THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CHANNEL OF DISTRIBUTION IN THE SOFT DRINK INDUSTRIES
(A STUDY OF NIGERIA BOTTLING COMPANY PLC)
The study investigated the Impact of Channel Distribution Strategy on Organizational Performance. Specifically, it examined whether intensive distribution strategy helps an organization to gain a sustainable competitive advantage, increased sales and profitability.
The study employed primary data collected from 30 employees of Nigeria Bottling Company Plc in Lagos state. The primary data used for the study were collected through questionnaire administered to the respondents. The study employed descriptive statistics and Pearson product moment coefficient of correlation. Pearson product moment coefficient of correlation method and t-test were also employed to analyze the relationship between intensive distribution, sustainable competitive advantage, increased sales and profitability.
The study recommends that the management of the Nigeria bottling company should be aware that distribution via stockless platform is more complex solution for physical distribution improvement than direct delivery.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
1.1 Background of Study 1
1.2 Statement of Problem 3
1.3 Purpose of Study 4
1.4 Research Questions 5
1.5 Research Hypothesis 6
1.6 Limitations of Study 6
1.7 Scope of Study 6
1.8 Significance of Study 7
1.9 Definition of Terms 8
2.1 Introduction 11
2.2 Distribution Channels 15
2.3 Reasons and Functions of Distribution Channels 16
2.4 Channel Levels 17
2.5 Channel Design Decision 20
2.6 Objectives and Constraints of Distribution 23
2.7 Types of Intermediaries 24
2.8 Managing the Marketing Channel 25
2.9 Channel Conflicts 27
2.10 Impact of Channel Conflict 28
2.11 Managing Conflicts in Distribution Channels 31
3.0 Introduction 35
3.1 Research Design 35
3.2 Population Study 35
3.3 Data Collection Method 36
3.4 Sampling Technique 36
3.5 Method of Data Analysis 36
3.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study 38
PRESENTATION AND DATA ANALYSIS
4.0 Introduction 40
4.1 Presentation of Data 40
4.2 Test of Hypothesis 49
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS. RECOMMENDATIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
5.0 Introduction 52
5.1 Summary of Findings 52
5.2 Recommendation 53
5.3 Conclusion 56
5.4 Suggestions for Further Research 57
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Distribution is a stream, a flow of products and services from the producer though intermediaries to end-users. It consists of members in the distribution channels that gets the products from assembly line (production) to the consumer (consumption). It includes selecting and managing the trade channels through which the product will reach the right market at the right time and to develop a distribution system for physically handling and transporting the product through these channels. It also involves the actual movement of products from one place to another.
The Nigerian Bottling company plc came into existence in 1953 to bottle coca-cola range of products. This includes coca-cola, fanta (orange, Lemon and pineapple), sprite, Schweppes and Eva Table water. It sells more than 15,000,000 bottles of these products daily.
Nigerian Bottling company is a public liability company with a fully-paid up share capital of over 783, 740, 441 of which 41percent is held by Molino soft drinks. A- in trust for Leventis Nig., Plc, while Nigerian investors about 51 percent, other foreign investors own about 8 percent of the paid-up capital. It has on its board nine (9) directors of which Bashorun A.A., Adesanya is the chairman.
The company has its registered office at the NBC House, behind Mainland Hotel, Oyingbo, Ebute-Metta, Lagos and Operates from twenty-one (21) bottling plants, thirty four (34) bottling lines, 250 depots throughout the federation, and the country is divided into regions namely Lagos, East, North andWest for easy management of operations.
In addition to the above, the company has in its employment more than ten thousand (10,000) regular employees, contract workers in excess of 1,000 as well as a fleet of 3,500 vehicles including sales tricks totaling over 2000 and 500 trailers. This company is a dominant player and infact the leader of the soft drinks industry accounting for more than 65% of the market share.
Furthermore, this company has subsidiaries and associates companies including Delta Glass company Plc, producing softdrinks bottles and glass wares, crown products limited which manufactures bottle crowns, Benin plastic company limited makes plastic cases for bottles.
Moreover, the company has about 400,000 customers (dealers) spread all over the federation. It is the largest manufacturer of carbon-dioxide (Co2) gas used for making soft drinks.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In any organization, the channel of distribution should be treated as a total unit in order to achieve a significantcompetitive advantage over other firms.
This is very important especially when the firm is planning for and designing distribution channels.
Nigerian Bottling Company Plc is a major player and infact the leader (has over 67 percent market share) in the soft drink industry and there have been inherent and apparent problems with the distribution system. These problems include:
· Conflicts among the channels of distribution (Distributors, wholesalers, Retailers).
· Conflicts such as between the wholesalers and retailers.
· Conflicts as a result of non-compliance with zonalregulations by distributors.
· Diversion of products by the salesmen during peakperiods/ seasons.
· Overpricing of products by the salesmen during peakperiods/ seasons.
· Brand assortments are not done properly.
· The preferential treatment as well as undue advantagesgiven to some channel members over others by thestaff/ salesmen of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc. Management of the Distribution fleet.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to proffer solutions to the obviousproblems inherent in the distribution system of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc. Highlighted above and in doing this,the following objectives shall be looked into and justice done to them. the study shall examine the various channels of distribution in the soft drink industry with special reference to the Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, which is the research's case study.
It will also discuss he various conflicts that arise among the channel members and the causes of these conflicts as well as their impacts on the distribution system of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc. It will ensure whether these conflicts have any influence on the channels members themselves and the various product lines manufactured by the company.
In addition to the above, this research work will find out if the customers and the consumers are getting the desiredsatisfaction from the company's products in terms of qualityvis-a-vis the taste.
The study will also concern itself with the relationshipbetween product demand, pricing and present distribution system. It will reveal if the present (current) distribution system has been able to meet with the demand of the consumers and overall expectation of the company.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following question will be used in appraising the effectiveness of channels of Distribution in NBC Plc. Data analyzed will proffer solution to this question.
1. Does effective channel distribution have any impact on the profitability of soft drink industries?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Effective channel distribution has no impacts on the
Ho: Profitability of soft drink industries Effective channel distribution has negative impact on the profitability of soft drink industries
Hi: Profitability of soft drink industries Effective channel distribution has positive impact on the profitability of soft drink industries
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
Owing to finance and logistic constraints, this study will only be conducted for Lagos Region. Also, some dealers are not willing to respond thus limiting our sample size
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
In carrying out this study, Nigerian Bottling Company Plc and their dealers (customers) were picked out of the soft drink industry to represent the industry.The reason for the choice is because the company is a big player and infact, markets leader in the industry (controlling more than 65% of the market).
Nigerian bottling Company Plc is a big firm with many bottling plants grouped under regions throughout the federation. Because of the large size and the near impossibility of the research work to cover the federation, this study will berestricted to only the Lagos region comprising three (3)bottling plants namely Apapa, Ikeja and Mushin.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Under the above, we want to see the importance of this studyto the company and the industry. Having analyzed problemsmilitating against effective distribution of products in NigeriaBottling company Plc, the findings and subsequentrecommendations will be of immense value to the company interms of improving on its performance. Also, the study willhave a broader relevance to the entire industry since most of the firms operating in the industry may have similardistribution patterns and recurring problems like that ofNigerian Bottling company Plc, the result of the study may be used by other firms.
This study may serve as a basis for further studies on the same topic or topics of similar features.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
According to supervising Route Distribution Effectiveness of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc., (1990), the following terms to be used in this project work are defined as follows:
Channels:A channel is a term of merchants and agents business institutes that combine physical movement and title movement of products in order to a create useful assortments for specific markets.
Distribution:It is the process of satisfying consumers and customers while generating profitable growth.
Wholesaling:This consists of activities involved in selling the buyers other than ultimate consumers.
Retailing: Business concerns or merchandises that is responsible for the selling goods and services to final consumers.
Agent:Business units that deals in the negotiations for the buying and selling of goods and services.
Customer: This refers to the wholesalers, retailers and agents. Consumer
This refers to the final end-users in the chain of distribution.
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