Channel Information Systems
Information technology has made a big difference to channel operations and management.Information systems have revolutionized the way information is collected, stored and transmittedbetween channel members. They add value to the distribution function and enable channel membersto integrate different channel functions, which was not possible in conventional distribution systems.Channel information systems have also influenced the structure of distribution channels. Lengthychannels have given way to shorter and highly efficient distribution systems.Channel information systems comprise an information database and the hardware and networks thathelp in the collection, processing and transmission of information. The hardware, software andnetworks vary depending on the application requirements of channel members. They vary forbusiness-to-business applications, retailing applications, business to consumer applications andinteractive applications for consumers. Transaction-Based Information System (TBIS), ContinuousReplenishment Program (CRP), Efficient Consumer Response System (ECR), Point-of-Sale Systems(POS), Quick Response System (QR), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) etc., are some commonlyused information systems. Many companies have developed information systems to suit their needs. McKesson’s ECONOMOST system, United Airlines and American Airlines’ Apollo and Sabre systems, Analytic Systems Automatic Purchasing (ASAP) by Baxter Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson’s Cooperative Action Plus (COACT) and Abbott’s Quik Link information systems are somesuccessful information systems. PrecisionCode, DataDesigns, Archer’s Retail Database Management
ystem (ARDMS) and Product Information Management System by IBM are examples of databasesystems developed by companies.Channel Information Systems (CIS) have influenced the way in which different channel functionsare performed. It has streamlined operations leading to improved channel...
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