Distribution is a menace and has been on the nerves of the logistics professionals since the first bulk of goods ever moved. Raw items or fresh produce can arrive too early and smell musty before use. Or a finished product caught in a hold-up might lead to a delay in arrival. Whatever the fuss, your business will lose the lion’s portion of market share to its competitors each time. It’s such that the sub-discipline practices, like “just-in-time” inventory, have become an essential constituent of any supply chain. Real-time information is all your business needs to fix all the loopholes, which squander away your rigorous management efforts. See how this can help you:
The distribution planning method
The planning and distribution method is essential to ensure that items do not run out of point of sale and overstock. Without the initial analysis and transporting goods on time, there will be profound loss with the concentration of goods away from the consumers. So, it might be a good idea for you to start with demand forecasting in rhythm with your production.
The situation in which there is an accumulation of products on the shelves is not desirable either. Your main challenge would be to strike a balance between supply and demand. We can say that carrying out distribution planning involves closely controlling the number of productions, the quantity purchased by the points of sale, and what is consumed by an individual. All this impacts cost reduction, route optimization by directing items to the places that need them, and macro monitoring the entire process.
The categorization at the strategic level
Before any gung-ho techniques, you must classify your distribution strategies and policies according to the density of your audience. Not only it aids the selling strategy but clears the air regarding customer profiles and their expectations. Here are the 3 basic slices of your customers:
Mass: This strategy works well when distributing to the mass market, e.g., to those who sell to the public everywhere.
Selective: It works well for a niche group and their distribution goals. The selective strategy helps distribute to a specific group of sellers who only serve a very specific market. For example, certain OEMs or retailers like pharma, hair spas, or delicate items stores.
Exclusive: Same as above with only one exception. The distribution is for a far more limited group. For instance, the OEMs of Mercedes sell only to authorized Mercedes dealers, and producers of A&F only deal with a narrow slice of luxury retailers.
Planning and distribution in practice
We have recognized three stages for this. Here:
#1: It represents the mapping of all items in stock, at the distribution centre, and finally at the points of sale. Note everything and record in your management systems in action. This simple count points to the most vital indicators. With them, you can learn:
- What will be the demand for products?
- How to relate purchase orders with the in-stock volume?
- How to manage production?
- What’s the best way to organize distribution, considering delivery times?
- How to handle order waiting times?
- How to avoid wasting goods (expiration date)?
#2: Leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence and generate complete reports. All you need to do is take the time to analyse and start creating optimization strategies. It will be immediately possible for you to spot wronged areas. For example, you can now learn which item has the highest output or the areas where its consumption is highlighted.
Among the advantages achieved with planning and distribution, your company’s supply will flow more correctly with stock provisioning. The transport segment will also see benefits by handling loads in the proper quantity, including periods of fluctuating consumption.
#3: The last step in the planning and deployment process is to analyse current vendor spend versus the actual requirement in terms of resources. Surely you want to save by adjusting the production volume. In addition, you get a chance to expand your strategy with the knowledge of future demands.
As you rely more on futuristic technologies, it will start pointing out more actionable points crucial to business development. Simply put, you will continue to benefit from controlling the availability of goods, considering the supply and demand equation.