Managing Product Movement

In addition to enlisting the assistance of retailers and wholesalers to make products available to customers, marketers also face additional concerns when trying to meet their distribution objectives. In this section we examine the tasks that must be carried out in order to physically move…

Trade-off Analysis: Service-Level vs. Cost

The distribution activities we discuss in this part of the Principles of Marketing tutorial are important elements in the marketer’s overall customer service package. As we discussed in the Managing Customers Tutorial, marketers strive to deliver an optimal level of service to their customers. However,…

Ordering and Inventory Management

Having products available when customers want to make purchases may seem like a relatively straightforward process. All a seller needs to do is make sure there is product (i.e., inventory) in their possession and ready for the customer to purchase. Unfortunately, being prepared for customer…

Order Entry and Processing

The marketer must have a system allowing customers to easily place orders. This system can be as simple as a consumer walking to the counter of small food stand to purchase a few vegetables or as complicated as automated computer systems where an electronic order…

Customer Knowledge

Inventory management can be fine-tuned to respond to customer’s needs. As a marketer learns more about a customer they begin to observe trends in how and when purchases are made. Combining customer knowledge with forecasting techniques allows the marketer to better estimate product demand and…

Physical Product Handling

An often overlooked area of inventory management involves the actions and skills needed to prepare a product to move from one point to another. Some products require special attention be given to ensure the product is not damaged during shipment. Such efforts must be carefully…

Product Storage

The second important element in physical distribution concerns storing products for future delivery. Marketers of tangible products, and even digital products, may have storage concerns. Storage facilities, such as warehouses, play an important role in the distribution process for a number of reasons including: Hold…

Types of Warehouses

The warehouse is the most common type of storage though other forms do exist (e.g., storage tanks, computer server farms). Some warehouses are massive structures that simultaneously support the unloading of numerous in-bound trucks and railroad cars containing suppliers’ products while at the same time…