Making distribution decisions does not only involve data about the rate of products’ selling out; it also depends on forecasting future sales patterns on the basis of new marketing campaigns. The company should always be prepared for either expected or unexpected boosts in customers’ interest to Barilla’s products, so it will be inefficient to establish the “Just-in-Time Distribution” and therefore risk losing customers that would be unable to access Barilla’s products due to the disruptions in the distribution process. Salespeople at Barilla conduct extensive market analysis, make forecasts, advertise products, and get feedback from customers, so the suggestion to introduce the just-in-time system could potentially make their efforts not worthwhile.
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Despite the fact that the company’s management saw the idea of just-in-time distribution to be a useful marketing tactic, the sales professionals stated that such a change could provide competitors with more shelve space and thus more opportunities to capture customers’ interests. An effective distribution decision focuses on establishing a framework, which, at a basic level, will allow customers to access and buy a marketer’s product. In the end, it is important that the distribution system developed by a marketer should be effective (delivering a product to the right place) and efficient (delivering at the right time in the most cost-efficient way). Because marketers are the ones that make decisions about how specific products should be promoted and sold to prospective customers, then logic would dictate that they should be the primary party for making key channel decisions. To conclude, Barilla’s marketers met the idea of just-in-time distribution with resistance because they saw their efforts being underestimated with regards to how products should be delivered to customers.
“Just-in-Time Distribution” project was not met by Barilla’s sales and marketing representatives with enthusiasm. By stating that the company risks of not being effective enough in adjusting the shipments sufficiently and thus increasing the possibility of having customers stock out of their favorite products, the sales department of Barilla opposed the introduction of the project in fear of the organization not being prepared for handling a sophisticated system of distribution. In some way, it is important to take into consideration that the marketing staff of Barilla should have a reliable system of distribution “behind their shoulders” to make truthful claims about the products.
Because there is a number of factors that could disrupt the flow of products from the production to sellers, there could be issues with some of the marketing efforts targeted at the promotion of Barilla goods due to lack of distribution efficiency. Furthermore, if the sales tactics succeed and thus boost the interest of the public to the advertised products, the company could encounter the problem of being unable to immediately meet the requirements of a large order (Kokemuller, n.d.); unfortunately, this could put the company at risk of losing potential customers.
Therefore, the salespeople of Barilla expressed concern for the just-in-time distribution because they as professionals need a certain level of reliability from the production and distribution sector of the company to ensure prospective customers that they would be able to buy Barilla’s products at stores. Because some customers already meet marketing claims with some level of skepticism, failures in the new distribution process could make a dent in the company’s reputation thus causing it to be perceived as unreliable.
Kokemuller, N. (n.d.). Advantages and disadvantages of just-in-time inventory. Web.