Specialists in the development and deployment of supply chain solutions for emerging markets.

Route-to-Market and Cost-to-Serve

OverviewCase Study

The scale and complexity of the outlet universe, combined with the poor data quality has meant that attempts to grow market reach have largely been unscientific – and often unsustainable.

While, in most markets, the number of outlets is still growing, technology (if well applied) is now making it possible to harvest and collate better data in a more timely manner, providing a much clearer shape of the market and the costs incurred in serving it.

LCA’s experience is that as market visibility increases so does the case for a restructuring of the route-to-market . Once clean, accurate data is available analytics can replace ‘conventional wisdom’ in determining the route-to-market structure that will extend the reach and achieve higher product availability at a sustainably lower cost.


A leading global FMCG manufacturer operating in Malaysia.


The client sought to extend their market reach by ensuring that they had visibility of the outlet universe and that their distributors had the means to service a greater number of retail outlets.


We undertook an extensive mapping exercise, geo-coding, photographing, documenting and classifying every retail outlet that might sell our client’s products.

We then cross-referenced the list with distributors’ customer files to develop a ‘clean’ customer master file.
Once this substantial task was completed, we cross-referenced the master file with sales records and used optimisation tools to improve call frequencies, sales territories and delivery routes – one distributor at a time.


This translated to a sustainable 15% increase in the number of outlets each distributor could serve – growing sales without any additional costs incurred. A win for the manufacturer, a win for the distributor, a win for individual salesmen.