Answer & Explanation:The research paper should be a minimum of six typed pages and formatted in accordance with APA.  Topics should be relavent to intermodal transportation.   The nature of a research paper is to prove or disprove a thesis or hypothesis, not simply produce a report or provide information on topic.  For example; a topic may be the impact of security on intermodal transportation.  The associated thesis could be; actions taken to improve the security  at ports has negatively impacted throughput, increasing costs and reducing the quality of operations.  The research  and body of the paper argues to prove the thesis statement.Attached thesis statement.

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Effective Distribution strategies
Vanessa Chandler
Dr. Karen Pentz
TLMT 341
16 Jun 2016
Wonderful Widget Company is based in the United States of America and is specialized
in making and selling widget products in America and other countries. The widget can be a
mathematical device with an unknown name, an application or a component having an interface
for performance user access. The problem at hand is the challenge experienced by Wonderful
Widget in production. For the last 12 months, the company has experienced high variability in
product offering, little satisfaction to its customers and a great increase in product distribution.
The reasons stated above have thus generated the need for supply evaluation and distribution
strategies to ensure that cost of delivery reduction as well as a decrease in product variability to
restore customer satisfaction (Ross, 2013).
The decision-making process is a chief role of the manager in an attempt to enhance good
product distribution. As the current manager in Wonderful Widgets, I conducted a cist benefit
analysis and through elimination, I determined the most efficient strategy, which the company
should adopt. The method I used for determining which one could have the reduction of cost and
uphold satisfaction. Comparison of merits and demerits of both centralized distribution and cross
docking and transshipping was the central consideration. Centralized management system came
as my preference because it embraces central decision making for an entire network supply
(Ross, 2013).
The centralized system entails decision making from a central point in the whole supply
system. This operation leads to minimal cost increment and a high satisfaction to customers.
Globalization and awareness creation is a subsequent occurrence since there are coordinated
strategies. Centralized management was the best strategy, which Wonderful Widget Company
could have adopted since it has one product for shipment from or to different locations. This
approach will immediately reduce the cost of distribution, reduce product variability and enhance
customer satisfaction (Christopher, 2016).
Wonderful Widget will be operating at a lower cost by having a centralized warehouse
because distribution will be direct to the client. No intermediaries will be involved in the process
or other rental stores needed because of various storage facilities. The monitoring process will be
easier since only one unit will need control and thus operational cost decrease. Customers will
have a guarantee of receiving quality products directly from the producer.
Product variability will be the other aspect of facing reduction by centralized
management. Product variability reduction will occur because all the goods produced by the
company will be from the same location and this will ensure quality and uniformity. Any
alteration or failing factors in the production process monitoring will prevail, and correction is
done more easily since there is constant central control. Product consistency will result from
similar production conditions and quality of materials, which give customer assurance and longterm service (Christopher, 2016).
Many factors come to play for choosing a centralized strategy, and these may include
little safety stock, reduced overhead costs, reduced service to customers and increased
transportation costs. All these factors lead to the biggest challenge, which is market information.
In centralized management, only one distributor will have to collect market intelligence unlike in
other decentralized systems. This centralization will mean that the information acquired remains
the same over time since the distance between the customer, and the central office remains a
significant barrier. Nevertheless, information in this system can be shared through various modes
and ultimately lead to improved forecasting (Hrebiniak, 2013).
Distribution internationally will pose another major challenge now that there is a central
warehouse in the Unites States. Delivering goods to a customer in another continent will become
cumbersome and time-consuming. The issue of customer service and satisfaction will also come
into play since the company may not meet short-term orders or addresses a client complain about
a faulty product. Increased transport cost will also pose a significant challenge since customer
and producer have a big distance in location. In cases of small shipments, the company may
incur losses.
Central management system has its advantages, and several factor consideration is critical
to ensure product safety. Safety stock, lead-time, service delivery, the cost of transportation and
economics of scale review is necessary. A typical warehouse gives an added advantage of
lowering risk of production. A conventional storage reduces the company’s overhead cost of
having many small stores of the same sizes. Location of a central repository considers the
concentrated market, and this contributes to reducing the lead-time.
Christopher, M. (2016). Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson Higher Ed.
Hrebiniak, L. G. (2013). Making strategy work: Leading effective execution and change. FT
Ross, D. F. (2013). Competing through supply chain management: creating market-winning
strategies through supply chain partnerships. Springer Science & Business Media.

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