Demand dispersion and logistics costs in one-to-many distribution systems
When an organization decides on which groups of consumers it should target, the locations of these target consumers often play a role. Methods from the field of market segmentation are able to identify target groups with high benefit levels, but the expected costs of supplying products to the target groups are less well understood. These costs can play a large role if the locations of the customers, the demand locations, are geographically widely dispersed. This paper focuses on one-to-many distribution systems in which a central facility serves all demand points. We derive accurate logistics cost estimates from the dispersion of demand points for such systems, enabling a comparison of the expected logistics costs of different candidate target groups. The most accurate measure combines the average distance from the demand locations to a central location and the mutual distances between neighboring demand locations. The average of the distances between all pairs of locations forms a good alternative measure.
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