What Does a Distribution Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: Ryan Russell
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2019
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A distribution supervisor oversees and manages the daily responsibilities relating to a company’s distribution center. This individual supervises the process of receiving and shipping products. He is tasked will designing and implementing strategies for ensuring that distribution runs smoothly and efficiently. He also is responsible for the center’s performance as well as making sure distribution employees follow a strict directive.

The job requires the individual make sure all inventory is properly documented and accounted for. In addition, it must be stored accessibly so that it can be moved quickly out of the facility as needed. The supervisor must meet customer needs and provide fast service while maintaining company policies and procedures. His goal is to not only establish an effective distribution environment, but also create a safe workplace for employees as well.

This individual is expected to identify new cost-saving measures to implement within the distribution system. In addition, he should be working on improving strategies to boost overall performance and proficiency of the distribution model. The distribution supervisor is most successful when he is able to cultivate high morale levels among the employees. Taking suggestions and implementing employee recommendations is an important step toward achieving this.


It is essential that the distribution supervisor make sure that routing information matches with sales orders and that there are no serious communication errors. Problems in the distribution chain can cost a company enormously in time and resources. This person must oversee the tag recovery process and the ship confirmation function on a daily basis. He must also ensure that all outgoing packages are in compliance with their destination’s laws, particularly on international orders.

Quality standards must be followed in accordance with company policy. The distribution supervisor is often checked on by upper management to ensure that standards are met. The supervisor is responsible for training new employees in the distribution center and ensuring that they understand safety guidelines and what is expected of them. The entire distribution team follows the direction of the supervisor, and as a result, the supervisor bears most of the responsibility should a serious malfunction occur.

The distribution supervisor is expected to stay in constant contact with bosses to provide input on the evolving needs of the distribution center. He is also responsible for identifying potential problems before they occur. A good supervisor will relay strategic information to his bosses on how to increase effectiveness. This supervisor is ultimately one of the most integral figures in the process of running an efficient and profitable company.


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