Distribution and Supply Chain


DistributionandSupplyChain Distribution and supply chain forms the backbone to provide a produce to its consumers through coordinated stages of delivery in between. The information flows from consumer to Depot / super stockist / Distributor about requirements & delivery status and goods flow in opposite direction. Clear visibility at each level is required to maintain control on operations. It is worth mentioning that efficient supply chain mechanism not only helps in cutting on avoidable costs, but also propels the ‘demand’ by creating environment for up selling. Managing delivery time is important factor to gauge a distribution system and is of utmost priority for perishable supplies.

Under this stage, consumer approach retailer (as in FMCG produce) or pre-sales person approach prospect with the intention of sales of produced items.

Challenges :

  • Availability of Inventory status is required in real time before confirming delivery to intended sales order.
  • Real time order taking is necessary at field or retailer sale points. The distribution activities trigger upon consolidation of orders. Planning for optimal routes as per order and volumes is conducted and in time inventory procurement is initiated to make up for depletions .
  • Schemes & Promotion are not provided to retailers / customers in real time. They play a significant role to gain customer loyalty but most of time such information are missing or are out dated.
  • Historical data should be available to at pre-sales stage to proactively approach those consumers who have been putting regular orders and been loyal to its products.

Sales refers to consolidation of orders at Depot and generation of necessary documents at warehouse / depot and movement of goods to end customer.

challenges :

  • Inventory Management should be system controlled where dispatches should auto decrement the inventory and Goods receipts raise the inventory level while recording of all intermediate transactions for proper accountability.
  • Demand Forecasting reports should be available to optimise inventory levels and plan required resources in delivery operations.
  • Generation of Back PO to replenish depleting inventories should be automatic to cater increasing demand load at Depot.
  • Integrated information flow across each stage of supply chain is required to monitor and streamline entire operations. A team or someone at management level should be able watch the operations through real time feed of information from all points.
  • Alert & Notification are helpful to take corrective action in time but are not generated in legacy system of distribution network.
  • High Admin Cost is borne to ensure accuracy at each level but this is adverse to profitability.

Challenges :

  • Demand analysis mapped on to geographical areas and as per demography should be available. It forms the basis to predict market behaviour with respect to acceptability of various products and spread of competitors market. These vital inputs are requisite for long term strategy planning.
  • Information Transparency is required to know the fallouts due to business deficiencies and create improvement channel. This is possible only through real time and accurate flow of information within and across the boundaries of various stages under this business.