The Strategic Planning of a New Place for Schools

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As a part of the strategic planning to entry the new market, it is essential to look closely into “place”. This means to take into account and to think thoroughly about the distribution channel, in other words, to choose the most effective route to deliver FabLib to schools and libraries. In Belgium, FabLab Factory decided to use direct distribution channels to reach the end user for their new product. In this way, they promote it via their official website, as well as they have created the catalogue with essential information about FabLib and present this catalogue to schools and libraries throughout the country. On top of that, as a part of their multiple channel strategy, they also have a sales team which gives the presentation on the product and answers all the questions which may arose regarding the new product. In this way, FabLib has multiple direct channels in order to expand nationally and reach as many people as possible within the target group.

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It is recommended for FabLib to use direct distribution channels in Ireland too. When deciding on having the same direct distribution channels for Ireland, different aspects where taken into account. To start, it is important to keep in mind that FabLib is reseller and their value proposition is providing packages and training in order to make digital fabrication more accessible, therefore direct contact between the company and the end user is needed for educational purposes. Firstly, FabLib has a fairly straightforward buying process, therefore in the new market they have to position themselves more as the providers of information. Even though Ireland is a tech country, both teachers and librarians don’t have extensive technological knowledge about the digital equipment. As distribution channels have to correspond with the needs of the Irish schools and libraries, more personal distribution channel is recommended in order to establish the tailor-made relation and educate people on using digital fabrication tools. For this purpose we recommend also to use own specialised sales team to market and advice on using FabLib distribution channel which would only benefit the image of the company and build loyalty which is essential for the new product in the new market. Then, the short channels are perfect for geographically concentrated market. It is recommended for FabLib to have a starting point as Dublin, as it is the country’s most technologically advanced city. Moreover, this also gives a full control over its service, therefore it is easy to maintain the customer-company relationship and the company’s image and identity, which is also essential for the further expanding as a franchise.

In this way, providing personalised and targeted is possible because of the fact that FabLib knows exactly the kind of market and group of people they have to be focusing on. Thus, we believe that indirect distribution channels are not recommended as using wholesalers, resellers, retailers, consultants or agents would only reduce this close link and trust between the company and the end user.

Thus, it is advisable to use a standardised model regarding distribution channels. However, the one adaptation which we could advise is expanding its distribution channels. In this way, youth centres have the perfect target group for FabLib which are mostly teenagers and young adults. This is a place for people to gather together and spend a fun time, for example to play pool or board games. Because Ireland has the youngest population within Europe, this market has a great potential for FabLib’s expansion and further development. It is also beneficial for youth centres as it is the way to attract more people. All in all, our group decided to have a standardised distributor channels towards Ireland with the adaptation of expansion to youth centres.

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