This project views the 'animal health' marketing channel from the intermediary position of the 'veterinary pharmaceutical wholesaler' by looking backwards to the pharmaceutical manufacturer and forwards to the practicing veterinarian (the retailer). The project links the provider of health services (the veterinarian) to the supply company (wholesaler) which provides the veterinary practitioner with the tools of trade (specifically pharmaceuticals). The wholesaler, as the distributor, is then linked back to the pharmaceutical manufacturer for its own supply.
As in all industry marketing channels, within the veterinary pharmaceutical wholesale industry there is channel leadership, there is channel power and there is channel conflict. This project researches intra-channel conflict as it affects the veterinary pharmaceutical wholesale industry and its chan.nel partners. A literature review of wholesaling as a marketing channel and also channel conflict, as it affects the wholesale channel, was carried out. This investigation also examined the past, the present, and the future of the wholesale industry.
Exploratory research was then undertaken in order to define the extent of intra-channel conflict as it affected the veterinary pharmaceutical wholesale industry. Surveys and interviews were conducted on representatives of the three channel partners in order to determine the areas of existing conflict within the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. The survey results were collated and tabulated according to channel member.
The survey results identified the major industry channel conflicts and these were analysed by order of channel member with respect to the wholesale partner. The final chapter of this report identifies the intra-channel conflicts currently existing in the eyes of the manufacturer and the retailer which may be addressed by the wholesaler. The report concludes by making five recommendations for adoption by the veterinary wholesale industry in order to reduce intra-channel conflict with its channel partners and to maintain its channel influence and its profitability.
The recommendations include the need for members of the veterinary pharmaceutical wholesale industry to form strategic alliances with and to supply value-added services to its retail clients. Recommendations which will affect the relationship between wholesaler and pharmaceutical manufacturer are that wholesalers form functional partnerships with their supplier partners; wholesalers should examine the strategy of National distributorship; and wholesalers should embrace technological innovation in order to streamline the passage of goods from the manufacturer to the ultimate consumers.