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Distribution assistants report directly to the distribution supervisor and may require minimal supervision. Depending on the industry, assistants may be responsible for the distribution of food, mail, various media, and distribution of multiple services. Distribution assistants may also perform various tasks specifically for their particular supervisor. The industry in which the distribution assistant is employed will also determine the type of equipment necessary in order for them to perform her duties.
Distribution assistants can work in the building, food, shipping/receiving, and general service industries. They may be in charge of preparing items for distribution or shipment. They may verify incoming shipments or verify distribution is accurately scheduled. They can process payments necessary to order more products to be distributed. Distribution assistants ensure all safety measures and regulations are followed. They may also assist the supervisor with any malfunctions in the distribution process, and generate reports that will be issued to the supervisor for review.
Distribution assistants can work in office buildings or warehouses. If they work in the food industry they may find themselves near or in large kitchens. They may spend a large amount of time on their feet visiting different departments to ensure distribution procedures are running smoothly. They may also spend long amounts of time at their desk using software programs to track and process inventory. They may have to travel or spend considerable amount of time driving to different suppliers to assist with the process of distribution. They generally work a 40-hour week.
Distribution assistants should be highly organized and have inventory management skills. They must also be able to follow directions properly and efficiently handle tasks. Computer skills and word processing spreadsheets knowledge is necessary. They must be problem solvers and have effective communication skills. Writing skills are important for distribution assistants. They must be able to have good money management skills in the event they are given a budget they must adhere to when shopping for products used for distribution.
Distribution assistants usually do not require a formal education, though most employers will request a high school graduate or those that have an equivalent (GED). A valid driver's license may also be required in the event they must drive to different locations. Distribution assistants who choose to work in a warehouse may need to obtain training operating forklifts and light trucks.
According to Indeed.com, as of March, 2010, distribution assistants have an average annual salary of approximately $41,000. Their location, years of experience and industry they are working in also will determine their salary.