This week’s CLP-3 deals with the second “P” in the marketing mix: Place (or Physical Distribution). Again, find a popular mainstream article that can be used to illustrate physical distribution. Discuss the following:
In the first paragraph, cite the name of the article, the author, the source, and the date. Then briefly summarize the essence of the article (who, what, when, why, where, how?). As the final sentence in this paragraph answer the question: “Why is this article a good choice to help you learn more about physical distribution?”
In a second paragraph, based on your understanding of the article, try to answer as many of the following questions as possible:
- Is the article about a product that distributes directly or via indirect channels?
- What type and number of wholesalers (agents, merchants, etc.) are there?
- What type/number of retailers?
- How does the brand handle any discrepancies and separations?
- Is there any special coordination needed in the parent organization, channel, and supply chain information requirements (i.e., EDI, the internet, e-mail, etc.)?
In a final third paragraph, discuss the transportation requirements, inventory product-handling requirements, and physical distribution facilities such as warehouses, distribution centers, etc. that are needed for the product/serviced discussed in the article you selected. Is there also a need reverse channels for returns or recalls?
As usual, a lot of information and ideas for answers to these questions can come from your careful reading of related chapters 10, 11 and 12. And, of course, because this is a “controllable” part of the marketing mix, you can think creatively and suggest new courses of action that may not be what is identified or suggested in the article and/or what the parent company actually currently does. Keep your remarks on point, and relatively brief. All parts of this assignment may not be applicable to the product or service identified in the news article you selected.
As in your previous assignments, you may need to go well beyond the original article and do some online research about the company involved.