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Distribution Management

  • Enseignant(s):   T.Eckardt  
  • Titre en français: Management de la distribution
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS: 6 crédits
  • Horaire: Semestre de printemps 2021-2022, 4.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formations concernées:
    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation comportement, économie et évolution

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation marketing

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation business analytics

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation stratégie, organisation et leadership
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The course will highlight in an interactive way:

  • All components and aspects of modern distribution management
  • The relevant systems, processes and concepts to develop channels and a state-of-the art distribution
  • The key activities, roles and stakes of the main actors in the channels
  • Components and success factors of a modern commercial management
  • Relevant other aspects that are interacting with distribution

The students will understand the importance and impact of modern distribution management. We will analyse several practical mini-cases and group cases and discussed during the sessions. Cases will be prepared individually and/or in groups of typically six students, then presented and debriefed in the sessions.

Former students said one of the highlights of the course was our external guest speaker delivered by an Executive Manager, if possible a HEC-Lausanne alumni (Students' presence is mandatory during that day). She/he will share professional distribution experiences and insights with the students and answer and discuss practical questions.


The course is structured in five main parts with related sub-chapters:

Part 1: Distribution Channel Systems

I. Channel concepts

II. Channel participants

Part 2: Developing the Distribution Channel

I. Distribution Channel Strategy

II. Designing the Channel

III. Target Markets

IV. Types of Distribution Channels

Part 3: Managing the Distribution Channel

I. Motivating the Channel Members

II. Product and Channel Management

III. Service and Channel Management

IV. Pricing and Channel Management

V. Promotion and Channel Management

VI. The Use of Data in Channel Management

Part 4: Sales Management

I. The Art of Selling

II. Operational Sales Management

III. Salesforce Management

Part 5: Additional aspects of Distribution Management

I. Distribution and Supply Chain Management

II. Distribution and Logistics Management


Session organisation and timing

The organisation format may need to be modified during the semester, depending on the further COVID-19 situation.

As per today we are planning a hybrid approach with campus sessions, a few zoom and/or pre-recorded sessions and student group work sessions.

Please be in time on Monday morning (a come together starting from 8.15h is welcome) because we will start live session sharp at 8.30h.

Each live session contains 3 sequences of 60 minutes, with a first break (of 15 minutes) at 9.30h and a second at 10.45h so that we can finish at 12.00h.

We recommend you to reserve your Monday morning time slot as well for the pre-recorded sessions and related exercises.

Session planning

  1. 21/02 S1 – pre-recorded & group work
  2. 28/02 S2 – live (campus & zoom)
  3. 07/03 S3 – live (campus & zoom)
  4. 14/03 S4 – live (campus & zoom)
  5. 21/03 S5 – live (campus & zoom)
  6. 28/03 S6 – pre-recorded & group work
  7. 04/04 S7 – live (campus & zoom)
  8. 11/04 S8 – live (campus & zoom)
  9. 25/04 S9 – pre-recorded & group work
  10. 02/05 S10 – live (campus & zoom)
  11. 09/05 S11 – live (campus & zoom)
  12. 16/05 S12 – pre-recorded & group work
  13. 23/05 S13 – live (campus & zoom)
  14. 30/05 S13 – live (campus & zoom)


Students will find for each session the relevant documents, learning materials as well as further announcements on our specific Moodle course page (see below).

A list with recommended literature will be shared during the first session; additional readings & learning materials will be distributed during further sessions or through the course Moodle page during the semester.

Email contacts




Being open minded and a curiosity and profound understanding of Marketing and a particular interest in Distribution are more than welcome.


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You can obtain 6 credits by taking this course.

A preliminary inscription for the group case until latest the 7th of March 2022 in groups of 6 students (exceptions have to be validated) is mandatory. The written exam may be replaced by an individual essay, depending on the COVID situation. The final course grad is composed by the following components:

  • Group case and presentation: a total of 40%
  • Exam or Personal Essay: a total of 60%


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In case of the need of a retake (overall result below 4.0), the students will retake the Personal Essay (written exam) and keep the grad from their group works.

Only if the partial grade of the group work is as well below 4.0, the groups have the right for a second attempt for their group work. In that case, the group of students can improve the group work they have submitted; the second attempt would take place right after the semester.

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