Distribution center managers are responsible for all aspects related to the receiving, storing, and shipping of goods to and from a distribution center. This is a key position in supply chain management, and distribution center managers are responsible for ensuring that, upon receipt, goods are properly stored in an orderly and safe manner to maintain product quality, worker safety, and future ease of access. They design an efficient layout for storage and a process for storing and retrieving goods. They must quickly respond to new orders and ensure delivery of the proper items. Distribution center managers deal either directly with customers or with associated store managers to address any mistakes made in the distribution process. This requires excellent customer service skills.
Distribution center managers generally work in a busy warehouse environment during a 40-hour work week. Overtime may be required if a key deadline must be or has not been met. A typical day for a distribution manager involves reviewing incoming shipments, monitoring warehouse activity, and checking outgoing shipments. Distribution center managers meet with other managers to give feedback about distribution concerns, product availability, and transit times. They also address customer concerns as necessary, and they are occasionally required to attend conferences or seminars to maintain current knowledge on industry trends and methods.
Distribution center managers are generally required to hold a high school diploma or equivalent; many employers prefer or require a bachelor’s degree as well. Several years’ experience managing a large number of employees is necessary, as is experience in the shipping and receiving area. Larger companies with larger distribution centers require more than five years of relevant experience in most cases.
Distribution Center Manager Tasks
Oversee organization shipping and receiving processes to ensure timely access to materials and products.
Analyze routing and transportation needs both within and external to the center to identify areas for improvement.
Manage center staff, including ensuring adherence to safety regulations.
Standardize receiving, sorting, quality control, and distribution of materials and products.