Page 4: Place
Place refers to the channels that are used to reach the marketplace, for example, methods of transporting and storing goods. Good distribution is defined as getting the right product to the right place at the right time. The choice of distribution method depends on both product and market.
Some businesses will sell to wholesalers, who then sell to retailers. Others will sell directly to retailers or consumers. Place also includes where a business has its points of sale. In Parcelforce Worldwide”s case, customers can access its services through:
- depots Parcelforce Worldwide has 53 depots across the UK where all customers (B2B, B2C and C2C) can send parcels to both UK and international destinations
- Post Office branches all customers can also send parcels from Post Offices across the UK. This tends to be focused more on C2C customers
- direct collection by Parcelforce Worldwide all business and personal customers can access services through the Parcelforce Worldwide website (for ordering a collection, printing barcode labels or accessing the customer address book) or through a call centre to book a direct collection by Parcelforce Worldwide van from the customer”s premises (business or home)
- international partner networks overseas where customers send parcels from overseas back into the UK through a partner company, with the final delivery in the UK carried out by Parcelforce Worldwide.
New technology allows Parcelforce Worldwide to track parcels. In 2007, a single IT platform was created which can follow every single event of a parcel's journey, from dispatch to depot to customer.
Extending reach through partnerships
Parcelforce Worldwide”s development of key partnerships has played a part in improving its service. Its network partner GLS is an unrivalled road-based European network that deals with specific day guaranteed deliveries. It consists of 23 parcel delivery companies covering five million kilometres in 30 countries across Europe. GLS provides Parcelforce Worldwide with the broadest delivery network and capability across Europe. Parcelforce Worldwide is also part of the EMS network.
These partnerships have widened Parcelforce Worldwide”s service offerings dramatically, particularly in the international markets. This has provided the company with a competitive edge and expanded its global reach. The main benefits of these partnerships come from using their existing delivery mechanisms without the need to set up new transportation methods or services. This reduces both capital and revenue costs.