Functions of Marketing Channel

The role of the marketing channel is to interpret the demand of the customers, stocks the goods and the customers want, when they want them, and in the way they want them. This includes having the right assortments at the time customers are ready to buy.

Marketing channel has following functions:

  1. Offering manpower and physical facilities that enable producers/manufacturers to have many points of contact with consumers close to their places of residence;
  2. Providing personal selling, advertising, and display to aid in selling suppliers’ products;
  3. Interpreting consumer demand and relying this information back through the channel;
  4. Dividing large quantities into consumer-sized lots, thereby providing economies of scale to the supplier and convenience to the customer;
  5. Offering storage so that suppliers can have widely dispersed inventories of their products at low cost and customers are enabled to have access to the products of producers;
  6. Removing substantial risk from the manufacturer by ordering and accepting delivery in advance of the season.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact, Line of Sight

Compelling Business Principles

The development of the business principles is a first stage for developing and raising the standards of practice in countering bribery. The fair business principles provide a practical tool to which companies can look for a comprehensive reference to good practice to counter bribery. Business principles are becoming an essential tool in the future for businesses and the companies of today should encourage using them as a starting point for developing their own anti-bribery systems or as a benchmark.

I had heard and even observed how corrupt practices are carried out in businesses that add the extras to win export orders. For toting up luster to the evenings of the visiting business partners particularly from Gulf States, they fix up their visits to discotheques and nightspots. They also maintain luxury flats outfitted with floozy beauties for making the stay of the business guests a unique affair.

Unfortunately, such unethical practices have sneaked into the system via some (not all) businesses in different countries. That’s what I personally experienced when once as member of a foreign business team visiting an Asian country and staying at a luxury hotel, a businessman tried unethical tricks to win business contracts. He called from the lobby and told about the undeserved and undesired gift he brought for me.

Years ago in a domestic flight to the capital in a country in Asia a passenger seated next to me told that he was visiting the capital about a government tender. He was confident that he would win the contract. When I asked about the source of his confidence he pointed to two girls seated in the rear and said, “Those butterflies (exquisite women) will make it happen.”

Most of companies contribute to election campaigns of this candidate or that. Interestingly sometimes some companies sponsor candidates of two opposing political parties. The idea is to get unjustifiable favors after the horse wins.

There can be endless list of such companies, which are ready to do anything to get business favors.

It is no mystery that a lapse in business ethics or even the appearance of one can significantly harm the reputation and business of a company. Once a company is suspected, accused, or found guilty of corporate wrongdoing, it often becomes subject to the scrutiny of governmental agencies, the corporate community and the general public.

Private sector organizations must now take account of increasingly stringent domestic and international regulatory frameworks. There is growing corporate awareness of the risks posed by bribery, particularly in the light of scandals, and the public is expecting greater accountability and probity from the corporate sector.

Emphasis needs to be laid on business principles for enterprises to prohibit bribery in any form whether direct or indirect. They should also commit to implementation of programs for countering bribery. These principles are based on a commitment to fundamental values of integrity, transparency and accountability. Firms should aim to create and maintain a trust-based and inclusive internal culture in which bribery is not tolerated.

Thus an enterprise’s anti-bribery efforts including values, policies, processes, training and guidance will become tools of future corporate governance and risk management strategies for countering bribery and unethical practices.

As part of civil society, at macro level, Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry should work out a framework reflecting size of the companies, business sectors, potential risks and locations of operations. This should, clearly and in reasonable detail, articulate values, policies and procedures for preventing bribery from occurring in all activities under their effective control.

Such programs should be consistent with all laws relevant to countering bribery in all the jurisdictions in which an enterprise operates, particularly laws that are directly relevant to specific business practices.

At micro level each enterprise should develop programs in consultation with its employees, trade unions or other employee representative bodies. It should ensure that it is informed of all matters material to the effective development of the program by communicating with relevant interested parties.

While developing its program for countering bribery, the companies should analyze which specific areas pose the greatest risks from bribery. The programs should address the most prevalent forms of bribery relevant to each firm but at a minimum should cover areas such as bribes, political contributions, facilitation payments, gifts, hospitality and expenses.

A company should prohibit the offer, gift, or acceptance of a bribe in any form, including kickbacks, on any portion of a contract payment, or the use of other routes or channels to provide improper benefits to customers, agents, contractors, suppliers or employees of any such party or government officials.

It should also prohibit an employee from arranging or accepting a bribe or kickback from customers, agents, contractors, suppliers, or employees of any such party or from government officials, for the employee’s benefit or that of the employee’s family, friends, associates or acquaintances.

The enterprise, its employees or agents should not make direct or indirect contributions to political parties, organizations or individuals engaged in politics, as a way of obtaining advantage in business transactions.

Each company should publicly disclose all its political contributions, charitable contributions and sponsorships. It should ensure that charitable contributions and sponsorships are not being used as a subterfuge for bribery.

The enterprise should prohibit the offer or receipt of gifts, hospitality or expenses whenever such arrangements could affect the outcome of business transactions and are not reasonable and bona fide expenditures.

The board of directors, CEOs and senior management should demonstrate visible and active commitment to the implementation of the business principles.

The business organizations should assert elimination of bribery; demonstrate their commitment to countering bribery; and make a positive contribution to improving business standards of integrity, transparency and accountability wherever they operate. Business principles are going to evolve reflection of changes in anti-bribery practice as well as the lessons learned from their use and application by business.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact, Line of Sight

Mismatched Aspiration

Intention is not in doubt. Acceptance of the need for transformation is almost universal. During the last decade downsizing, restructuring to fucus on core activities and reengineering became commonplace. Corporate organizations are now seeking to make the transition to more flexible, responsive and resilient networks embracing customers, suppliers and business partners that can create new opportunities and survive shocks. Gowever, companies are finding the translation of intention into reality intractible and elusive. Expectations have not been fulfilled, and intentions have been “blown off course” by the swirling winds of economic adversity.
My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transformserorganizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir

The Blind Leading the Blind

Although many consultancies have a public commitment to learning from, and sharing, best practice, this has not stopped some of them, and those who use their services, from jumping at techniques such as re-engineering as if they represent a revelation. This is as if we are into begging, stealing and borrowing like there is no tomorrow.

Mindless copying can result in the spread of panaceas, hype  and misunderstanding, and gives added momentum to the latest craze. While it may be good news for those who ride bandwagon, it is not so hot for those whose toes get in the way.

When external suppliers, such as consultants, do get hold of  a best practice gem, their motivation is often to spread it around their client base as soon as possible. Thus the corporation’s competitive edge can quickly become industry commonplace

Some consultants receive as good as they give. Companies invite various experts to pitch for business and then do it themselves, using the best of the various ideas they have picked up. The learning organization is a voracious and insatiable plunderer and consumer of intellectual capital.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

21st Century Company

  • Does your company have a compelling reason for existing?
  • What would the world lose if it ceased to exist tomorrow?
  • Does your company have clear and agreed vision, goals and values?
  • Who within the company has thought through what the vision and these goals and values mean for its relationships with people, whether as customers, suppliers or business partners?
  • Is there an overview of what the company is trying to achieve in terms of various objectives?
  • Are all the objectives expressed in terms of measurable outputs?
  • To what extent are you and management colleagues frustrated with what has been achieved in the area of corporate transformation?
  • What are the symptoms of non-achievement?
  • Is there a process in place within your company to root out the underlying causes of gaps between aspirations and achievement?
  • Is the complex nature, and full extent, of the corporate transformation challenge fully appreciated?
  • Has thought been given to whether particular change elements are missing from the transformation jigsaw puzzle?
  • How genuine is the desire to change in each functional component and business element of your organization?
  • Is there an agreed vision of a more flexible and responsive end point organization?
  • To what extent have the changes which have been introduced into your company to date influenced attitudes, values and behavior?
  • Have relevant roles and responsibilities been allocated, and the required resources been lined up;
  • Are people equipped, empowered and motivated to do what is expected of them?

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations, makes them relevant, and suggests solutions for succes. For details please contact Asif J. Mir