Posts Tagged ‘Supply Chain’

november 19th, 2014 · by John · Weblog NL

Het is bekend nieuws in Nederland: de voortdurende strijd tussen retailers en fabrikanten. De laatsten willen de prijzen verhogen of op zijn minst gelijk houden, de detailhandel wil juist lagere prijzen voor de consument. Deze keer: de Superunie die voorlopig geen pijpjes bier meer koopt bij bierbrouwer Grolsch.

Wat is er gebeurd?
De brouwerij heeft de standaardinhoudsmaat voor pijpjes bier teruggebracht van 33 naar 30 centiliter. Dat is 9% minder: één hele slok. Het nieuwe flesje heeft naast minder inhoud, een andere grip, een temperatuurmeter en een langere monding.

Waarom heeft Grolsch dit gedaan?
De standaardmaat in Nederland is 30 centiliter. Grolsch zat daar dus 10% boven. Uit marktonderzoek bleek echter dat consumenten Grolsch niet kochten omdat er meer in de fles zat. Klanten keken dus niet naar de inhoud en hadden blijkbaar andere redenen om bier van de oostelijke bierbrouwer te kopen. Drie centiliter minder inhoud tegen dezelfde prijs, zou enerzijds de consument tevreden houden, die keek er immers toch niet naar, en anderzijds de mogelijkheid creëren om kosten te verlagen.

Mag Grolsch dat zo maar doen?
Ja! Deze bierbrouwer heeft geen overheersende marktpositie, zoals een PostNL dat bijvoorbeeld wel op haar markt heeft. Grolsch mag naar eigen goeddunken prijzen verhogen of, in dit geval de inhoud verlagen en tegen dezelfde prijs aan bieden. Het is dan aan ons consumenten om te bepalen hoe we daarmee omgaan. We kunnen de verkapte prijsverhoging accepteren of naar alternatieven uitwijken: Hertog Jan, Brand of het Belgische Maes dat net wereldkampioen pils is geworden. Als we dan toch bij Grolsch willen blijven kopen, kunnen we overschakelen op blikjes of beugelflessen. Keus genoeg dus.

Wat is dan het probleem?
De retailers, die de flesjes van Grolsch inkopen en aan de consument doorverkopen, stellen dat bij de nieuwe fles een nieuwe inkoopprijs hoort. Superunie (Plus, Vomar en Dirk) koopt geen Grolsch meer in, omdat haar inkoopprijs niet evenredig zou zijn gedaald.

Jumbo en Albert Heijn zijn er overigens wel uitgekomen: de consument betaalt nu €12,39 voor een krat. Per flesje is dat 8% minder. Vergeleken met de 9% minder inhoud, lijkt dat inderdaad een verkapte prijsverhoging van 1%. Het ligt echter niet in de lijn der verwachting dat 9% minder volume, ook 9% minder productiekosten betekent. Voor water is dat inderdaad het geval, maar een fles van 30 centiliter transporteren zal net zoveel kosten als een pijpje met 10% meer inhoud.

We horen dit verhaal toch vaker, en ook voor andere producten?
Dat klopt. De werkelijke aard van het probleem is dat fabrikanten zoals Grolsch hun eigen marketingbeleid willen bepalen. Een belangrijk onderdeel van dat beleid is de consumentenprijs. Mededingingsrechtelijk mag een fabrikant echter geen prijs voorschrijven, hij mag slechts adviseren. Retailers willen echter met zo laag mogelijke prijzen zo veel mogelijk consumenten naar hun supermarkt lokken. Zij zijn dus geneigd onder de adviesprijs te duiken en dat te compenseren door lagere inkoopprijzen te eisen

Dit steekspel tussen retailer en fabrikant zal dus blijven bestaan?
Ja en Nee! Zolang fabrikanten geen rechtstreeks distributiekanaal naar de consument hebben, blijft het onderhandelingsspel doorgaan. Zeker gezien het feit dat de detailhandel in Nederland steeds groter en machtiger wordt. Er is echter een alternatief voor fabrikanten als Grolsch. De bierbrouwer verkoop op haar website nu al bijvoorbeeld bierkoelkastjes. Waarom dan geen bierflesjes meegeleverd? Ook voor fabrikanten zou online bestellen wel eens een zonnige toekomst kunnen zijn.

John Greijmans

 

november 29th, 2013 · by John · Weblog EN

What is a marketing distribution channel?
The term marketing distribution channels refers to the chain of activities to move goods, from the point of production to the point of consumption. A marketing distribution channel can be split into two groups of activities:

• Transaction channel: the process of advertising, negotiating and selling, concerned with the transfer of ownership of goods and services.
• Distribution channel: the supply chain of wholesalers, retailers and distributors through which a product is distributed and delivered until it reaches the end user.

How can value be created?
Customer value is the difference between what a customer gets from a product, and what he has to give in order to get it. The value received by the customer thus is the sum of benefits coming from the product as such (quality, assortment or form), the service associated with the product (after-sale, availability, delivery or transaction services) and the perceived value of the brand.
Since, the difference between benefits received and expenses made is the value of the product in the eyes of the customer; value can be created by increasing benefits and by reducing costs. So, what are the drivers that will create value for the customer?

How can a marketing distribution channel create value?
Intermediaries are used because they create efficiency in making goods available to target markets. Through their contacts, experience, specialization and scale of operation, intermediaries can offer the manufacturer or brand owner more than it can achieve on its own.

The main value creating activity however lies in the overcoming of discrepancies between the supply of products by the manufacturer and the demand of those products by the end user. There are four categories of discrepancies:

• Quantity: the difference between the amount of product produced and the amount an end user wants to buy.
• Assortment: the lack of all the items a customer needs, to receive full satisfaction from a product or products.
• Time: a product is produced but a customer is not ready to buy it.
• Space: the difference between the location of a producer and the location of widely scattered markets.

E-commerce as the Creative Destructor
Historically the marketing distribution channel has indeed created value by bridging the discrepancies of quantity, assortment, time and space. E-commerce will however change this situation dramatically.

Consumers can directly order at the website of the manufacturer, who can then organize the fulfillment needed to deliver products in the quantities ordered. Even if a manufacturer has only one product, meaning a discrepancy in assortment, there are numerous other online suppliers who can bridge that gap. If a customer is not ready to buy a product, a manufacturer can keep it in stock or, if deemed necessary, immediately cut production. In every country we have parcel delivery organizations that can reach any corner of “widely scattered markets”.

The role of traditional wholesalers and retailers in the marketing channel will be destroyed by e-commerce. But this development will create new opportunities for a complete value creating reorganization of the traditional supply chain.

John Greijmans

november 10th, 2013 · by John · Weblog EN

The key to the success of any business is customer satisfaction. How can organizations achieve this? The answer is the marketing mix, also known as the 4 P’s. The variables in this mix can be adapted in order to generate and sustain customer satisfaction. Traditionally, the emphasis in the marketing mix was on product strategy, with pricing and promotion in a strong supporting role. Here we will discuss some trends and developments which explain the increasing importance of the fourth P (place), the marketing channel distribution strategy.

Search for Competitive Advantage
Due to a number of trends, it has become far more difficult for companies to attain a sustainable advantage through product, price and promotion strategies.

• Rapid technology transfer and global competition have made it easier for competitors to achieve parity in product design, features and quality.
• The ability to operate production facilities all over the world has created fierce price competition in many product categories.
• The daily bombardment of advertising and other forms of promotion has reduced the effectiveness of promotional messages.

A marketing channel strategy offers potential for gaining a competitive advantage, because it is more difficult to copy. Developing and realizing a channel strategy is a long term enterprise; it depends on relationships and people and requires inter-organizational management.

Growing power of retailers
Strong competition among retailers is an important factor in keeping prices low. Often as a consequence of that, concentration in the retailing sector has increased, which contributed to the rising buyer power of retailers. As a result, manufacturers and brand owners are losing negotiating clout.

• A lower number of independent retailers will weaken the threat of a supplier switching to another retailer.
• Large retailing companies will account for a large share of the revenue of a supplier. Once the revenue from a particular retailer exceeds a crucial level, the supplier cannot afford loosing this key customer.
• A large retailer can distribute the fixed costs of searching for an alternative over a greater range of output, effectively reducing the cost of switching to another supplier.

Reduce distribution costs
Distribution costs account for a significant percentage of the final price of products; they are sometimes higher than the manufacturing costs. Cost reduction efforts are therefore being extended to the channels that firms use to reach their customers. Terms like restructuring and downsizing also apply to marketing channels. The latest term here is disintermediation. In other words: Kill the Middleman.

Increasing Role of Technology
Corporations are rethinking their businesses in terms of the Internet and its new culture and capabilities. Technology has the power to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing channels and could potentially change the entire structure of distribution around the world. Firms that make effective use of these technologies can gain a substantial competitive advantage.

Relationship Marketing
The focus of channel relationship management is shifting away from vertical market systems and authoritative control toward relationships that involve contactual and normative control mechanisms in the form of alliances and partnerships. The traditional ‘us-against-them’ mentality is replaced with a cooperative perception of ‘us’ in an effective channel partnership.

Who will survive?
There are four parties in a traditional marketing channel. The supply chain moves from Manufacturers to Wholesalers, to Retailers and to Consumers. You will always need someone who can produce the products and someone who can consume them, but what will happen to the parties in between?

John Greijmans