How to Become a Distribution Center Manager

If you’re interested in distribution, inventory control and managerial positions, you may be interested in a position as a distribution center manager. Distribution centers are the heart of any inventory-based enterprise, and they can require significant amounts of time and effort to successfully control.

What Is a Distribution Center Manager?

How to Become a Distribution Center Manager

A distribution center manager needs to be very familiar with a variety of tools.

Distribution centers maintain all of the product inventory that needs to be sent to retail outlets, other warehouses and to consumers. A distribution center can often be extremely large and very complex, as each separate item of inventory needs to be consistently tracked and managed. To do this, there are usually comprehensive computer systems that take a constant inventory and track every item internally. The distribution center manager is responsible for overseeing the center and ensuring that nothing disrupts service.

The distribution center manager will be responsible for the maintenance of the distribution center, the employees of the center and meeting certain metrics and milestones. The manager may also need to file specific reports in regards to the efficiency of the center and need to analyze reports to identify any issues with the center itself, as well as to identify any ways of increasing overall productivity.

What Does a Distribution Center Manager Do?

The distribution center manager will be responsible for the daily workings of the center. They may need to work long hours and need to deal with any issues as they come up. The distribution center manager is responsible for employees, hiring and firing as well as preparing department budgets. A good deal of the work the distribution center manager does will include reports and analysis. The distribution manager will also need to ensure that proper OSHA safety standards are being maintained.

As noted in O*Net Online, the distribution center manager needs to be very familiar with a variety of tools. They will often be responsible for checking the status of equipment, scheduling repairs and purchasing new equipment as is necessary. Distribution center managers are required to be excellent at communication, making decisions and solving problems. Distribution is extraordinarily critical to many businesses, and even a small glitch can have huge consequences.

How Do You Become a Distribution Center Manager?

You can become a distribution center manager through work within a distribution center. Most managers will need at least one to five years of experience in the distribution center, and some may be an assistant manager before becoming an actual manager. Most distribution center managers will have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a field related to business or management.

Distribution center managers will need to prove that they have the capacity for leadership and that they can manage their employees effectively. They will also need to demonstrate their knowledge regarding the tools and software system used throughout the distribution center.

How Do You Advance as a Distribution Center Manager?

Most distribution center managers can advance through consistently delivering their products on time and maintaining an organized system. While already responsible for the center’s management, a manager may be able to advance into operations management for an entire set of distribution centers. Distribution center managers may also be able to move into related fields, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists as storage management and transportation.

Those that wish to stay within their field will usually obtain higher rates of pay based on seniority. However, individuals that are very talented at distribution center management could also potentially become logistics consultants and distribution consultants. The field of logistics is expected to grow very quickly throughout the coming years and offers many opportunities.

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