As the cornerstone of the supply network, the distribution center plays a pivotal role in the order fulfillment process. Supply chain management is a difficult task though, given the many stocks, orders, and customers clamoring for their products. Take the case of the high holidays, when everybody is demanding for goods at astounding rates.
If you are a fan of online shopping, then you know how important it is that your goods come complete and on time. While this process might be easy for you, it’s actually quite complicated. Fortunately, the distribution clerk is there to meet your retail needs.
What is a Distribution Clerk?
A distribution clerk takes the role of the warehouse custodian. He is responsible for accepting orders, organizing, and distributing goods and products within the warehouse center. He assists the distribution manager in the completion of administrative and clerical duties. Without him, distribution center activities would go to a complete halt.
Distribution Clerk Job Description
Apart from the aforementioned basic responsibilities, the distribution clerk is also in charge of a number of duties that ensure the smooth flow of warehouse activities.
Receiving and Stocking
- Receives deliveries at the loading dock.
- Checks deliveries against shipment papers.
- Inspects deliveries for damages or discrepancies. Sends them back to the suppliers for replacement.
- Sorts and classifies products accordingly in a manner that makes them easy to obtain once needed.
- Marks crates and barrels for easy identification and retrieval.
- Locates and retrieves organized products or goods as needed.
Inventory and Record-Keeping
- Documents the quantity of the products received, stored, and distributed.
- Copy, print, fax, and e-mail documents as needed, whether to the customers or the suppliers.
- Performs physical counts and maintains inventory records.
- Coordinates with suppliers to refill inventories.
- Makes use of software and programs for accurate record-keeping.
- Accomplishes forms that will facilitate warehouse processes.
- Arranges customer specification records.
Distributing and Shipping
- Transports and distributes items to the various departments in the warehouse.
- Receives inventory orders.
- Prepares lists and labels of items for shipment.
- Collects, prepares, and ships products for shipment.
- Coordinates with couriers for timely shipping.
- Addresses customer inquiries.
- Resolves shipment problems.
- Informs clients about shipment delays or other concerns.
How to Become a Distribution Clerk
As with most warehouse jobs, the basic requirement for employees is a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. Since the distribution clerk takes the role of the warehouse custodian, you need to have at least 6 months of experience in warehousing or office work. From here on out, the other tasks can be mastered since other distribution clerk responsibilities can be learned on the job.
Although most skills can be learned at the warehouse itself, it will help if an aspiring distribution clerk possesses the following qualities:
- Basic math skills
- Good communication skills (Writing, reading, and speaking)
- Strong organizational skills
- Physical strength
- Hand and eye coordination
- Proficiency in basic warehouse activities, such as receiving and storing
- Knowledge in supply chain management
- Proficiency in operating warehouse equipment and machines
- Computer literacy
- Ability to understand instructions
- Ability to work harmoniously with others
- Ability to multi-task
- Ability to detect errors and correct them accordingly
- Positive work attitude
Distribution Clerk Work Scenario
As with most warehouse jobs, a distribution clerk should be strong and fit. This is because of the physicality of the job, as clerks often need to carry items weighing about 50 pounds. They also need to stand for prolonged periods of time.
Distribution Clerk Salary
The national hourly rate in the United States is anywhere from $9.88 to $17.84, with the median rate of $13.00. Overtime rates go a little higher, ranging from $14.58 to $29.97. As with most warehouse jobs, pay grades increase with time and experience.