Physical distribution management in New Zealand, is still, in many companies, subordinate to other functions in the corporate organisational hierarchy. In this study of three industries (Menswear, Foodstuffs and Pharmaceuticals) it was found that most distribution executives were responsible for warehousing and transport with very little involvement in setting customer service levels, the very essence of physical distribution. These results were surprising considering that it was claimed that there existed a large degree of awareness about the importance of physical distribution in terms of a company's overall success. The actual level of adoption and successful implementation of an Integrated Physical Distribution system was around 50 per cent. Here there was considerable disagreement between top management of a company and the senior distribution executive. These conclusions were drawn from the response by the General Manager/CEO of participating companies, together with independent responses from the person in the company “responsible for the planning and control of the distribution activities”. These responses were examined in three distinct areas: attitudes towards distribution, adoption of integrated distribution concept and company organisation of distribution activities
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