Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1990 (Revised August 2001)

Merloni Elettrodomestici SpA: The Transit Point Experiment

by Janice H. Hammond and Maura G Kelly

Abstract

Merloni Elettrodomestici is a leading Italian manufacturer of domestic appliances. In 1986, an exposition for Merloni customers is scheduled at its Milano regional warehouse. During the two-month period preceding the event, when the warehouse must be free of inventory, the company conducts a "transit point" experiment. Each day, a truckload of products from the company's central warehouse is sent to Milano, where it is immediately transferred to small trucks for local delivery. At the conclusion of the experiment, the company is considering the replacement of its 17 regional warehouses with transit points. Students are asked to evaluate this proposal and recommend a configuration for Merloni's distribution network. Issues to be considered in the analysis of the case include the impact of different network configurations on customer service and on inventory, labor, operating, and transport costs.

Keywords: Logistics; Marketing Channels; Planning; Time Management; Distribution Channels; Competitive Advantage; Customer Relationship Management; Information Technology; Consumer Products Industry; Italy;

Citation:

Hammond, Janice H., and Maura G Kelly. "Merloni Elettrodomestici SpA: The Transit Point Experiment." Harvard Business School Case 690-003, February 1990. (Revised August 2001.)