The distribution of goods is very important to continuous survival of any company. Nevertheless, only few firms attach considerable importance on how best their products should be made available to the market.
This study examines the various ways distribution will make a company’s product to get the final consumer and more over emphasized on the importance of distribution in a company.
In view of this, the researcher adopted both the primary and secondary information. While primary information gives fresh information vital to this research work and constitutes administrated questionnaires, personal interview and data from Nigeria Bottling company P.L.C. The secondary information is from library and review of related works and text.
Therefore, this study will tend to analysis the general distribution facilities and obstacles that are encountered by most manufacturing company. From the analysis, the recommendation made on the study would therefore help in the enhancing the efficiency of physical distribution in marketing of a product in firms in general, particularly Nigeria Bottling Company plc.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Physical distribution according to Udoh C.M (2008:1) “Physical an integrated set of activities that deal with managing the movement of product within and outside firm through marketing channels”. Product itself according to Njemanze (2007 1-2) defined product as anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition or consumption; it include physical objects, services, personalities, places, organizations and ideas.
The manager responsible for physical distribution in a company like Nigeria bottling company must develop an efficient and effective means of moving various sized shipment of products by any of the various transportation agencies from the several sources of supply to an almost unlimited number of points of destination. The need for efficient physical distribution in marketing of a product shows the linkage between the producers and the consumer. In this regard, there are needs for efficient physical distribution so that goods or products can get to the consumers even at grassroots level.
Basically, the term marketing has two divergent but related processes and this should be taken note of. The first process deals with the search for and stimulation of buyers of materials or products while the process deals with physical distribution of product.
The Nigerian bottling company Owerri Plant is located at Owerri – Onitsha road . The company exists to benefit and refresh every one it touches. Established in 1886, the company is the worlds leading manufacturing, marketing and distributors of nonalcoholic beverage concentrate and syrups, used to produce nearly 400 beverage brands. Their corporate headquarters are in Atlanta with local operations in over 200 countries around the world. Many of their marketing products are soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled waters and sport drinks.
The company uses middlemen in distribution it’s products and at times,they sells directly to the customers/consumers especially when circumstance call for that market surveys, interviews and so on are used in collecting information from its distributors and consumers and these methods have been working for the company.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
The problem of the study is to know the problem areas in which the company may encounter when products are distributed from the manufacturing company to the consumer and the warehouses where the products are stored for sometime before distributing to the customers.
It is usually difficult to predict possible channel levels of physical distribution to be use in delivery of products from the production stage to the consumer home or to the warehousing. The following are the problems:
1. They encounter problems of poor maintenance of inventory which may hinder the company’s not to satisfy their customer’s needs.
2. When the size and number of warehouses are inadequate to accommodate the company increase in production capacity, distribution efficiency will be hampered.
3. Improper scheduling may affect products and materials handling activities immensely, with this, customer’s warehouse and depots may not be satisfied.
4. The problem on the choice of the mode of transport that will effectively promote efficient distribution process may arise due to poor company routing policy.
5. The problem of inadequate information on what to select from stock by the warehouse staff, what to pack, what to load and where to deliver at the customers delivery points.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
It is very important that every study must have objectives. Base on the problems, the objectives are as follows:
1) To allow management to express it inventory policies in quantitative terms so that those delegated to operate within the frame work of the policies can do so consistently.
2) To determine the number and size of warehouses that will best suits the company’s product when production has been taken place.
3) To make sure that products and materials handling activities are given special attention so as to satisfy their customers.
4) To determine the best mode of transportation that will effectively promote efficient distribution process.
5) To make sure that accurate information is passed to all the staffs and workers in either the plant or at the warehouses.
1.4 SIGNIFICANT OF STUDY
Since the problems listed are real-life problems, this research will benefit remains individuals and organization.
First and foremost, it will improve researcher knowledge in tackling real-life problems as well as the course of academic chase.
Secondly, it will be beneficial to students who are going on research and also to organizations because; it will help them to know places of deficiency.
Thirdly, manager of various businesses will equally benefit from this research as it will now be a basis for achievement of profit in their various disciplines.
Lastly, planners and decision makers will also benefit from this research, as it will be a basis for their future forecast for their organizations.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
1) Does poor maintenance of inventory in the company affect the customer’s satisfaction?
2) Are there no spaces for products when the company increases in production?
3) Do the company products get to the market before that of their competitors?
4) Does the company’s routing policy helps to promote efficient distribution process?
5) Does accurate information helps the staff of the warehouse on when and to whom to deliver the products?
Ho: The need for efficient physical distribution does not have effects in marketing of product
Hi: The need for efficient physical distribution has effects in marketing of a product.
Ho: The distribution channel of Nigeria bottling company Owerri plant is not well monitored.
Hi: The distribution channels of Nigeria bottling company Owerri plant are well monitored.
Ho: The need for efficient physical distribution is not quite easy in product marketing.
Hi: The need for efficient physical distribution is quite easy in product marketing.
Ho: There are no needs for efficient physical distribution in marketing of a product.
Hi: There are needs for efficient physical distribution in marketing of a product.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study focus on the activities of physical distribution in Nigeria bottling company plc, Owerri plant. In trying to identify the need for efficient physical distribution in marketing of a product, in-depth study will be taken on the present of transport, warehouse, material handling, order processing and industrial packaging etc.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
In a study of this nature, a lot of problems are bound to appear. It is left to the researcher to strive to achieve the best he could in spite of the problems.
Some of the limiting factors of this research project are:
– Inadequate information: This was a limiting factor in the sense that the extent the researcher could go depended on the available data. Most data which the researcher intended using for his analysis were not available as completed records of department of the company.
– Finance: the research was forced by lack of money to limit the study to certain respondents to a certain number. This is the case of much money was needed in typing questionnaires and conducting interviews.
– Time: This research project being a requirement for the award of Higher National Diploma (H.N.D) degree has time interval allocated to it by the institution.
The allotted time is also the same for other course work and various assignments hence there is always consistent conflict between lecture hours and appointed schedule with company executives.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Production Materials: These are those materials which go direct into the finished products.
2. Finance: This is money required to acquire space, buy raw materials, pay for services etc. without finance, it is difficult to implement a business idea.
3. Physical Distribution: This is an integrated set of activities that deal with managing the movement of products within and outside firm through marketing channels.
4. Transportation: This is the movement of raw materials, semi-process and finished goods (either through private or public carriers) which commences with the purchase of raw materials and ends with the delivery of the product to ultimate consumers or users.
5. Warehousing: This is the storage of goods with private and or public warehouse to ensure optimal level of delivery services.
6. Packaging: This involves the clothing, wrapping and boxing goods which provide the necessary protection for commodities and yet are consistent with common carrier regulations and which minimize handling cost.
7. Material Handling: This involves the internal movement of the raw material and finished products through plants and warehouses.
8. Communication: This is the liaison component between the various activities centers of the physical distribution system.
9. Order Processing: This is the processing of all documents pertaining to the external and internal transaction i.e order, shipping manifest, invoices, loading forms, payment receipt etc.
10. Inventory Control: This is the maintenance and the storage of optimal levels of cycle and safely stocks in-order to ensure adequate materials and minimum of stock out situations.
11. Routing: These are those parts or a map showing supply points and customer locations.
12. Stores: This is a system where all item or materials be held physically in the store.
13. Administration: This refers to the activities of the higher level of the management group who determine major aims and polices.
14. Scheduling: This is techniques that are available which can be easily adopted to the logistical research project. Thus, is concerned with planning of the most efficient utilization of resource during the study.
15. Product: This is something that is capable of satisfying a customer’s need or wants.
16. Marketing: This is a human activity directed at satisfying needs and want through exchange processes.
17. Consumers: These are those end users of a product.
18. Brand: This is a name, term, symbol, or special design or some combination of these element, that is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or a group of sellers.
19. Cost: This is a totality monetary sacrifice incurred in the acquisition of a product or service.
20. Delivery: this involved the course of transferring the title of goods and services in their process of satisfying the ultimate consumers or users.
21. Distribution Channel: This is an interdependent institution and agencies which facilitate movement of goods and services from their point of production to their point of consumption.
22. Logistics: This involves the physical movement and storage of products where they are needed until further adjustments might be very necessary either backwards to the source of supply or to practically new locations.
23. Beverage: this is a type of drink except water.
24. Marketing Channel: These partners are also known as the marketing intermediaries of distributors, wholesalers, brokers, etc whose vital activities enhance the delivery of goods and services at the doors steps of the final uses or consumers with less effort.
25. Finished Goods: These are manufactured items whose processing have been completed and are ready for sale.