Director of Distribution


Privately owned wholesale grocery store distributor based in the Southeast.


This position will report directly to and work under the general supervision of the Vice President of Distribution. The individual in this position will have four to six exempt operations managers as direct reports and will supervise approximately 45 exempt and 900 non-exempt employees.


The individual who occupies this position will be expected ­­to direct planning of all warehouse activity including all shipping, receiving, inventory control, damage reclamation, and revenue generating activities in order to meet company, customer, state, and federal standards. This individual will also be expected to ensure that the accuracy and quality of work meets the company’s high standards and are strategic strengths for future growth.

Dimensions of the scope of responsibility include:

  • $2.1 billion annual sales and $120 million in average inventory.
  • Operating expenses of over $38 million.
  • Approximately 115,000 truckloads and 228 million cases per year.
  • Warehouse-generated revenue in excess of $3 billion.
  • DRC revenue of more than $2.2 million.

Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • Direct distribution operations with food and human safety as a top priority.
  • Establish quantitative and qualitative metrics, guidelines, and standards by which the warehouse’s efficiency and effectiveness can be evaluated; identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Review, analyze, and evaluate business procedures.
  • Implement policies and procedures that will improve day-to-day operations.
  • Responsible for inbound and outbound modeling to create staffing and production capacity goals.
  • Conduct performance appraisals and coach direct reports to enhance individual and team performance; assist in the development of individual and team performance improvement goals aimed at supporting achievement of company objectives.
  • Plan, direct, control, implement, evaluate, monitor, and forecast budgets and cost of sales in each division to achieve financial objectives.
  • Communicate and explain new directives, policies, or procedures to managers; for major changes, meet with entire operations staff to explain changes, answer questions, and maintain morale.
  • Improve customer service and satisfaction through policy and procedural changes.
  • Lead coordination and integration of efforts among operations, engineering, technology, and customer service divisions to produce smoother workflow and more cost-effective business processes.
  • Develop and maintain a succession plan; accountable for training and staffing activities that provide equal opportunity for motivated team members to advance in the organization.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of development and skill-building systems against productivity and employee turnover goals and take corrective action as needed
  • Oversee Damage Reclaim Center to ensure company, state, and federal standards are met.
  • Provide direction on the development of systems to improve and measure performance.
  • Promote and enforce a “customer service” environment to ensure that customer orders and delivery schedules are met, and ensure all problems are handled promptly and to the customer’s satisfaction.
  • Promote safety in the warehouse to ensure accidents are reported through company safety team; ensure all legal and company regulations are being followed.
  • Develop and negotiate agreements with third-party unloading company to ensure timely and accurate inbound schedules are met.
  • Provide direction in staffing and work with human resources to maximize efficiency and productivity through accurate selection and proper training.
  • Develop and promote awareness and accountability among supervisors and warehouse employees to decrease expenses in all areas (repairs, supplies) in order to meet or exceed budgeted expenses.
  • Provide insight in the selection and purchasing of all warehouse supplies and equipment to ensure efficiency and safety; approve all warehouse expenses.
  • Oversee all warehouse revenue-producing initiatives and promote a desire to maximize revenue from existing or new ventures.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations, and company policies including OSHA, FDA, HACCP, FSMA, SQF, etc.
  • Formulate and execute warehouse strategies that are aligned with corporate strategies and metrics.
  • Work in conjunction with other areas in the organization to support cross-functional projects or initiatives.
  • Serve on task force, committees, and other related work groups.


  • Minimum of 10 years of increasing experience in distribution.
  • Must be able to make decisions independently to address both short- and long-term operational needs.
  • Four-year bachelor’s degree in business or logistics, or equivalent experience.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.


Chris Shade, Consultant