Briefly outline the concepts of supply chains and distribution channels with reference to theory.




Completed the part D&E of the whole essay


1) Briefly outline the concepts of supply chains and distribution channels with reference to theory. 

While supply chain is a new concept, it is relatively older than people can imagine. However, initially, the concepts and practices were not clearly spelt out as it is now. Most of the activities were carried out in an ad hoc manner (Lavassani, Movahedi, & Kumar, 2009, pp. 85–98).

Integration of distribution and warehousing (logistics)

The concept of supply chain in the company has evolved over time. Most of the segments of supply chain were loosely interconnected. However, as the company developed it had to integrate the logistics, distribution and warehousing together to take advantage of efficiency that supply chains provided. When the company realized that, it had to upgrade its operations due to efficiency brought about by the integration. The company decided to merge the two concepts to form logistics. This made the border between warehousing and distribution became transparent. However, the two ends were still loose, and the management tries to consider making the links stronger and increased the level of resource sharing. This was also coupled with reduced costs and time to market. This was the beginning of evolution in the company (Mentzer, et al, 2001, pp. 1–25)

Integration if logistics with production and purchasing

The company later decided to optimize the advantages of integration. The company integrated purchasing, distribution, warehousing, and production. The concept worked out right, and the saving was exceedingly. The four functions were integrated, and the core activities under each concept were conducted under the same roof. This was the birth of supply chain in this company. The company managed to align the separate function in the sequence bellow:  

Leveraging lean and agile

The concept made the company too agile. This is one thing the company has been searching for, the supply chain concept provided the agility required by the company and the company optimized its supply chain concept and leveraged its production to achieve the required competitive age. However, this conceit is long overdue in the company. This has also contributed to the company profitability as the company became more agile. The demanding market and growing competition made the company more profitable due to its agility. The comment managed to increase its product lines and categories (Larson, &, Halldorsson, 2004, pp. 17-31).

According the to Kouvelis, Chambers, &, Wang, (2006, pp. 449–469), the volatile and less predictable market just made competition better, and visibility of the company amidst the masses was achieved through agility and leanness

Lean concept

The modern SCM in companies must be lean; the concepts of leanness help the company to hold the required stock only and assets that can slow down the response time and increase cost are shed. These concepts offer sufficient service levels that can meet growing demand in companies. As a product portfolio, companies must know how to valance between lean and agile. By fine tuning, this company achieves an optimal product portfolio. The different production, which is in the company portfolio, must be treated accordingly (Movahedi, Lavassani, &, Kumar, 2009, pp. 75–88).

characteristics of a contemporary Supply Chain concept

Lean: The company aims at forecasting at the generic level

Economic order Quantities

Maximized efficiencies

Agile: Demand driven operations

effectively Localized Configuration

Maximized effectiveness

 Then backbone of stable agile and lean supply chain is operations efficiency that brings about6 sustainable competitive advantage. This is based on the supply chain concept that offers a sufficient service level in the face of growing demand

 (2) Identify and describe the supply chain and distribution channels for your chosen manufacturer using evidence from secondary sources. Depict the supply chain and distribution channels using a flow diagram*. 

The supply chain and distribution channels of the manufacturer are extremely lean with most of its products ordered based on an economic order quantity. In this concept, the company only orders goods when the stock reaches a certain level (reorder level) and only orders a specific quantity of god (reorder quantity). The company also allows a certain duration of time beyond, which the operation of the company can be adversely, affected (lean time) and slack. From the diagram below, it is quite open the company depends on the benefits brought about by agility and leanness. The company balanced between the functions and is likely to achieve a high service level, that doubles also as a source of competitive advantage. Leveraging the service levels to achieve a competitive edge is crucial to the company’s bottom line (Ketchen, & Hult, 2006, pp 573-580).


The company operations are also geared at maximizing efficiency of just in time, so the company does not have to stock more goods than necessary. While it is healthy to assume that the company is effectively exploiting its agility, there are ideas that the company still need to sort out. However, the operations of the company ate mainly demand driven and the company gears at maximizing its effectiveness in distribution of its goods

3. Service Aspects of HTC Smartphone

Service aspects of HTC Smartphone, should demonstrate the ability of the product to generate future purchase intentions in the industrial and technological markets. The telephone industry offers the most important forecasts of future product purchase intentions. The service aspects that will enable HTC Smartphone future sustainability can be identified as increased functionality, ergonomics, upgradeability, embedded intelligence, user friendly, incorporation of intelligence and information gathering and processing, among others. The general global trend innovations in cell phone industry is fast growing, and dynamic markets are being developed, creating new perceptions for Smartphone.

A sustainable product or service development is a pragmatic approach in the telephony industry that encompasses a wide range of offerings, which call for strategies that maximize on environmental and social performance in the innovative efforts of a telephone company. Therefore, HTC should continue to maintain the lead in creating and improving innovation, in terms of developing high end Smartphone with improved sustainability performance and practical use for the emerging markets. The emerging market will be composed of knowledge based consumers and therefore, intelligence and other high functional value needs to be added to all phases in the design, production, service, and end life of product chain of Smartphone. Microsystems may be incorporated to provide innovative customized solutions for social and environmental problems, that could add up to resource saving.

Service Improvements

The service improvements suggested for HTC Smartphone should revolve around the phones becoming more powerful as software is scaled to them. More attention should be shifted on cloud computing programs and applications, ability to load fewer programs leaving greater space for data, movies, and games. This will appeal to the ever changing market dynamics for both business users and gamers. More innovations should be expected on the Android Operating system which has proven big for business as well as fun. Development of weirder applications to make Smartphone completely interacting with the user. For example, faking a conversation, knowing what the user wants to do, incorporating the phones use with other devices such as cars, office operations, machines, and so on. The current HTC Vivid should be spiced further in terms of improved aesthetics by design. More variety of stranger applications like a Smartphone being able to measure one’s moods, interacting with cartoon multimedia, and loving one’s enemies.

Service Improvements in Relation to Distribution Channels

Appropriate distribution channels and demand creation for HTC Smartphone are necessary to overcome competition pressures. The distribution strategies for service improvements for HTC smartphones are; the customers can download applications through their phones or other application stores. This may be Android Market Place where customers have access to services through downloadable application. The second distribution channel will be a web interface should be given to customers with traditional phones, where they can create accounts and access the services through text messages, free subscription supported by advertisements with options for the customer to upgrade. The third would be the preferred social media application to provide another interface through which users; both business and young people can create and manage their accounts.

The demand creation would include promotional goods to promote the brand like phone cases, and free service trials. Viral marketing to increase the number of early adoption users, for example, free versions that use referral systems with advertisements on each. Text messaging to people on the customers’ contact list inviting them to try out the new service. Social media to maintain a presence of HTC to post advertisements.

These improvements are necessary because of the increasing competitive pressure; HTC should yearn for product improvements that secure customer loyalty by addressing the entire customer experiences. This will enable HTC to lead in lower costs and more choices for end users. Smartphone customers expect creative developments on demand access to phone services, web, innovative applications, social media, and video.

Part E: Reflective Statement

The reflective statement on the marketing and business operations is the integrated ability to define service aspects of a product or service for sustained future purchasing intentions in the industry. The module enables students to gain firsthand experience of operating a business in the telecommunications sector, providing a seamless transfer from the classroom to the actual business world. The conceptual range of procedures to demonstrate distribution chain channels for Smartphone with reference to theory and procedures for solving particular problems

The depiction of supply chains and distribution channels using flow diagrams, and relating service improvements with distribution channels for a product or service, greatly imparts on understanding, and implementing appropriate business decisions for the future life of a product or service. The learning outcomes from the module lectures contributed to the development of the business idea for the integrated assignment in immense number of ways. Firstly, the understanding of supply chain and distribution channel concepts is important in the ability to relate the service improvements recommendations to flow logically in the expected future design developments of Smartphone. This translates to studying options available for Smartphone functionality, ergonomic, upgradeability, embedded intelligence, user friendliness, intelligence, information gathering, and processing.

The product life cycle is also very important in this particular assignment because it enabled the student to understand that innovation is a core element that organizations must have, in order to survive in the ever changing market place. The customers’ preference to a particular product or service revolves around quality, simplicity, economic status, education level, and other internal and external variables.

Some of the aspects that can be done differently is thinking out of the box, especially on service improvements that have a direct impact on the supply chains. Thoughts, of the most weird and strange applications will have a great positive impact on mitigating the pressures of competition and innovation efforts from competitors, so that the HTC Smartphone to gain a wider market share in the UK and the whole world for a long time to come. Generally, the learning modules are very relevant to the work situation, provides a practical and theoretical knowledge to pertinent issues in business and marketing.


Ketchen Jr., G., & Hult, T.M. (2006). Bridging organization theory and supply chain management: The case of best value supply chains. Journal of Operations Management, 25(2) 573-580.

Kouvelis, P.; Chambers, C.; Wang, H. (2006): Supply Chain Management Research and Production and Operations Management: Review, Trends, and Opportunities. In: Production and Operations Management, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 449–469.

Larson, P.D. and Halldorsson, A. (2004). Logistics versus supply chain management: an international survey. International Journal of Logistics: Research & Application, Vol. 7, Issue 1, 17-31.

Movahedi B., Lavassani K., Kumar V. (2009) Transition to B2B e-Marketplace Enabled Supply Chain: Readiness Assessment and Success Factors, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp. 75–88.

Lavassani K., Movahedi B., Kumar V. (2009) Developments in Theories of Supply Chain Management: The Case of B2B Electronic Marketplace Adoption, The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp. 85–98.

Mentzer, J.T. et al. (2001): Defining Supply Chain Management, in: Journal of Business Logistics, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2001, pp. 1–25

Simchi-Levi D.,Kaminsky P., Simchi-levi E. (2007), Designing and Managing the Supply Chain, third edition, Mcgraw Hill