Distribution Manager

Last Updated:
July 18, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Distribution Manager is responsible for overseeing the distribution process of goods manufactured by a company. They work in the Manufacturing industry and are responsible for ensuring that products are delivered efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. The Distribution Manager job description includes coordinating with various departments within the company, such as sales and marketing, to ensure that product demand is adequately met. They also communicate with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of materials and oversee the transportation of goods to customers. The Distribution Manager must possess excellent communication, project management, and problem-solving skills. They must also be able to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines. A successful Distribution Manager should be able to optimize the distribution process to ensure timely delivery and high customer satisfaction. If you are interested in this career, a degree in supply chain management, logistics or a related field is generally preferred.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • A Distribution Manager is responsible for overseeing the movement of goods from the warehouse to the customer.
  • They work with the production team to ensure that goods are ready to be shipped on time.
  • The manager ensures that transportation arrangements are in place and that the products are delivered safely to their destination.
  • They monitor inventory levels to ensure that customers are not left waiting for items that are out of stock.
  • The Distribution Manager is responsible for maintaining accurate records of all items that come in and go out of the warehouse.
  • They supervise the warehouse staff, ensuring that quality control measures are in place, and that employees are adhering to safety protocols.
  • The manager also handles any customer complaints regarding delivery or quality issues.
  • They work closely with the sales team to ensure that customer orders are processed correctly and that products are delivered on time.
  • The Distribution Manager is responsible for managing the budget and ensuring that expenses are kept under control.
  • They work closely with the logistics team to optimize delivery routes and reduce transportation costs.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Distribution Manager in the Manufacturing industry, you typically need a mix of education and experience. On the education side, you should have a degree in a relevant field such as logistics, supply chain management, or business administration. Some employers may also require a Master's degree. However, experience is equally important, and many Distribution Managers start in entry-level roles like shipping and receiving or inventory control. You'll need to demonstrate a deep understanding of supply chain processes, inventory management, transportation logistics, and warehouse operations. In addition, good communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills are key to being a successful Distribution Manager.

Salary Range

According to data from Glassdoor and Salary.com, the expected salary range for a Distribution Manager in the Manufacturing industry in the United States is between $70,000 to $120,000 per year, with the average salary being around $90,000. This may vary depending on factors such as the company's size, location, experience level, and skills required. In Canada, the expected salary range is around CAD 65,000 to CAD 120,000 per year, while in the United Kingdom, it ranges from £30,000 to £70,000 per year. 


  • Salary.com (https://www.salary.com/)
  • Glassdoor (https://www.glassdoor.com/) 
  • Indeed (https://www.indeed.com/)

Career Outlook

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for Distribution Managers in the Manufacturing industry is anticipated to grow at a rate of 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to increased globalization and e-commerce development, which necessitate efficient distribution networks. 

The position of a Distribution Manager is crucial to any manufacturing business or supply chain, ensuring timely delivery of products to customers. The usage of automated technologies in warehouses and distribution centers is on the rise. Additionally, individuals with knowledge of data analysis, logistics management, and software skills to maintain inventory, supply chain, and delivery systems will be in high demand. 

In conclusion, the career outlook for Distribution Managers in the Manufacturing industry over the next five years seems to be promising, with an increase in demand for logistics and supply chain professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a distribution manager in the manufacturing industry do?

A: A distribution manager is responsible for managing the logistics and movement of products from the manufacturing site to the customers.

Q: What are the typical responsibilities of a distribution manager?

A: The responsibilities of a distribution manager include overseeing inventory management, coordinating transportation and shipping, optimizing distribution routes, and managing a team of staff.

Q: What skills and qualifications are required for a distribution manager job?

A: Generally, a distribution manager job requires a bachelor's degree in business or logistics management, as well as several years of experience in the field. Strong organizational, leadership, and communication skills are essential.

Q: What challenges does a distribution manager face in the manufacturing industry?

A: The challenges faced by a distribution manager include fluctuating demand, supply chain disruptions, and increasing transportation costs. The manager must navigate these challenges while ensuring timely and cost-effective delivery to customers.

Q: How does a distribution manager work with other departments in a manufacturing company?

A: A distribution manager works collaboratively with departments such as manufacturing, sales, and customer service to ensure smooth operations and a seamless customer experience. This involves constant communication, coordination, and problem-solving.

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