Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the course the student will have acquired expertise in the field of retail and channel management issues. Specifically:
- The competitive context of channel relations
- The structure of the distribution sector and the new dimensions of retail competition
- Power relations between retailers and manufacturers
- Management of distribution channels in the context of convergence –
- Analysis of retailers’ performance
- The consumers decision-making process
- The management of market relations in the changed market context
Skills and understanding skills applied
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Carry out the analysis of the macro-environment and the micro-environment in the perspective of manufacturers and retailers
- Apply the theoretical concepts of competitive analysis to retailing of different sectors (mainly fast consumer goods, but also clothing, consumer electronics, cosmetics, etc.)
- Define the architecture of distribution channels
- Reconstruct the relationships between the different actors within the supply chain
- Design a customer / channel management plan by identifying marketing actions towards distributors and within sales points
- Measure the economic-financial performance of channel policies
Independence of judgment
Students will be able to
- analyze the competitive context of different sectors;
- evaluate the power relations within the supply chain
- identify the threats and opportunities that derive from the new market context;
- outline the existing business models;
- critically analyze the practices of industrial companies in the management of distribution channels;
- to suggest to the management of industrial companies the most effective marketing actions towards intermediate and final customers.
Through lectures managed in an interactive manner, managerial testimonies and group work, the student will be able to:
- clearly, punctually and consistently transfer information and concepts (including complex ones) relating to channel management issues;
- communicate effectively using an appropriate language ;
- manage the contents and times of a company presentation correctly.
At the end of the course the students will have acquired the ability to expand, update and deepen the level and variety of knowledge acquired in the classroom. More specifically, the development of these skills will lead students to adopt an approach of constant intellectual curiosity and continuous updating (even autonomously) of the information and data useful for addressing the issues of channel management in a scenario of continuous evolution. This capacity for self-learning will be consolidated during individual and collective study periods aimed at both the preparation of the lessons and the preparation of the final exam and group work.
Course contents summary
The course aims to illustrate the strategic and operational decisions related to the configuration and management of distribution channels, in an increasingly complex environment created by technological innovation and changes in consumption patterns. The course is structured in four parts. The first part illustrates the dynamics that characterize the environment in which firms operate, with particular attention to changes affecting the boundaries of the competitive environment and consumer decision process. The second part explores the structure of the retail sector, the role of commercial intermediaries and the issues related to retail management. The third part focuses on the management of distribution channels and vertical relationships between manufacturers and retailers, with particular attention to the multi-channel phenomenon, made even more complex by the convergence and diffusion of electronic commerce. Particular attention will be devoted to the exploration of the new frontiers of distribution channels, with the discussion of the main types of innovations, particularly technology-based, involving retailers and changing vertical relationships. The course includes lectures of managers in order to verify the correspondence between the theoretical models and business practices. In this context, we will discuss the issue of power relations within the channel, with reference to recent positions taken by the Antitrust Authority. Finally, the last part is dedicated to the analysis of relations with the consumer and the new marketing approaches that industrial and commercial companies have to adopt to face with the recent changes in shopper behavior.
- BELLINI S. (2017), Channel Relationship (R)evolution, EGEA
- CASTALDO S. (2010), Go to market, Il Mulino (capitoli 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 e 11)
Attending students will replace part of the books with the material discussed during the course. More information will be provided during lessons.
The course will combined different teaching tools: lectures, exercises, group work, discussion of case studies and business testimonials.
The slides used to support lectures will be loaded weekly on the Elly platform.
To download the slides, students need to enroll in the online course.
Assessment methods and criteria
For attending students, the summative assessment of learning foresees two moments.
1) Written exam articulated on two open-ended questions
Each question weighs 15 points. The first question aims to verify the acquired knowledge and the ability to understand. The second application, of an applicative nature, aims to verify the ability to apply the knowledge, the autonomy of judgment and the ability to learn. The ability to communicate with an appropriate technical language will be ascertained by evaluating the correct use of technical expressions / terms in the context of the answers to the two questions.
The duration of the final written exam is 40 minutes. The final written test is evaluated on a scale of 0-30. The praise is assigned in the case of reaching the maximum score on each question to which is added the full mastery of the disciplinary lexicon.
2) Oral examination consisting of the presentation of group work
The group work consists in the realization of a field research, on a particular theme of Channel management that will be illustrated during the course. The research can be carried out by groups composed of at most 5 students. The final work must be presented in oral form through a power point presentation of a maximum duration of 15 minutes.
All groups must present the work at the end of the course, on the day that will be defined and communicated in class.
The work must be the result of the active collaboration of all the members of the group. All members must present a part of the work. Group work is evaluated on a scale of 0-30.
To obtain the final grade it is necessary to proceed to the weighted average of the marks of the two tests (both in thirtieths): the written test weighs 70% and the group vote 30%.
The results of the examination are published on the Esse3 portal within two weeks from the exam date.
For NON-ATTENDING students, the learning will be verified through a written test articulated on three open-ended questions.
Each question weighs 10 points. Two questions aim to verify the acquired knowledge and the ability to understand. The third application, of an applicative nature, aims to verify the ability to apply the knowledge, the autonomy of judgment and the ability to learn. The ability to communicate with an appropriate technical language will be ascertained by evaluating the correct use of technical expressions / terms in the context of the answers to the three questions.
The duration of the final written exam is 60 minutes. The final written test is evaluated on a scale of 0-30. The praise is assigned in the case of reaching the maximum score on each question to which is added the full mastery of the disciplinary lexicon.