|By: André Larabie, CBC, MBA, PhD|
In this section of the marketing plan, you will describe the methods you will use to deliver your products to your customers; specifically, where your products will come from along with the various parts of the distribution channel they will travel during their journey to the customer.
It is possible that the readers may not be familiar with the particulars of your business, so your description should be detailed enough so they can understand everything about your distribution channel.
To simplify, you can divide this section into 3 parts:
1) Inventory, 2) Distribution, and 2) Transactions.
This section should provide all the details about the methods your will use to get your products and services from their original location to the customers. You should outline how you will get the product from the vendor to the customer, and how the product will be stored during this process.
You will describe how any inventory will be stored and where it will be located and for how long you will keep it in the warehouse and what you will do with inventory you consider dead.
You should also outline the details associated with the various business transactions. Describe where the transactions take place and what methods of payment your company will accept in the after-turnaround period. You will possibly be restructuring your distribution channel to some degree during the turnaround and here is where you will describe those changes and the expected impacts they will have on the bottom line. Describe the savings.
For example, if you will only take online transactions over the Internet for a particular product as a result of the restructuring, then outline this new distribution channel. Describe how it will help lead to a successful turnaround. If you are using software and hardware in the delivery channel, describe what software/hardware is used.
A good plan will also address customer services issues. Describe how complaints will be handled, and if you provide any automated systems for customer feedback.
This section should focus on the distribution channel, so don’t go into too much detail about processes because you will be doing it in the Business Operations section of the turnaround plan. There does need to be some amount of business operations discussion inside the Marketing Plan because you may decide to use the Marketing Plan section of the overall turnaround plan as a standalone document.