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Distribution Director UK Market Leader

Executive Search

Distribution Director

Market Leader




Our client employs thousands of people across hundreds of UK sites. It is a long established and highly respected name in its market and is making impressively rapid progress towards renewed and enhanced operations, culture and performance. Its considerable value to customers is in its ability to run their supply chains with reliability, rapidity and robustness.

The recently appointed Chief Executive is resetting the direction of the whole business to be more aligned with its customers, colleagues and suppliers. With revenues of over a billion and rising, a new and even stronger emphasis is now being placed on offering excellent specialist knowledge, being easy to do business with, offering confidence that the price is right and making sure promises made to customers are kept.

With a handful of large depots, strategically positioned and servicing many hundreds of smaller locations in every town and city of the UK, the distribution of thousands of products on a daily basis is fundamental to the success of this business. A large fleet of vehicles is required to ensure customers get next-day deliveries, supported by state-of-the-art warehousing, lean supply chain processes and a constant focus on customer service.



Reporting to a board director, the Distribution Director will be a key member of the Operational Management team. As such, the Distribution Director will have direct influence over and responsibility for day-to-day operational services across the network. KPIs will be: safe working, exceptional delivery metrics, rate of growth, and performance improvements.

There is a substantial leadership component to this role, through a handful of direct reports and hundreds more indirect reports, all of whom will require active management and inspirational motivation to achieve what is required of them. Positive engagement and personal energy must engender a shared vision and result in a collaborative and mutually supportive culture.

Change management and strategy and system implementations will also be core responsibilities in the job. Realigning operations to strategic objectives, underpinned with continuous process improvements and supported by appropriate technologies are vital for success in this role, and will have a major bearing on the outcomes for the whole business.

At all times, the successful candidate must ensure the wellbeing of everyone in the working environment with rigorously enforced health and safety policies, in addition to optimising a budget of tens of millions for efficient and effective operations in warehousing, inventory management and distribution – every single day.

Above all, the Distribution Director role will require pragmatism, problem-solving and innovative ideas that can be enacted robustly but considerately to add demonstrable value to the business. They will need to establish themselves quickly, instil confidence in those around them and develop strong working relationships, not only with their peers, but also with key personalities throughout the business, including those at the very top.



  • Qualified CILT
  • Degree preferred but not essential
  • High energy, active, engaging, inspirational
  • First-class intellect
  • Large corporate experience, ideally as Distribution Director
  • Demonstrable career success in senior distribution roles
  • Adaptable and responsive, effective under pressure
  • Relationship builder and developer
  • Gravitas and credibility
  • Has and demands high standards
  • Owns issues and delivers results
  • Resilient and robust, yet accommodating and patient
  • Strategic realist
  • Influences and persuades, directive when necessary
  • Experience of a multi-site and geographically distributed business
  • Can engage with problems, maintaining focus until resolved
  • Unflappable with considered judgement and unemotional decision-making
  • Approachable, with time for, and interest in, the people with whom they work
  • Innovative, an independent thinker
  • Constantly looking for better solutions
  • Reliable and dependable
  • Willing to travel as necessary



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