How to implement EMS in your supply chain and logistic processes to support channel management 

In the first part of our article, we introduced what an EMS is, and showed how it can impact your channel management and marketing mix, particularly in terms of the "place" aspect of the 4Ps.   

In this first part we have shown that Strategic Market Units (SMU) have become essential elements for brands seeking to optimize their distribution while offering added value to their customers.   

In this second part, we'll explore how you can effectively integrate EMS into your existing production and marketing processes to support your channel management.  

1. Supply Chain / IT essential elements of channel management :  

a. Production or Direct Sourcing :   

Whenever possible, favor direct EMS production or sourcing. Work closely with suppliers to ensure compliance with specifications and regulations, just as you do with the rest of your products.  

The process must start with a thorough design phase, followed by rigorous production and extensive quality control. Make sure you establish clear agreements with suppliers to guarantee a smooth supply chain, in the same way as you already do on other product lines.

Even if it's not yet a product in your permanent range.   

b. Modifications Minimes :   

If direct production is not feasible, you can propose alternatives such as changing packaging or creating product bundles.

Coordinate these changes with suppliers, if possible, so as to minimize disruption to the production, storage and marketing processes that follow.  

c. Integration into the IT system :   

Before creating your products, make sure you integrate them into your information system (ERP / WMS). Develop clear procedures (if you haven't already done so) for :

  • The creation of new product codes identifying these EMS from other products
  • Updating stock levels
  • Complete traceability of the EMS life cycle. (Batch, specific SKU, product nomenclature).  

d. Setting up an EMS-specific supply chain:  

For outgoing flows, we recommend setting up a supply chain specifically for EMS, for better control of these references in distribution. After all, that's the whole point of setting up an EMS: control.

This involves taking into account the specific characteristics of EMS, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Specific distribution channels
  • Strategic partnerships with specialized carriers
  • Precise planning to meet fluctuating market demands.  

2. Logistics :  

  • Optimizing incoming flows :

Strategic Market Units (SMUs), optimally integrated into existing logistics operations, play a crucial role in channel management.

As with all your other product lines, this involves :  

  • Coordinating deliveries to avoid bottlenecks and maintain a constant flow  
  • The use of real-time inventory management tools to monitor EMS stock levels and anticipate replenishment requirements.  
  • The need to minimize stock-outs while avoiding overstocking  

The aim is to contribute to more efficient distribution and greater customer satisfaction.  

  • Over-conditioning:  

Over-packaging means paying special attention to packaging and the number of products that can be sold per order, adding potentially additional differentiation to the core product, which can be beneficial for channel management.

This over-conditioning can allow :   

  • Market differentiation: Set your products apart by offering special packaging or extras that are unique on the market. 
  • Optimizing distributor margins and your
  • Better assimilation of logistical constraints (resistance, shape, storage and picking, etc.).
  • Perceived Value Optimization: Use over-packaging to reinforce customers' perceived value.  
  • EMS Product Labeling and Tracking :  

Accurate labeling: To ensure that you are tracking your Strategic Market Units (SMU) effectively, adopt an accurate labeling approach. This practice, essential for all your products, is particularly important for SMUs, strengthening logistics management and the transmission of crucial information to consumers.  

Each unit must be fitted with detailed labels, in addition to an EAN 13 barcode, clearly highlighting the product and its specific characteristics, which is essential for channel management. These labels play a central role in smooth supply chain management, providing crucial information and ensuring regulatory compliance. In addition, they remain a strategic component for marketing communications, informing consumers about the legal aspects of the product while highlighting its benefits.

The importance of labeling is not limited to individual products. In the case of bundles and over-packaging, this practice must be applied with equivalent precision to facilitate channel management. Each element of the bundle must be clearly identified, and details of over-packaging must be explicitly included in the labeling.

  • Minimized storage

Wherever possible, avoid storing EMS by creating additional locations. Use solutions such as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to outsource storage, or 3PLs specialized to your dsitributon channel.

This approach reduces the costs associated with warehouse expansion and inventory management, while guaranteeing rapid product availability to meet demand and test products on the market.

3. Marketing :  

  • Creating Product Datasheets : Develop detailed product datasheets that highlight specific EMS features that benefit consumers. Present these products as unique solutions offering added value or meeting a specific need. Include eye-catching visual elements in your product sheets to stimulate customer interest, and link them to existing products to create added value!
  • Performance tracking: Implement EMS-specific marketing performance tracking mechanisms. Analyze customer feedback, conversion rates and sales trends to quickly adjust promotional strategies.  
  • Impact on distributor profitability: Performance monitoring is not just limited to marketing indicators. It must also include an assessment of the financial impact for distributors. Tracking mechanisms must be in place to assess whether distributors are making more money from the sale of EMS products. This may involve analyzing profit margins, sales volumes and setting up financial incentives for distributors.  

Don't hesitate to combine a product in an SMU to add value (different formats, different colors, etc.).  

Ideas for implementation: Bonus point  

Using RFID for tracking: To improve the accuracy of EMS product tracking, the use of technologies such as RFID is an idea. RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) assigns a unique identifier to each product, facilitating automated tracking throughout the supply chain. This reduces the risk of errors, speeds up inventory management processes, and provides real-time visibility on the location and status of EMS products. By integrating these technologies, EMS companies enhance the security of their supply chain, protect their products and optimize operational management.  

Examples of EMS that have become Product Lines

Bundles :  

Bundles represent added value, bringing together complementary products to offer a richer, more advantageous shopping experience.  

Value creation :  

Value Proposition: Create bundles by combining complementary products for an attractive value proposition.  

Pricing strategy: Use bundles for an advantageous pricing strategy, encouraging customers to opt for bundled offers.  


In conclusion, the successful adoption of Strategic Market Units (SMU) in your production and marketing processes represents a strategic pivot for brands seeking to better optimize and control their distribution and offer a differentiated value proposition.

In this in-depth exploration, we have identified several key steps to effectively integrate EMS, from supply chain to marketing. 

The first part of our article highlighted the growing importance of EMS in the marketing mix, particularly in the "place" dimension.

In this second part, we have detailed specific recommendations for maximizing the benefits of EMS in your existing operations. 

By implementing practices such as direct production, minimal modification, IT integration, the creation of specific supply chains, and logistics optimization, you can leverage the strategic advantages of EMS.

Special attention to over-packaging, precise labeling and opportunities for permanent, ephemeral and bundled ranges will help strengthen your market position. 

In short, by transforming EMS into a key element of your offering, you can not only respond to changing market demands, but also build a lasting, consistent brand image.

Integrating EMS wisely into your existing processes represents a strategic opportunity to thrive in a dynamic and demanding business landscape.