ITC has made a place for itself in the Indian biscuit business. Its brand is now available in nearly 1.8 million outlets – a little more than the 1.5 million outlets of Parle.
Dell’s unique distribution system (direct to home) helped it to gain a strong hold in the PC market. It helped it to reduce costs (no warehousing costs or middle man cuts) and overtake Compaq, which commanded a large market share.
From banks to biscuits to booking tickets, all have found a new way to destroy competition – a unique distribution strategy. If you want to stay ahead and retain your customer, you need to delight him with innovative ways – and in this case, it’s no big mystery... Just dial D for distribution!
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2007
An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative