A distribution manager is responsible for managing the distribution of goods and services, ensuring the adequacy of merchandise in the storage, and monitoring the products' timely delivery to appropriate locations. Distribution managers process shipments and utilize software systems to track stock levels and order status, negotiate contracts with suppliers and third-party vendors, identify business opportunities to boost maximum productivity and performance, and develop supply strategies to minimize costs without compromising quality. A distribution manager must have excellent communication and critical-thinking skills to manage business performance by coordinating with different teams on achieving business goals and objectives.

Distribution Manager Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real distribution manager resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage all logistics including ocean and air imports, exports and domestic distribution via TL, LTL, and small parcel.
  • Compose and employ initial ISO procedures to attain certification.
  • Manage twenty-five team members during process of unloading trailers to include accurately processing and locating merchandise throughout warehouse with RF devices.
  • Earn FDA and GMP certification at a start-up distribution-base facility in five months.
  • Develop a training program that effectively trains employees in accordance with FDA guidelines.
  • Budget and target tracking to sales goals with direct account responsibility for OEM and price sensitive customers.
  • shift organizational culture towards a consultative selling process, and the development of regional small compressor dealer and OEM networks.
  • Ensure operational safety in compliance with corporate and OSHA audits
  • Develop operational practices which continue to provide a significant ROI.
  • Develop and implement standard operating procedures to pass ISO registration audit.
  • Establish a lean six sigma facility environment increasing employee involvement and moral.
  • Complete optimized weekly schedules for maximum performance and delivering a savings over payroll target weekly.
  • Assist OSHA as a mentor for similar size business wishing to improve safety programs to meet regulatory requirements
  • Conduct essential air and grind transportation briefings to military and DOD personnel to include reporting instructions and flight safety regulations.
  • Evaluate performance of all national and international suppliers, distributors, and 3rd-party logistics providers to ensure top quality and efficiency.

Distribution Manager Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 14% of Distribution Managers are proficient in Customer Service, Logistics, and Continuous Improvement. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Leadership skills, and Management skills.

We break down the percentage of Distribution Managers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 14%

    Maintained high customer service standards and excellent customer satisfaction levels by executing on time deliveries and clear and timely communication.

  • Logistics, 10%

    Evaluated performance of all national and international suppliers, distributors, and 3rd-party logistics providers to ensure top quality and efficiency.

  • Continuous Improvement, 6%

    Represented department in daily war room meetings to report on productivity barriers, performance metrics and status of continuous improvement initiatives.

  • OSHA, 5%

    Assisted OSHA as a mentor for similar sized business wishing to improve safety programs to meet regulatory requirements

  • Operational Procedures, 4%

    Established operational procedures for the verification of incoming and outgoing shipments, handling and disposition of materials and maintaining current inventory.

  • Distribution Operations, 4%

    Reported to Director, Distribution Operations, project managed implementation of critical sample allocation system, streamlining and improving end-to-end process.

Most distribution managers list "customer service," "logistics," and "continuous improvement" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important distribution manager responsibilities here:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a distribution manager to have. According to a distribution manager resume, "top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively" distribution managers are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "apply sound communication and motivational techniques to supervise, counsel and discipline subordinates, and implement performance evaluation systems. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many distribution manager duties rely on leadership skills. This example from a distribution manager explains why: "top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources." This resume example is just one of many ways distribution managers are able to utilize leadership skills: "applied organizational and leadership skills to reverse a chaotic distribution operation. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among distribution managers is management skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a distribution manager resume: "top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "budget control, project management, employee training, fda and export compliance. "
  • In order for certain distribution manager responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "problem-solving skills." According to a distribution manager resume, "top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "partnered with fedex in implementing fedex shipping solutions integration with the sap erp system. "
  • As part of the distribution manager description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "time-management skills." A distribution manager resume included this snippet: "top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "managed a regional distribution facility responsible for shipping finished goods to the customer on time and complete. "
  • See the full list of distribution manager skills.

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    What Logistics Supervisors Do

    A logistics supervisor is an individual tasked to oversee goods shipment and delivery in organizations. Supervisors manage the planning, organization, and implementation of the company's systems. They take responsibility for managing the inventory of warehouse stocks based on the foreseeable requirements. It is part of their job to schedule deliveries and pickups with the internal staff or transportation companies. Their skills should include adaptability, project management proficiency, and communication skills.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take logistics supervisor for example. On average, the logistics supervisors annual salary is $23,963 lower than what distribution managers make on average every year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between distribution managers and logistics supervisors are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like customer service, continuous improvement, and osha.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A distribution manager responsibility is more likely to require skills like "logistics," "operational procedures," "distribution operations," and "safety training." Whereas a logistics supervisor requires skills like "safety procedures," "excellent time management," "standard operating procedure," and "customer issues." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Logistics supervisors tend to make the most money in the technology industry by averaging a salary of $82,503. In contrast, distribution managers make the biggest average salary of $85,060 in the technology industry.

    The education levels that logistics supervisors earn is a bit different than that of distribution managers. In particular, logistics supervisors are 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a distribution manager. Additionally, they're 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Logistics Director?

    A logistics director spearheads and oversees a company's logistics operations. They are primarily responsible for setting goals and guidelines, managing the budgets and timelines, researching new opportunities, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of operations, and implementing solutions against problem areas. They must also maintain positive relationships with key clients and external parties, such as distributors and suppliers. Furthermore, as a director, it is essential to lead employees while implementing the company's policies and regulations, recommending new ones as needed.

    Next up, we have the logistics director profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a distribution manager annual salary. In fact, logistics directors salary difference is $19,564 higher than the salary of distribution managers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both distribution managers and logistics directors are known to have skills such as "customer service," "continuous improvement," and "distribution operations. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that distribution manager responsibilities requires skills like "logistics," "osha," "operational procedures," and "safety training." But a logistics director might use skills, such as, "supply chain," "logistics operations," "project management," and "oversight."

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, logistics directors tend to reach higher levels of education than distribution managers. In fact, they're 7.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Warehouse Manager Compares

    Warehouse managers oversee the overall operations of a company's warehouse. They manage the inventory by ensuring that the inventory records are updated and accurate. They tend to deliveries and check all items. They ensure that items in the warehouse are appropriately stored and secured. They also supervise the shipping of items from the warehouse and ensure that the correct products are delivered. Warehouse managers continuously find ways to improve the efficiency of warehouse operations. Warehouse managers manage warehouse personnel as well, ensuring that they are trained well and motivated to work.

    Let's now take a look at the warehouse manager profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than distribution managers with a $27,075 difference per year.

    Using distribution managers and warehouse managers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "customer service," "logistics," and "operational procedures," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a distribution manager is likely to be skilled in "continuous improvement," "osha," "safety training," and "customer satisfaction," while a typical warehouse manager is skilled in "safety regulations," "safety procedures," "delivery truck," and "purchase orders."

    Warehouse managers make a very good living in the technology industry with an average annual salary of $64,453. Whereas distribution managers are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $85,060.

    When it comes to education, warehouse managers tend to earn similar education levels than distribution managers. In fact, they're 4.9% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Inventory Control Manager

    An inventory control manager is a professional who is responsible for directing all tasks related to inventory management of a company. They manage the allocation of materials, supplies, and finished goods as well as design strategies to minimize the cost or time to move goods. They are required to lead a team of storage or warehouse personnel to help them with the actual inventory count. Inventory control managers must also develop a business relationship with their suppliers or vendors.

    Inventory control managers tend to earn a lower pay than distribution managers by about $29,863 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, distribution managers and inventory control managers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "customer service," "logistics," and "continuous improvement. "

    Each job requires different skills like "osha," "operational procedures," "distribution operations," and "inventory control," which might show up on a distribution manager resume. Whereas inventory control manager might include skills like "inventory control procedures," "sales floor," "team work," and "purchase orders."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The retail industry tends to pay more for inventory control managers with an average of $59,685. While the highest distribution manager annual salary comes from the technology industry.

    In general, inventory control managers reach similar levels of education when compared to distribution managers resumes. Inventory control managers are 1.6% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Distribution Manager Does FAQs

    What Is A Distribution Company?

    A distribution company moves products and materials from the manufacturer to the retailer.

    Distribution companies purchase quantities of goods from a manufacturer and supply them to individual retail companies. Each party involved gains profit from the process. The distribution company is the middleman in the supply chain.

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