The absence of relevant information concerning channel members can form one of the major difficulties facing a company attempting to implement a systems approach to the physical distribution of its products. Where channel cohesion permits assistance and co‐ordination, the remedy may be effected by Instituting a routine feedback or conducting a specific research project to collect the data. Many manufacturers, however, possess a channel structure which can be more accurately described as a series of discrete markets rather than a process which involves sharing market opportunities and integrating to ensure the best overall marketing impact. In the former situation business information is normally jealously guarded and alternative methods of data collection, where these are possible, can be lengthy, frustrating and expensive.
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