Características de um canal eficaz

Inventory. At various points along the channel, inventory must be warehoused and ready to be shipped where needed, whether it is raw materials to the manufacturer or finished goods to the consumer. Entrepreneurs need to decide whether they want to hold inventory or outsource that capability to someone else in the channel. Holding the inventory for distribution gives the entrepreneur more control over what happens to products, but warehousing and distribution are competencies that the entrepreneur's team may not have. Ownership. It is important to distinguish between ownership of the goods and possession of them. As goods move through the channel, ownership typically changes only at the point of purchase, but possession may change at various points. For example, when a fulfillment house agrees to warehouse and ship for a company, it takes possession of the goods but does not purchase them and therefore does not own them. Information, as an intangible product, presents some unique challenges with regard to ownership, and illegitimate channels may even be formed to move the product through the channel. This can be seen, for example, in the pirating of software and music. Negotiation. Many channels that deal in expensive items, such as automobiles or industrial equipment, function primarily as price negotiators. Prices are set merely as a starting point for negotiation with the final customer, so for these channels to be effective, they must provide the ability to negotiate. Gathering of Market Information. The Internet has facilitated the gathering of market intelligence by companies and industries of all sizes. Because such information is critical to successful product development and business planning, gathering it has become a characteristic of a successful distribution channel. Financing and Payment. Credit is an essential element of an effective channel because it smoothes out the fluctuations in cash on hand experienced by purchasers. Methods for collecting payments for purchases have been enhanced by technology. Risk Management. The movement of products through channels entails some level of risk for which third-party insurance is required. Examples of such risk are product loss or breakage during shipping, product liability, and failure of the customer to pay for goods. In addition, manufacturers take on responsibility for risk to the customer via warranty programs and after-sale service agreements. Member Power. Effective channels often produce channel members who gain the power to control aspects of the channel. A channel member gains power if (1) other members rely on it for their primary needs, (2) it controls financial resources, (3) it plays a critical role in the value chain, (4) it has no substitute, or (5) it has information that reduces uncertainty. (Fonte: Allen, Kathleen R. Launching New Ventures: An Entrepreneurial Approach. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. 74-76.)

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