What Is a Distribution Mix?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 10 August 2019
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One of the important aspects of the production of goods and services is the proper distribution of the same in such a manner that it will reach the target consumers in the most cost-effective and expeditious manner. The exact distribution mix that a company will select depends the analysis of the environment in which it is operating, the analysis of the target consumers, and the type of resources at its disposal. Manufacturers and producers depend on the availability of products to those who wish to purchase them in order for the products to move off the shelves and for the company to make profits, which shows the importance of selecting the right distribution mix. For example, an orange juice producer must select the most effective distribution mix to ensure that its products get to the right places from where customers can purchase them, a factor that is made more urgent by the short shelf life of such products.


One of the factors that will be considered when coming up with the right distribution mix is the nature of the product to be distributed. For instance, in the case of a product with a limited shelf life, such as the orange juice, the distribution mix must enable a swift transfer of the products from the production plants to the warehouse and to the eventual retailers for purchase by final consumers. In the same sense, a product with a longer shelf life might benefit from the application of a different distribution mix. When considering the effect of the environment on the selection of the proper distribution mix, a lot of factors come into play, such as the state of the transportation infrastructure in place in the environment, since this can lead to different outcomes for the same product in different environments.

For instance, a company that is located in an area with good infrastructural framework in terms of good roads and reliable transportation schedules will adopt a different distribution mix that it will use in another country with a poor infrastructural framework. As such, if the orange juice company is located in a country with good infrastructure, it might use a combination of trucks, inventory and differently packaged products to distribute the finished product. If the same company is located in a country with poor roads and unreliable electricity supply, it might slightly modify the product in order to extend the shelf life, since the poor state of the roads means it cannot expect the same expeditious and reliable delivery routines that it enjoys in more developed regions.


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