Distribution is the aspect of sales that ensures dispatching the right quantity of goods at the right time and to the right place. Distribution, which is also commonly known as placement, involves the whole workflow of dispatch, wholesale distributors, the dealer network and consumers. It integrates with the other phases of marketing such as brand management, pricing and advertising.
Typically, consumer goods, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), food grains, bulk electrical items, tools and tooling, and automobile components, etc. have multiple areas of use. Distribution ensures that all of these areas are properly stocked with the right amount of goods and that there is neither a glut nor a shortage of them. There are several different distribution channels such as exclusive, selective and extensive.
To make sure that your distribution methods are working properly you need to make sure that your inventory is recorded properly. Most companies will use inventory management software to keep accurate track of their products. You also have to have a reliable way of shipping your products to other companies that you are supplying or for sale. If your company deals in car parts, it is essential that they reach their destination on time. If you consistently ship loads that arrive late it will be very hard to keep your contract with the companies you supply parts to.
Distribution also takes into account the previous record of consumption or sales of particular items, and the time that is required for dispatch by either road or rail, along with other delays, etc. Suppose in an area, brand X soap sells more than brand Y. Then the distribution sees to it that more quantity of brand X soaps are sent to that area. It takes care to make sure that during festivals and holidays, stores and points of purchase are adequately stocked. It answers questions like choosing the distribution channel, retailer sales, multi-level and multi-channel sales, channel relationship, and cost of distribution, etc.
Distribution needs to be consistent and reliable to be successful. You need to make sure that if you are selling your products directly or through wholesalers or retailers that you work together with your marketing team and that you always have an adequate supply of the products at the sales locations.