Distribution Industry Impact

The wholesale distribution industry keeps Kansas—and the nation—running.

$6.01 Trillion

in annual sales volume

2019. Source: NAW.org


of U.S. GDP

Source: NAW.org


of wholesaler-distributors
considered small businesses

Nationwide. Source: NAW.org


wholesale distribution company locations in Kansas

Source: Dun & Bradstreet, Bureau of the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics


total sales in Kansas

Source: Dun & Bradstreet, Bureau of the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics

The distribution industry provides good jobs to grow our economy and help communities thrive.

5.93 Million

workers employed nationwide

2019. Source: NAW.org


workers employed in Kansas

2019. Source: NAW.org


Average hourly wage for all employees (June 2020)

Nationwide. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, bls.gov


Average hourly wage for all nonsupervisory employees (June 2020)

Nationwide. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, bls.gov


workers employed in Kansas

2019. Source: NAW.org


job openings at the end of 2019

Nationwide. Source: NAW.org

The greatest challenge facing the wholesale distribution industry? Not enough qualified workers to meet demand! Read the job descriptions below to learn about possible positions you could obtain in the distribution industry.
Warehouse Team Member

Be a part of the warehouse process that involves checking in material, organizing the inventory, fulfilling orders and assisting to increase efficiency.

Warehouse team member Essential Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Processing incoming stock and materials
  • Picking and filling orders from stock
  • Packing and shipping orders and managing, organizing and retrieving stock 
  • Move inventory and materials across facilities
  • Process inventory for delivery
  • Sort, organize and store inventory in the proper location
  • Package items and label correctly
  • Scan delivered items and ensure quality
  • Report damaged or missing inventory to supervisors
  • Stack and organize large bulk items
  • Remove inventory from trucks or shipping and delivery to proper location
  • Update logs and documentation for inventory processing
  • Move materials from facilities to workstations, pick-up locations, or other locations
  • Wear safety gear at all times
  • Operate heavy machinery like forklifts to move or store inventory
  • Ensure workspace is free of debris and remove safety hazards from aisles.
  • Work as an active team member to complete team goals
  • Prepare documentation and inventory for audits 

General Desired Qualities: 

  • Must be a professional and reliable self-starter with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. Must be highly organized and deadline-oriented with strong multitasking skills and excellent attention to detail. Personal strengths required: Ability to learn, open-minded, flexibility to embrace change and an eager attitude along with integrity and honesty.
Counter Sales/Warehouse

Counter Sales/Warehouse Essential Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Responsible for sales and service to customers both at the counter and via telephone
  • Taking the order, providing technical assistance, offering substitutes 
  • Entering the order on the company’s software system and filling the order accurately.  
  • Receive deliveries of stock, including unloading inbound materials 
  • Receive returned goods and arranges for special shipping orders of stock and non-stock items  
  • Prepares and ships inter-company transfer 
  • Prepares and packages orders for delivery according to customer’s instructions 
  • Serves as a back-up to delivery when needed for loading and actual delivery of products 
  • Stocks inventory in proper places in stock bins

It’s no easy task to keep the right inventory, at the right quantities and at a fair price! Purchasers help manage that process to suit the needs of the customers. 

  • Ordering, purchasing, and delivering product on time 
  • Communicating with vendors and shipping companies to negotiate fair prices and ensure deliveries are on time
  • Purchase the necessary amount of inventory 
  • Purchasing at a reasonable cost that allows an acceptable profit to be made 
  • Manage the process and negotiate low prices 
  • Receive products and check for quality and condition 
Outside Sales Representative

An outside sales rep conducts sales in the field through face-to-face interaction with existing and new clients. They provide excellent customer service as well as building personal relations with these clients. In addition, they provide hands on information and explanations of new and existing products.  

  • Conducts sale out in the field via face-to-face interactions with both potential and existing customers. 
  • Responsible for offering the best possible customer experience as well as providing essential explanations of any new or updated products when necessary
  • Generate sales report each week and submitting them to management
  • Utilize all available resources to reach out to prospects and attempt to turn these prospects into costumers
  • Collaborate with the marketing team to improve marketing materials and expanse the company’s marketing in the desired territory
  • Attend industry trade shows to accumulate new leads and make productive contacts with existing clients
  • Update the costumer’s information in the company data base
  • Stay on top of industry trends to identify potential opportunities for company growth
Inventory Managers

Inventory Managers oversee the inventory levels of businesses. They lead a team of inventory or warehouse employees to receive and record new stock as its delivered and shipped out. 

Their duties include:

  • Recording daily deliveries 
  • Evaluating new shipments and analyzing different supplier
  • Examine the levels of material and supplies to determine a shortage 
  • Document daily shipments and deliveries to replenish inventory
  • Create detailed reports for adjustments, inventory operations and stock levels
  • Evaluating new inventory, ensuring it’s ready to ship
  • Properly order new supplies avoiding excessive surplus and inefficiencies 
  • Analyze various supplier to ensure the company is receiving the best cost-effective deals.
  • Hire and train new employees
Branch Operations Manager

Branch operations managers improve overall performance by finding effective methods and strategies. It is also important to ensure high employee morale. 

  • Supervise inventory, accounts payables and receivables 
  • Maximize profits and margins 
  • Analyze customer feedback 
  • Improve customer service  

The Kansas Distribution Alliance exists to grow and strengthen the wholesale distribution workforce. Find out how you can get involved, either as an industry professional or as a student considering your career options.

Let’s Get Moving.

Find out how you can get involved in building a strong distribution industry workforce.