Supply and distribution manager

What they do

Supply and distribution managers are responsible for the organisation and coordination of the supply, storage and distribution of goods produced by an organisation. Their role involves communicating between departments, customers and suppliers, and recording the purchase, storage and distribution of goods, handling invoices and budgeting.

The supply and distribution manager may also be in charge of hiring, training, supervising and managing the warehouse workers.

Working conditions

Supply and distribution managers generally work in an office space and usually sit down for extended periods of time. Sometimes they will spend time in the warehouse they are managing, to monitor the performance of workers and make decisions regarding storage.

Tools and technologies

Supply and distribution managers perform many of their daily tasks on computers. They must be familiar with Word, Excel and data entry programs. They also use enterprise resource planning business management software.

Supply and distributions managers may have to wear protective clothing such as hard hats, high visibility clothing and safety boots when working on the warehouse floor.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a supply and distribution manager you usually need to complete a formal qualification in logistics or supply chain management. Most employers will also require those working in management roles to have experience using leadership skills in a related industry or occupation.

The Diploma of Logistics is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can also undertake a traineeship in logistics management (level 5). The traineeship usually takes 36 months to complete.

You can also complete a degree majoring in logistics and supply chain management. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.