How To Become A Supply And Distribution Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become supply and distribution managers in Australia.


Do you possess strong analytical skills, like working with numbers and leading people? If so, a supply chain and distribution manager career could be ideal for you.


Supply chain managers oversee the operations and logistics of a company to maximise its productivity and process efficiency. They directly communicate with suppliers and guide store managers within the supply chain.


To work as a Supply and Distribution Manager, you need substantial experience and a university qualification in logistics, warehousing, distribution, business management, freight forwarding, or another related field.


Keep reading this blog to learn about the role, associated tasks and duties, required qualifications and skills, average earnings, and the steps to secure a position in this profession.



1. What is Logistics?


Logistics entails managing the acquisition, storage, and transportation of goods to their destination. 


It involves:


  • Creating streamlined procedures to buy and distribute products 

  • Maintaining updated records of product orders, and their transportation status

  • Collaborating with workers, clients, and investors to maximise supply chain efficiency



2. What Is A Supply And Distribution Manager?


Supply Chain Managers play a vital role in building and maintaining positive relationships with suppliers, vendors, and distributors. They supervise and coordinate an organisation's supply chain, including the storage and distribution of products.


Distribution managers monitor the quality and quantity of inventory, shipping bulk quantities of goods, supervise warehouses and warehouse workers, and fulfilling customer demand.


They work to ensure that goods meet set quality standards and are loaded and delivered on time.  



3. Supply And Distribution Manager Job Description


They carry out the following tasks at work:


  • Conduct effective demand planning and management, including Sales and Operations Planning and buying decisions.

  • Optimise the inventory levels required in production and the storage of finished goods

  • Manage Service Level Agreements and relationships with third-party suppliers and vendors 

  • Delegate responsibilities to workers and oversee their performance

  • Recruit and provide training to warehouse workers

  • Enhance logistics, delivery procedures, and systems for processing finished goods to customers.

  • Address complaints and queries of customers

  • Review data, work orders, and invoices

  • Plan and manage budgets

  • Develop and execute plans to maintain the necessary stock levels at the lowest cost

  • Oversee the product's pickup or delivery

  • Execute and monitor the plans, strategies and policies for buying, storage, and distribution

  • Do negotiations with suppliers in areas of cost, quality, and delivery.

  • Operate recording systems to track supplies and finished goods to ensure timely re-stocking and re-ordering of raw materials



4. Procurement Manager Job Description In Australia


Here is the summary of the tasks and duties that you will perform regularly:


  • Organise policies and procedures to gather and report metrics that lower overall expenses and enhance productivity

  • Build and execute advanced procurement strategies across purchasing channels

  • Allocate duties and monitor the work of procurement and purchasing agents 

  • Manage each aspect of the supply chain and report any obstacle that may reduce efficiency to the senior management

  • Conduct cost analysis and establish suitable standards

  • Organise deliveries

  • Research developments in global spending 

  • Formulate policies to manage and mitigate risks



5. Supply And Distribution Manager Skills


You need a combination of technical abilities and soft skills to excel in this role. Here is what employers look for in an applicant for this position:



Hard Skills


  • Good in Mathematics

  • Sound knowledge of logistics, production and processing, transportation, accounting, Enterprise resource planning, sales, and marketing

  • Computer skills



Soft Skills


  • Interested in serving people

  • Active listening 

  • Effective negotiation skills

  • Able to anticipate customer needs quickly 

  • Logic and reasoning skills

  • Effective at conveying information

  • Strong social skills

  • Solid verbal and written communication skills

  • Strong coaching skills

  • Organisation skills

  • Effective time management skills

  • Able to create and maintain a safe work environment

  • Complex problem-solving abilities

  • Impressive Customer service skills

  • Excellent leadership skills

  • Critical thinking

  • Sound Judgment and decision making 

  • Able to coordinate work with other people

  • Practical management skills for material and personnel resources



6. Qualifications For A Supply And Distribution Manager In Australia


Hiring managers usually need candidates with at least a bachelor's degree with several years of experience for this role. They look for candidates with good negotiation skills and the ability to enhance efficiency in a business.


Here is how you can qualify for this role:




7. How To Qualify For A Distribution Manager Role?


You will need a mix of education and experience to enter this profession. The requisite qualifications for this role are:


  • Complete a high school diploma or an equivalent course

  • Complete a bachelor's degree in business or management

  • Earn work experience in warehouse management

  • Knowledge of existing shipping technologies is preferred.



8. Steps To Become A Supply Chain Manager In Australia



Step 1: Complete A Bachelor's Qualification


Most supply chain managers have a degree in supply chain management, systems engineering, or business administration


A Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) is ideal. It teaches you the fundamentals of product lifecycles, inventory supervision, procurement methods, storage logistics, and transportation.


The degree provides a thorough understanding of strategic management and import and export processes. It sharpens your skills to develop and maintain channel relationships.


Presently, the following training institutes offer this degree course in Australia: Swinburne OnlineGriffith UniversitySwinburne University of TechnologyOpen Universities (On-campus and Online), and Victoria University.



Step 2: Consider Professional Logistics Certification Courses 


Professional certification in logistics is a great way to show your competence, boost your resume, and improve your entry into this profession. 


Moreover, earning a Certified Supply Chain Professional credential will help you thrive in logistics and advance your career fast. 


The best part of logistics training programs is that they are online. It means that you can study at your pace and convenience and develop skills and knowledge while working in your current job. 


Some of the most sought logistic courses are as follows:




Step 3: Gain Work Experience


Supply chain managers generally need 5-10 years of work experience in logistics, supply chain management, or procurement to qualify for a managerial role. After graduating, you should seek entry-level job opportunities in the above areas to gain on-the-job training. 


It helps you learn more about the industry, develops valuable work experience, and cultivates vital technical and soft skills such as leadership, problem-solving, and customer service skills to work as a supply chain manager.



Step 4: Apply For Jobs


By gaining the necessary education and experience under the belt, you are all set to find opportunities in the employment market. 


However, before applying to supply chain manager jobs, update your resume by listing related professional skills, certifications, and experience.



Step 5: Advance Your Career


Take your project management abilities to the next level by earning a two-year full-time Master's qualification. 


RMIT Online is a recognised university that offers Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management course. When completing this course, you get in-depth, holistic, and practical knowledge and skillset to work in supply chain and distribution management. 


Other reputed course providers include The University of Sydney, Edith and Cowan University, and RMIT University.


Related Industry bodies:




9. How Long Does It Take To Become A Supply Chain Manager?


Supply chain managers mostly have a bachelor's degree or higher in a related field, strong technical skills, and a minimum of five years of experience in customer service, logistics, or business. Many even earn professional certifications.


It takes three years to complete a bachelor's degree in business administration, logistics, or sales, such as a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management).


Thus, you will need at least eight years to become a Supply chain manager in Australia.



10. Where Do Supply And Distribution Managers Work?


Here are the industries with the percentages of employed supply and distribution managers: 


  • Transport, Postal, and Warehousing: 41.3%

  • Manufacturing: 13.1%

  • Wholesale trade: 11.3%

  • Public Administration And Safety: 8.3%

  • Other Industries


Supply chain managers usually begin their careers in entry-level positions in logistics, supply chain management, procurement, or military sectors.


The most common job roles in logistics and supply chain management include the following:




11. Areas Of Specialisation


After working as a Supply Chain and Distribution Manager for several years, professionals can consider gaining specialised knowledge and skills in the area of their interest.


The available options for specialisation include the following:


  • Logistics Manager

  • Ordnance Corps Officer

  • Supply Chain Manager

  • Logistics Officer

  • Supply Officer

  • Transport Corps Officer


After gaining experience, Supply chain managers can also become a coach and offer training to team members to help them master skills and progress to supervisory roles.



12. Supply And Distribution Manager - Migrating To Australia


In Australia, the occupation of a Supply, Procurement, and Distribution Manager is categorised under a Skill Level 1 Group.


They have a skill level commensurate with at least a bachelor's qualification or a minimum of 5 years of relevant experience. In some cases, work experience and on-the-job training may be essential with the formal qualification.


Supply and distribution manager ANZSCO Code 133611 - Registered Migration Australia. Occupations in the Supply and Distribution Manager Group:


  • 133611 Supply and Distribution Manager  

  • 133612 Procurement Manager


The AIM - (Australian Institute of Management) evaluates Supply and Distribution Managers.



13. Supply And Distribution Manager Skill Assessment


Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations examine the required qualifications and experience of the applicant for specific jobs and tasks they can perform in that occupation.


The Country Education Profiles (CEPs) by the Australian Government Department of Education form the basis for academic evaluation.


In addition to holding a relevant bachelor's or master's qualification equivalent to an AQF qualification, the applicant must also have a minimum of 3 years of experience in a supply and distribution-related role. Out of which, they should have spent two years working as a Supply & Distribution Manager.


Suppose the applicant does not possess a related bachelor's or master's degree comparable to an equivalent AQF qualification. In that case, he must have at least five years of work experience in a supply and distribution role.


Out of which, he should have worked for a minimum of 2 years as Supply & Distribution Manager.


Besides employment experience, the complexity and size of the organisation will also impact the assessment of an applicant as a Supply & Distribution Manager for migration.



14. Work Conditions For Supply and Distribution Managers


The job of a Supply and Distribution Manager is primarily an indoor job that involves working in various settings. They may work at an office desk or observe operations in a warehouse or manufacturing facility.


Around 94% of employed Supply and Distribution Managers work full-time for an average of 48 hours per week. It is 4 hours more than the average of all jobs (44 hours per week). Occasionally, workers must work after business hours and shifts if the situation requires immediate attention.


The job often requires travelling to different stores in the supply chain or areas of large warehouses to meet suppliers and other partners.


Supply and Distribution Managers work closely with suppliers, delivery coordinators, manufacturers, and return processors. They report to the Chief Operations Officer of the organisation.



15. What Is Supply And Distribution Manager's Salary In Australia?


The salary of a supply chain manager depends on the industry they work in, the size of the company, their work location, their level of education, and their experience.


The average supply chain manager salary in Australia is AU$101,465 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$30.97.


Salary based on experience:


  • Entry-level (<1-year experience): AU$77,293 

  • Early career (1 to 4 years of experience): AU$82,080 

  • Mid-career (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$100,889 

  • Experienced level (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$117,582 


The average supply chain manager's salary in Sydney is $144,286 per year, with an equivalent hourly rate of $69. Additionally, they earn an average bonus of $11,355. 


Where entry-level supply chain managers make around $101,152, senior professionals with 8+ years of experience may earn up to $179,516.


The national average distribution Manager salary is AU$85,658 per year or AU$30.00 per hour. Here is what you can expect to earn with varying levels of experience:  


  • Early career: AU$70,363 per year

  • Mid-career: AU$88,324 per year

  • Experienced level: AU$101,957 per year



16. Job Outlook For Supply And Distribution Manager In Australia


The worldwide logistics industry is experiencing a massive boom, specifically in Asia.


As per Labour Market Insights, there are now 24,500 people working as supply and distribution managers in Australia. Job prospects in this profession are excellent, with predictions of robust growth.


The average age of Supply and Distribution Managers is 45 years, while most workers are in the age group of 45 to 54 years. It is higher than the average of all other jobs (40 years).


Females constitute only 19% of the workforce which is 29 percentage points lower than the average of all jobs (48%).


Employment (in percentage) throughout Australia:


  • New South Wales: 34.1%

  • Victoria: 27.4%

  • Queensland: 18.2%

  • South Australia: 6.4%

  • Western Australia: 10.2%

  • Tasmania: 1.2%

  • Northern Territory: 1.1%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 1.2%


Highest paying cities for Supply Chain Managers in Australia:


  • Perth, WA (16.8% more than the average earnings in Australia) 

  • Adelaide, SA (5.5% more)

  • Sydney, NSW (3.7% more)



17. Conclusion


A career in Supply chain management is ideal for those who enjoy working in a challenging work environment and seek a better scope for growth and decent earnings. 


Furthermore, opportunities to serve and work with local and overseas people and a steady flow of exciting work make it a profession worth considering.


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