Job Responsibilities for a Distribution Manager


A distribution manager oversees the operations of getting goods and products for purchase from the warehouse to the supplier or vendor. The distribution manager typically holds a college degree in business administration or distribution management. As of 2013, the job paid an average annual salary of $91,220, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A distribution manager usually works for retail chains, businesses, manufacturing plants and wholesale companies.

Day-to-Day Supervisor

  • The distribution manager supervises daily work activity, including receiving, storing, testing and shipping materials within the distribution center. The manager hires employees and sets safety and security procedures. She handles serious complaints about storage and distribution services. She performs inspections and orders maintenance and repairs for the warehouse. The manager negotiates bids with carriers, warehouse operatives and insurance representatives. She tracks products or goods en route to ensure timely delivery. She develops plans to modify or expand a distribution center and scopes out areas for new centers.

Overall Administrator

  • In the administrative role, the distribution manager reviews work orders, invoices and consumption orders. To determine what type and size of storage container is necessary, the distribution manger examines the weight and quantity for each product or material. He administers shipping instructions and orders the appropriate documents for all materials. The manager prepares the department's budget and relays the charges for each transaction to the sales and billing departments. He calculates freight, inventory and other transportation costs as well. The manager composes correspondence and prepares operations, maintenance and safety reports.

Coordinator and Communicator

  • In the role of coordinator, the distribution manager plans the pickup and delivery schedule of goods and products. She communicates with the department officials to coordinate activities of the distribution center. This includes production, sales, records control and purchasing. The manager also plans the use for each storage facility. She coordinates the allocation of staff members according to need. As a member of the management team, she cooperates with marketing managers and other administrators.


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