Distribution Channel Management

With so many different components of their business to focus on, founders can often overlook critical aspects – and distribution channel management is no exception.

Distribution channel management is the management of the transfer of products from the manufacturer to the end customer, and this process can be just as crucial as the product itself. Efficient distribution channels can accelerate growth, boost profitability and bring a competitive edge. Done badly though, and even the most innovative and exciting business can suffer.

The following resources explore practical books, articles, guides and other resources to help founders with their distribution channel management.


  1. Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market by Julian Dent – Distribution Channels explores the chain that makes products and services available for market and explains how to make the most of each step of the process.
  2. Technology Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market by Julian Dent – Also by Julian Dent, this book is all about managing distribution channels for technology products.
  3. Getting Multi-Channel Distribution Right by Kusum L. Ailawadi and Paul W. Farris – Focusing on the challenges of managing multiple channels of distribution in an evolving marketplace, rather than the process of designing a distribution channel from scratch, this book leans more heavily on metrics and tools and incorporates perspectives from academic research.


  1. What is a Distribution Channel? By Salesforce – In this article, Salesforce details what a distribution channel is, the different types, choosing the right one for your business and how to build your own distribution strategy.
  2. Operational efficiency: A clear path to outperformance in distribution by McKinsey & Company – In this article, McKinsey & Company outlines the steps leading distributors are taking in operations to overcome their toughest challenges – and prepare for new ones.
  3. Distribution Management by Corporate Finance Institute – Corporate Finance Institute breaks down an overview of distribution management, as well as the different channels and factors that affect it.


  1. The coming shakeout in industrial distribution by McKinsey & Company – In this report, McKinsey & Company reviews the industry’s major challenges and then outline the five strategies that we believe will help the winners outperform in the next decade.
  2. Wholesale distribution trends by Deloitte – The wholesale distribution industry is at an inflection point of rapidly changing business fundamentals. To turn the inflection point into an advantage, distributors should have a framework for action. Deloitte shares their insights in this report.


  1. The Ecommerce Influence Podcast by Austin Brawner – Weekly interviews with world-class eCommerce operators, deep dives into what’s working right now, and a refreshing break from the “crush-it culture” plaguing our industry.
  2. Direct To Consumer Podcast by DTC newsletter – Dedicated to direct-to-consumer brands, this podcast discusses strategies for optimizing distribution channels, managing supply chains, and leveraging digital platforms for better reach and efficiency.
  3. Sustainable Supply Chain podcast by Tom Raftery – From founders and CxOs of pioneering solution providers, to thought leaders and supply chain executives who have successfully implemented sustainability initiatives, the guests on this podcast share their stories, insights and experiences that are shaping the future of sustainable supply chains.

By leveraging these tools, founders will not only optimize their channels but also gain the insights needed to manage them more effectively, setting their business on a trajectory for sustainable growth.