The storing, shipping, and handling of products and services
Once you have decided how you are going to distribute your product or service, you need to decide the most cost effective way of getting it to clients. Storage and transportation are the two sides of that coin.
1. Brick and mortar storage preserves and houses products and people until they are needed.
2. Gas-powered transportation ships and handles quickly.
3. Feet-powered transportation is used when one-on-one sales is also needed.
4. Digital products and services allow for massive storage and no shipping and handling.
Big House, Little House, Wheeled House, Cloud House
And what a coin it is…
Entire industries have been flipped on their heads–especially in information, retail and service–by how an innovative company changed the smallest detail in how they stored their goods.
As a railroad station agent, Richard Warren Sears noticed that products made on the Atlantic coast were desperately needed in the remote rural areas his railway ran through. He advertised directly to rural families in their newspapers for hundreds of miles and persuaded them to order anything they wanted–and we mean anything; the Sears catalog quickly grew to 500 pages. His experiences gave him unique insight in how to distribute everything a rural homestead could need to them for drastically less cost than what was being offered.
Today, many business models have drastically changed in both the opposite direction and to the logical extreme. Kohl’s department store is one-third the size of Sears and appeals to over-adverstized suburban women because of it. Meanwhile, Amazon.com has four times more books that the largest Barnes and Noble and its customer service software will suggest books to you based on how you and others shop.