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 could replace part of the books with the material discussed during the course. More information will be provided during lessons and published on Elly.
Distance learning through online and offline lectures (49 hours), web forums, and problem-oriented meetings (15 hours).
Teaching materials (course slides and lectures) are provided through Elly.
Assessment methods and criteria
THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS CONCERN THE WINTER SESSION (December 2020 and January 2021).
Before the beginning of the summer session, the teacher will communicate any change if the conditions relating to the health situation allow different choices.
For ATTENDING students, the summative assessment of learning involves two moments.
1) Oral exam based on two questions
Each question weighs 15 points. The first question aims to test the knowledge acquired and the ability to understand. The second question, of an applicative nature, aims to verify the ability to apply knowledge, the autonomy of judgment and the ability to learn. The ability to communicate with appropriate technical language will be ascertained by evaluating the correct use of technical expressions / terms in the answers to the two questions.
The final exam is evaluated on a scale of 0-30. Honors are awarded in the case of achieving the maximum score on each question to which is added the full mastery of the disciplinary lexicon.
2) Oral exam consisting in the presentation of the group work
The group work consists in carrying out a field research on a particular Channel management theme which will be illustrated during the course. The research can be carried out by groups composed of a maximum of 5 students. The final work must be presented in oral form through a power point presentation lasting no more than 15 minutes.
All groups must present the work at the end of the course (December 2019), on the day that will be defined and communicated in class.
The work must be the result of the active collaboration of all members of the group. It is necessary that all members present a part of the work. Group work is evaluated on a 0-30 scale.
To obtain the final grade it is necessary to proceed with the weighted average of the marks of the two tests (both out of thirty): the written test weighs 70% and the group grade 30%.
For NON ATTENDING students, learning will be verified through an oral test based on three questions.
Each question weighs 10 points. Two questions aim to test the knowledge acquired and the ability to understand. The third question, of an applicative nature, aims to verify the ability to apply knowledge, independence of judgment and the ability to learn. The ability to communicate with appropriate technical language will be ascertained by evaluating the correct use of technical expressions / terms in the answers to the three questions. The final exam is evaluated on a scale of 0-30. Honors are awarded in the case of achieving the maximum score on each question to which is added the full mastery of the disciplinary lexicon.