1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
By definition distribution strategies is concerned with those efficient channel arrangement used to make goods and services available to customers, also intermediaries and marketing and marketing channel structures to be selected to move product in the most competitive and efficient manner to satisfy customer’s needs and want.
The fundamental essence of marketing is customers satisfaction with a profit to the enterprise. To satisfy customers needs and wants the product must be moved in good quality and quantity at the right time.
Marketing function responsible for moving the product to the customer is distribution. The key point of this research work, and in any business set-up or organization especially one in a very competitive economy, needs to examine how it can effectively develop its distribution strategies for serving it market.
Roofing sheet industries in this country has become very important in our age and there is need therefore to position these roofing sheets product in strategic places where consumer’s can reach them at the right time.
Abraham Maslow states that shelter provides one of the most basic physiological needs of man which makes roofing essential in the social, political and cultural lives of people who live under it. This makes the building industry very significant in the developing economy. Roofing sheet such as flat sheet, corrugated sheets, roofing tiles or ceiling boards and decorative ceilings form integral parts of the requirement that enhance infrastructures in Nigeria.
The Roofing industry in this work is the one established by Eastern Region of Nigeria known as Emenite Limited located at Emene Enugu East, Enugu State.
Since 1980’s there has been increase in demand for roofing sheets in the country. This is as a result of increasing competition in the eastern, western and northern market as well as in importation.
Therefore more manufacturing industries were opened to facilitate smooth distribution of roofing sheets in Nigeria.
The Emenite roofing sheet industry is highly capital intensive as machines used for the production of various sheets are imported at huge cost. It is important to note the mission statement of the company which states “To be the leader in the manufacture and sale of high quality building product with zero waste management culture and to sustain the business in a profitable manner with the knowledge that Emenite will stand by you while continually improving the creativity, motivation and safety of all our employees.”
The distribution process of the product involves moving finished goods and inventories from the point of production to the point of consumption. It could be said therefore that production is not complete until the goods reach the final consumer and for this to be accomplished manufactured goods have to pass through distribution channels.
However, for roofing sheet industry to meet up with the challenges of modern economy, more effective and efficient physical distribution pattern, positioning of field salesmen, strategic patterns and institutional distribution system of product must be involved.
The level of the economy has put distribution into a less important position and short of supply. This has occupied most manufacturers with thought of what to produce as a result less consideration is given to distribution.
Emenite Company has made considerable progress in terms of product development and the marketing of roofing sheet products.
The distribution channel used by this company is in four major ways which are; manufacturer distributors sub-distributors final consumers.
The intensified distribution network of the company is to cover areas and markets not yet served and areas under served by current efforts and current level of distribution with the aim of improving market preserve and market share.
In continuing to empower and motivate distribution channel members towards improving customer service delivery through continual training, organized seminars and the implementation of attractive incentive packages i.e promotional support, subsidized delivery, credit facility etc.
The importance of distribution can not be over emphasized no matter how the economic position of the country looks like. One major raw material for production of Emenite product is cement. It requires smooth transportation and arrangement from production centre to where they will be used for the production of roofing sheet. This calls for a lost of logistics especially in the transportation of the necessary raw materials and already produced roofing sheets to the companies distributors.
Effective distribution of roofing sheets and their accessories calls for efficient transportation system as a lot of care has to be taken for these fragile roofing sheets not be damaged before reaching their various market centres.
This calls for accomplishment of business activities concerned with transportation, storage and inventory process activities needed to be performed in order to achieve minimum system cost, consistent with customers satisfaction.
Transportation is then the pivot of the successful operation of any physical distribution system. Choice and type of transportation therefore become of very important since the objective is to move the product available as and when needed by consumers.
The poor network of roads has caused the effectiveness of distribution difficult and the railway method which would have provided an alternative transportation, has not been functional for sometime now, which contributes to the high transportation cost.
This work therefore is to “Assess the effectiveness of distribution strategies of manufactured roofing sheets a case study of Emenite Limited Emene Enugu East, Enugu State Nigeria
BRIEF HISTORY OF EMENITE LIMITED
Emenite Limited, a member of the Belgian Etex Group started operation in 1963 under the name Turners Asbestors Cement Company Nigeria Limited. The company was incorporated in 1961 with registration and shareholdings of both Turners and Newall Limited and Government of Eastern Nigeria owning 80% and 20% respectively.
Indigenization decree of 1973 changed the share holding of the company. Turner & Newall Limited and Government of Eastern Nigeria then owned 60% percent and 40% percent respectively with the company’s name changed to Turners Building Product (Emene) Ltd.
Due to dwindling fortunes of the company, in March 24th, 1988, Turners and Newall Ltd divested its interest in the company and transferred 51% of its shareholding to Eterdutremer Societe Anonyme of Belgium (now Etex Group S.A) and the balance of 49% to the then Anambra and Imo State, now Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi states
As a result of the new shareholding arrangement, the company changed its name to Emenite Limited as is presently known, have two hundred and ninety one (291) staffs with fifty four (54) distributors in the country.
The roofing product for lower class people is
- Ultimate corrugated sheets – 680mm x 180mm middle class
- Bigsix corrugated sheets (gray, red and green colour) 1086mm x 2400mm
- Bigsix corrugated sheets (gray, red & green colour) 1086mm x 1800mm
- Standard corrugated sheets 1118mm x 1800mm and 1118mm x 2400mm High class
- Prestige concrete title
The ceiling products were also divided among class of people because of their qualities
- Emceil flat sheet – 1220mm x 1220mm
- Duraceil decorative ceiling – 610mm x 610mm
- Emlux decorative ceiling – 610mm x 610mm
- Qualitile decorative ceiling – 610 x 610mm
The materials for the production of all these products are fibre and cement which have the following properties and benefit for consumers:
- Universal application
- Non combustible
- Strong and long lasting
- Good insulating
- Rot and rust free
- Wide range of accessories
- Completely weather proof
Available in different colour
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This research work aimed at the following objectives
- To ascertain the availability and quality of the product
- To examine the effect of high cost of transportation practices or the company to their distribution strategy
- To examine how poor and network affects the company’s distribution strategies
- To asses the effect of government impediment (local government bylaw) to the distribution strategies of the company
- To examine how capital and loss affect distribution of manufactured roofing sheets.
1.4 HYPOTHESES FORMULATION
The following hypotheses are formulated
- The availability and quality of the product does not significantly affects the demand of manufactured roofing sheets.
- The cost of transportation does not significantly affects the price of manufactured roofing sheets
- Poor road network does not significantly affect the demand of manufactured roofing sheets, because most times vehicles are used in distributing of roofing sheets.
- The government impediment (local government by laws) does not significantly restricts distributors from investing more in the product and cause more damages to the product
- The capital and loss do not significantly affects the supply of manufactured roofing sheets.
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In any human endeavour there are always some constraints and this research work is not an exception. The pilot survey conducted by the researcher shows the constraints posed in this research work
It was observed from the survey that a lot of time was used of which some effort made with management staffs and consumer proved abortive which makes the work to be centred only in a state
The movement to the management team, search for information, phone calls, and internet services involve a lot of cost that were supposed to be made were affected because of the financial factors.
The competition in the market sector makes the respondents to be skeptic to the question posed to them not so sure of actual purpose of the study. Interview guide were issued to the management team and questionnaires design to the consumers.
This factor makes the management difficult to pass useful information. The officers however maintained that field sales practices from a very sensitive area of sales force management and they would not want to discuss it with any person and that it is against company’s policy. But persuasion and conviction made, yielded fruit and produced the information used in the work.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work would be of immense benefit to the consumer at large. This is because “marketing comprises those activities which ensure that customer is provided with the right product at the right place, time and price”. It is in this context that is necessary to target customers always when production is been carried out. This is consumer orientation. It is necessary therefore to assess the effectiveness of the distribution strategic of Emenite Company Limited Emene Enugu State
Organizational objectives is to make profit with the customers satisfaction of need and want in a suitable and acceptable proportion.
In achieving these goals “management therefore has to become more concerned with the cost of distribution and strategy used which amount to a substantial percentage of sales for the company.
This work should also serve as a spring board into further research work by other people in the field of logistics/distribution channel management of many manufacturing companies.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Distribution Strategy: The channel arrangement company used to make goods and services available to their customers
Source: Strategic management and concept and cases Arthur A.T. Jr & Stickland III A.J.
Distribution Channel: Set of firms and individuals that takes titles in transferring titles to a particular goods as it moves from the point of producer to consumers.
Source: HEINEMANN GNVQ Advanced Business 2nd ed. Nedham D. & Dramsfiled R.
Product: Something that is viewed as capable of satisfying a want.
Source: Principles and practice of Marketing