references. However, in order to reach the growth objectives that the company has set for the following period of time, it is recommended to develop the management of these distribution channels.
For example, the company should focus on expanding direct sales. This objective can be achieved by increasing the number of the stores owned by the company, by increasing telemarketing activity, and by increasing web based activity also. These actions should be doubled by developing indirect distribution channels. Development of indirect distribution channels will determine the development of the distribution system, which will eventually lead to increasing the number of customers and national coverage. This factor already represents one of Verizon's strong points, and, if developed, it could generate significant competitive advantage for the company.
However, such actions will require tremendous amounts of financial, technical, and human resources. The company should focus in training its employees, since the most valuable resources that any company could have is represented by human resources. The company's success relies on how well its employees manage to do their tasks. Therefore, it is recommended that the company invests more in its human resources. Although costs will not be reduced, the effects will be priceless. However, these actions will only produce their effects on medium term and long-term. The company's indirect retailers could also benefit from training provided by the company, since this will be in favor of both the company and the indirect retailers.
The company's distribution strategy's center point is represented by company-owned stores. As for any company, these stores require low maintenance costs, but bring high profits. This is one of the reasons for which company-owned stores are Verizon's favorite distribution channel. Another reason for this is the fact that customers that go to company-owned stores are more loyal are more serious, which is exactly what Verizon expects from its clients. The company's current stores sell wireless handsets and accessories, wireless service paging, and narrowband PCS service. The company currently owns 1,180 stores, kiosks and carts. These stores and their personnel are able to create customer satisfaction and to increase customer loyalty. Therefore, it is recommended that Verizon opens at least 300 more such stores.
Regarding business to business distribution, the company currently operates with two important business to business sales forces. This means over 2,000 employees. One of the two forces operates with the small to medium businesses. Their number is continuously increasing. The main target is represented by regional and local businesses that operate in industries with less than 100 wireless users. Given the fact that these small to medium companies' number is continuously increasing, it is recommended that Verizon also increases the number of employees working with this segment, in order to be able to expand the company's activity, as number of customers, on the one hand, and as national coverage, on the other hand.
The other sales force operates with large and national businesses. In the following period of time, Verizon can expand corporate relationships due to the company's extensive wireless coverage. These large companies benefit from competitive price plans, specialized account management, and customer service provided by Verizon. The company also provides enhanced features specific to large corporations. This increased interest from Verizon proves that the company puts the quality of service and customer satisfaction first, which creates a very good impression to the company's customers, creating customer loyalty. Therefore, it is recommended that the company continues to follow this direction and even more, to expand the range of special services provided to large and national companies.
In case of large global companies, Verizon has combined its efforts with Vodafone's. Verizon operates the United States market, while Vodafone operates on the European and Asian markets. However, it is recommended that Verizon expands its geographical coverage, addressing markets like Europe and Asia that present tremendous potential that has not yet been exploited. The company's possible activity in Europe and Asia could be facilitated by Vodafone's presence on these markets, since this company is one of the leading and most reliable companies on these markets.
Another important distribution channel that the company should continue to develop is telemarketing. Verizon's telemarketing sales force relies on approximately 500 employees. The company should take advantage of the fact that it is one of the promoters of telemarketing distribution channel for wireless services. This distribution channel should be expanded due to a series of reasons, like:
Telemarketing is very convenient for the company's customers
Telemarketing is a low-cost channel that could help the company make significant cost savings, which can be invested in other areas
This distribution channel is expected to develop in the future period of time, which means that the timing is perfect for Verizon to expand this system
He company's web site hosts a web-based sales channel that presents similar advantages as the telemarketing distribution channel discussed above. The company's products are open for purchasing here. Given the fact that this channel is very suitable for the company's customers and that it requires low maintenance costs, it is recommended that the company expands this web-based distribution channel also. The expansion of this distribution channel requires minimum costs, but it provides maximal benefits.
Verizon has also developed a series of extranets for large corporations. However, there are very few customers using this distribution channel. Its benefits should be presented to potential customers. The benefits from attracting large corporations as customers using this distribution channel could be very strong, given the size of these companies.
Regarding indirect sales, Verizon currently relies on 25,000 retailers. It is recommended that these retailers are trained by the company in order to provide the best customer assistance possible. However, it is not recommended to increase the number of indirect retailers. If their number is increased, the company's degree of dependence on these retailers could increase, and the company could lose its negotiation power in certain cases.
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