We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Distribution Department do?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Distribution departments are departments charged with the responsibility of receiving items that are ordered from vendors, and directing those items to the proper division or department within a company. The idea is to create a situation where all goods are accounted for from the time they are delivered, up to and including the moment they are issued to a specific unit within the business. The use of a distribution department makes it very easy to manage costs and reduce the potential for waste, as well as minimize the possibility of production being delayed due to goods being forwarded to the wrong department at the time of delivery.

The size and scope of a distribution department will vary from one business setting to the next. In general, the inbound goods are accepted by a receiving department, which verifies that the goods received are the same type and quantity as reflected on the accompanying documents. From there, the goods are placed into a storage area, and the paperwork is forwarded to the distribution department. There, those who are involved in the process of distribution management make arrangements to forward the goods received to the proper divisions or departments within the company. Once the goods are delivered to the right department, the distribution personnel record the date and time of the delivery, who received the goods, and then marks the transaction as complete.

Making use of a distribution department is beneficial in several ways. First, the department adds another level of security, because the close scrutiny of where those received goods are currently located in the company pipeline helps to cut down on the possibility of employee theft. The quantity of the goods must match what is shown as received by the receiving department, and must also agree with the quantities that are issued or distributed to various departments in the company structure. If there is some sort of variance, steps can be taken to determine where the variance took place, and thus make it easier to identify who may have stolen the goods.

There are usually several distribution department jobs common to this type of operation. Along with a departmental manager, one or more distribution operators are commonly a part of the distribution team. The operators often work with the receiving department to verify quantities and types of goods, make sure they are held in the right location while distribution to other areas of the company is pending, and prepare the paperwork that authorizes the removal of the goods from storage and their transport to their destination. Some operators may focus more on the actual handling of the goods, while others address the clerical steps involved in the distribution process.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Telsyst — On Feb 06, 2014

Another benefit of this kind of department, in addition to narrowing down who handled incoming products, is that those who best know what the company needs are able to inspect the products before they are accepted for use or distribution.

This way, faulty products can be identified and returned to the distributor, saving the company from paying for defective goods.

If a specific distributor begins to show a pattern of delivering defective products, a company can investigate and perhaps change suppliers or renegotiate existing supply contracts.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.