You may well have another corporate buzz term for the getting your products onto shelves, into restaurants and into coolers but the title above is simple and succinct. You may use Route to Market, Go to Market or Distribution but they all have the same challenges and ultimate objective. The simplest internet definition I found was “Route To Market: The supply chain that a product follows to get to the final consumer”.
The final leg of what could be a lengthy global Supply Chain crossing oceans and mountain ranges is what can separate the women from the girls. If your product is not available for sale then it will not be purchased; cue dissatisfied consumer walking away with a competitor product. Grrrrr, irritating isn’t it?
Look back a few lines and you will see that Route To Market is part of a Supply Chain…….Think about that for a minute. The skills needed for moving the right stuff around at the right time and right cost are those to be found in logistics, planning, warehousing, transport etc. Why then, do companies leave this critical part of the chain to sales people?
You wouldn’t ask a plumber to repair your car or a ballet dancer to build a wall or a politician to run the country, would you? No, so why should you ask a sales person to manage this part of the Supply Chain? Call one of your sales colleagues and suggest you carry out the negation with Carrefour this year. Exactly, unlikely to happen and if you did manage to get in front of a Carrefour purchasing Rottweiler you would probably leave without your shirt.
If your products go into a Sales-led Distributor “black-hole” and you have poor performance in the Traditional Trade then you might consider getting some Supply Chain experience on the job. I am not suggesting you change your structure though personally I think this would be valuable. You will have people in your organisation with the right skills to move SKUs efficiently from Distributors and onto shelves, coolers etc so why not us them?
Route to Market, Go to Market or Distribution? How about changing the way you do things to “Win The Market”?