In many FMCG companies, distribution costs account for more than 60% of the total fixed expenses (overheads) of the business, a proportion that is way above that of other important expenses like payroll. It thus goes without saying that it is imperative for such companies to pay particular attention to the management of the distribution function. Whilst the function may be headed by a Sales and Distribution Manager, the day-to-day operations of the department are usually marshalled and controlled by a Distribution Supervisor or a Senior Distribution Clerk. Such supervisor or clerk would ordinarily have a tertiary business qualification, at best, or an “O” Level school certificate, at worst. In both cases the incumbents would not have had any prior preparation for the challenges associated with running this critical aspect of the business. The incumbents would tend to rely solely on instructions from the manager, and later on they would tend to rely on common sense in order to get by. This has serious repercussions on the company’s capability to compete on the basis of cost leadership. Distribution personnel need to be thoroughly prepared for their roles if they are to create value for their organizations.
The Effective Distribution Supervision (EDS) programme is designed to give a thorough grounding on the practical aspects of running a distribution department on a day-to-day basis. The programme covers warehousing, route and fleet management, productivities measurement right through to budgeting and transport costing. It is designed to empower the supervisor / clerk in such a way that it frees the Sales and Distribution Manager to focus on strategic issues around growing the business. This programme can also be used as an induction programme for new Distribution Supervisors.
By the end of the programme, participants will able to:-
- Effectively supervise the distribution function, allowing the S & D Manager to come in by exception;
- Use relevant ICT packages to calculate vehicle/route productivities and produce reports;
- Understand and apply their company’s disciplinary Code of Conduct;
- Plan their vehicle loads with a full understanding of warehousing and stores principles.
- Manage the HMV fleet effectively, with a full knowledge of the law of carriage in Zimbabwe.
- Budget effectively for their SBU’s transport needs and marketing activities, using ICT.
The EDS programme is designed for:-
- Existing Distribution Supervisors.
- New Distribution Supervisors, as an induction programme.
- Distribution personnel with potential for appointment as Distribution Supervisors.
THE LEARNING PROCESS
This programme is intended to be as practical as possible. Where forms are to be completed, these shall be supplied and completed. Where budgets are to be done, these shall be done, and shall be relevant to the business unit where the participant comes from. An effort shall be made to use real and relevant information, eg. actual Codes of Conduct, actual Distribution Boards from the Business Units, etc. The programme will provide an opportunity for acquiring practical skills and competencies as well as giving time for reflection and debate in an informal atmosphere. The learning process is deliberately diverse and includes:-
- Lectures, group problem-solving and presentations, and case study discussions;
- A Practical Project designed to improve some distribution aspect at the participant’s SBU.
EXPECTATIONS ON CLIENT ORAGANISATIONS
The expectations on Client Organisations are that:-
- They make available, forms and other documents (like Code of Conduct) which Mandel may ask for during course customisation.
- They grant participants full leave to attend the course undisturbed (no recalls, no incessant phone calls!)
An investment of $1 500 per delegate shall be payable for the 20-day programme. This includes tuition fees, stationery, lunches and teas.