Distribution Manager Careers

How to become a Distribution Manager

What does a Distribution Manager do?

Distribution managers, sometimes known as logistics or supply chain managers, plan and manage the flow of goods or materials from suppliers to outlets and then on to customers.

Distribution managers work closely with other professionals such as purchasing officers and warehouse and transport managers, in order to ensure goods are received in depots on time, stored correctly, and dispatched according to schedules.

They use computer packages to monitor stock levels, re-order goods, and track the movement of goods through depots. They may also oversee the ordering process and packaging of goods ready for dispatch.

An important part of the job is analysing existing networks and systems and developing new ones to improve efficiency.

Distribution managers also manage clerical, administrative and warehouse distribution staff, and deal with their recruitment and training.

What's the working environment like working as a Distribution Manager?

Distribution managers normally work between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. However, depending on the operation, they may have to work evenings and weekends on a rota basis, or be on call to deal with emergencies. Many firms run 24-hour operations, where shift work may be in operation.

Work could be in an administration office, a warehouse or a traffic office.

What does it take to become a Distribution Manager?

To be a distribution manager you should:

  • be able to motivate and manage a team
  • have good forward-planning skills
  • have good spoken and written communication skills
  • have good analytical and numeracy skills
  • be accurate and pay attention to detail
  • be confident using computer packages, including spreadsheets
  • be able to prioritise workloads and work under pressure
  • have some geographical knowledge.

Distribution Manager Career Opportunities

A wide range of organisations employ distribution managers. These range from small firms that operate locally, to national and multinational companies. Opportunities are increasing with the demand for European supply chain solutions.

Employers include: wholesalers; warehousing and distribution firms; manufacturers; freight forwarders; central and local government departments; public utilities such as water, gas and electricity companies; major retailers; charities; and the armed forces.

There are increasingly opportunities for promotion to senior levels or specialism in a specific area. International travel may be possible.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Distribution Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK)
Logistics and Transport Centre
Earlstrees Court
Earlstrees Road
NN17 4AX
Tel: 01536 740100

Skills for Logistics
14 Warren Yard
Warren Farm Office Village
Milton Keynes
MK12 5NW
Tel: 0870 242 7314

Careers in Logistics

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