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Trainer’s Resource

Level 2

working in distribution – part 1 The distribution network Your workplace environment Health and safety in your workplace Managing inward goods Stock control and loss prevention Picking, packing, and dispatch

Introduction Working in Distribution is a workplace learning and training programme of the National Certificate in Distribution (Level 2). It covers the core knowledge and skills needed by a person working in a distribution facility. The programme applies to these unit standards:

Unit 414

Title Demonstrate knowledge of the distribution environment


Maintain safety in a distribution facility


Use safe work practices in a retail or distribution environment


Move goods manually and record stock movement in a retail or distribution environment

62 1304 418 11975

Maintain personal presentation in the workplace Communicate with people from other cultures Monitor stock in a distribution facility Pick and assemble goods for dispatch in a retail or distribution environment

This programme is known as a Limited Credit Programme because trainees who successfully complete these unit standards earn about half of the credits needed for their National Certificate in Distribution. The assessments for these unit standards are in the assessment section (with blue pages) of the Trainee Workbook. If you need help with this training programme at any time, talk to your Retail Institute training advisor.

The sections are:


Planning the learning ........................................................................................................ 3 Section 1: The distribution network ................................................................................. 13 Section 2: Your workplace environment . ......................................................................... 27 Section 3: Health and safety in your workplace . .............................................................. 41 Section 4: Managing inward goods ................................................................................. 65 Section 5: Stock control and loss prevention .................................................................... 77

Working in Distribution – Trainer's Resource


RIDL2.SAMP Oct ’10

Section 6: Picking, packing, and dispatch . ....................................................................... 89

Using this Training Material This Training Material will help you work with trainees as they progress through the programme. Your trainees will each receive a copy of the Trainee Workbook, which is structured into the same sections as this Training Material. The Trainee Workbook contains a series of activities which apply the content in this Training Material. You also have a Workbook Answer Guide which contains all the answers to the activities in the Trainee Workbook. You can use this Training Material to support trainees by: 1 using it as a framework for short training sessions or workshops with trainees 1 meeting regularly with trainees to review their progress with the Trainee Workbook. Use this Training Material and the Workbook Answer Guide to fill in any gaps in their learning 1 photocopying parts of this Training Material to hand out, if you have several trainees working on the same section at the same time.

Icons This icon shows there is a related activity in the Trainee Workbook. The activities reinforce trainees’ learning and are not part of their assessment.

This icon explains how something applies in a real workplace situation.

This icon gives you a 'hot tip' and will sometimes be linked to an assessment task.

This icon indicates a key point for you to reinforce with trainees.

This icon indicates there is more information on this topic in another section.


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Section 1

The distribution network The purpose of this section is to help trainees learn some key words, abbreviations, and concepts used in New Zealand’s distribution industry. Trainees will also see how their workplace fits into a supply chain. In this section, trainees: 1 start collecting definitions of terms used in the distribution industry, and in their workplace 1 learn about the supply chain for products in their workplace 1 explore how products are transported into, around, and away from their workplace 1 think about the similarities and differences between their workplace and other kinds of distribution facility.

Understanding language used in distribution Every industry has its own language. These are words and abbreviations that are used to describe equipment, processes, or concepts that apply to the work in that industry. People need to understand the words and abbreviations used in their workplace. This applies to conversations and written language (in manuals and on signs and forms, for example). Understanding the language of a workplace helps people who are working together to communicate clearly and efficiently. Trainees who are new to the distribution industry may meet words and abbreviations they don’t know on a daily or even hourly basis. Mistakes or misunderstandings can arise if they are afraid to ask the meaning of something, or don’t have a way to find it out themselves.

Amber has just started her first job since leaving school, as a picker in a large distribution facility. Her supervisor buddies her up with Lisa, an experienced picker. Lisa asks Amber to collect a pick list from the desk so they can get started. Amber isn’t completely sure what a pick list is, so she takes what she thinks is the right piece of paper off the desk. It turns out that Amber has picked up a returned goods report by mistake, because she was too embarrassed to ask Lisa to explain what a pick list is.

Working in Distribution – Trainer's Resource


Even if trainees have been working in the distribution sector for a long time, they may not realise the same abbreviations can mean different things in different workplaces. In a new workplace, the same process or item of equipment may have a totally different name from the one trainees have used in places where they worked before.

Rachel has shifted from one distribution facility to another. At her last workplace, they used the word ‘jiffy’ to refer to an electricallypowered pallet truck. At her new workplace, she notices that they call the same piece of equipment a ‘jigger’.

Activity 1.1 At the start of each section of the Trainee Workbook, trainees look through a list of words and abbreviations that relate to the topic. They tick any words and abbreviations they understand. Purpose Trainees: 1 are introduced to key words and abbreviations that relate to the topic 1 are shown the correct spelling of those key words and abbreviations 1 identify which words and abbreviations they know and which ones they don’t 1 are encouraged to find out the meaning of any words and abbreviations that are new to them or they are unsure of.

The Useful Words List Trainees learn new language best when they have to find out the meaning of a word or abbreviation themselves. They are not given a full glossary for the industry and workplace words and abbreviations in their Trainee Workbook and the other resources for this programme. Instead, trainees are provided with a Useful Words List notebook, which they use to build their own glossary as they work through the programme.


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useful words list working in distribution

The notebook already lists some words, abbreviations, and definitions. These are the specialised words and abbreviations that trainees must be able to show they understand to complete the assessments for this programme. Each word or abbreviation has a space next to it for trainees to write: 1 a meaning (definition) for that word or abbreviation, in their own words 1 a sentence showing how the word or abbreviation is used in their workplace (this could be a sentence they hear in conversation, or something they read in a workplace document) 1 a date for when they saw or heard this word or abbreviation.

For example, the entry for the words ‘seasonal store’ in the Useful Words List might include this definition: A seasonal store is a distribution facility that only operates during peak times of year. And this example of how the words have been used: ‘Jack, don’t forget we need to move those pallets across to the seasonal store in the next two weeks, so we’re ready when the Christmas stock overflow starts arriving.’

There is also space in the notebook for trainees to add words of their own. Trainees can work out what a word or abbreviation means by: 1 listening to how it is used in workplace conversations 1 looking at how it is used in written documents, posters, or signs around their workplace, or in this Training Material or their Trainee Workbook 1 asking their trainer, or their supervisor, manager or workmates to explain it to them 1 thinking about related words they know that might offer a clue about the meaning (for example, knowing that a hazard is something dangerous or risky gives them a clue about the meaning of the word hazardous) 1 searching for it on the Internet (for example, in or 1 looking it up in a dictionary (for example, the New Zealand Oxford English Dictionary) at home or in a library.

A copy of the Useful Words List or the actual notebook may be used by trainees as evidence towards assessment task 4.

Working in Distribution – Trainer's Resource


Activity 1.2 In this activity, trainees find the Useful Words List in their resource pack. Using the words and abbreviations they ticked in activity 1.1, trainees start building a personal glossary by adding definitions for the words and abbreviations they already know. Purpose Trainees: 1 become familiar with the layout of the Useful Words List 1 practise writing definitions and sentences using the words and abbreviations they know 1 think about ways they can find out meanings for the words and abbreviations they don’t know.

Trainees are regularly reminded in their Trainee Workbook to add definitions to any new words and abbreviations they put in their Useful Words List.

The supply chain All products pass along a supply chain as they move from the place where they were manufactured or produced to the place where they are sold to customers. Distribution facilities are part of this supply chain. The supply chain includes: 1 original providers or producers of raw materials, such as growers, farmers, or fisheries 1 manufacturers and processors 1 wholesalers 1 retailers 1 consumers (customers) who buy the final product or service. As products pass along a supply chain, there is a series of vendors and customers. In fact, distribution facilities are both a customer and a vendor in the supply chain. Products also move in more than one direction – at times they might backtrack between locations, to be stored at a distribution facility before taking the next stage in their journey.


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Provider of raw materials

Product manufacturer






Working in Distribution – Trainer's Resource


From tomato to table A tomato’s journey can be traced from the grower through processing into tomato sauce, and onto the table.

The packaging manufacturer:

The farmer:

• produces the bottles for the sauce and the cardboard boxes the bottles will be packed in

• grows the tomatoes

The 3PL (3rd party logistics) warehouse:

The processor:

• stores the bottles and packaging until the processor is ready to use them

• sends its own trucks to the farmers to collect the tomatoes

• sells them to the processing company

• makes the tomatoes into tomato sauce • packs the sauce ready for distribution

The warehouse distribution facility:

The freight-forwarding company:

• stores the packaged bottles of tomato sauce • fills orders for the sauce from a supermarket chain and retail stores

• collects the packaged sauce from the processor and delivers it to the warehouse distribution facility • collects the orders from the warehouse distribution centre and delivers them to the retail distribution centre or retail stores, as needed

• stocks the sauce on its shelves

The retail distribution centre:

The consumer:

• fills orders for the sauce from individual supermarkets

• buys the sauce

• sends the orders out to supermarket outlets in their own trucks

The supermarket: • stocks the sauce on its shelves


The retail store:

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• puts it on their fish and chips for dinner

Activity 1.3 In this activity, trainees create a supply chain for an imported product. They need to: 1 cut out and arrange the graphics to show the supply chain for this product 1 think about the meaning of ‘supply chain’. Purpose Trainees: 1 recognise the different components of a single supply chain 1 break down a complex supply chain into simple components 1 show how a product can move in different directions through a supply chain 1 use what they have learned to define what a supply chain is.

Activity 1.4 In this activity, trainees choose a product that passes through their distribution facility and draw a diagram to show its supply chain. They need to show the passage of the product from its point of manufacture (or production) to where it is purchased by the consumer. Purpose Trainees: 1 build on what they learned in activity 1.3 1 identify all the stages and components of a supply chain for a particular product 1 create a realistic supply chain diagram for the product.

This activity is linked to an assessment task. When trainees complete assessment task 2, they can use their notes and diagram for this activity to help them.

Working in Distribution – Trainer's Resource


The flow of products along a supply chain As well as not always travelling in a single direction, the flow of products along a supply chain is not always regular. Many international and domestic factors can influence the flow of products along a supply chain. The domestic factors may be within New Zealand generally, or even more local.

Josea notices that in the distribution facility where he works, there’s an increase in the amount of imported bagged dog food held in stock during the last week of November. He asks his supervisor why they do this and she explains that the increase allows for two possibilities: 1. Potential delays in this product being shipped from the United States in December because of the possibility of American port workers taking industrial action just before Christmas. This would result in a longer purchasing lead time. 2. Extra orders from retailers in early December because consumers tend to stock up on this product before going on their Christmas holidays.

Lead time is an important concept for trainees to understand. ‘Production lead time’ is the time taken to manufacture or produce an item, from receiving an external order for it to the item being ready for packaging. ‘Purchasing lead time’ is the time between the decision to purchase an item and it arriving in stock.

Activity 1.5 In this activity, trainees discuss their supply chain diagram with their supervisor or trainer. Purpose Trainees think about: 1 the position and role of their distribution facility in the supply chain 1 the kinds of decision that have to be made when ordering and storing products within their distribution facility 1 the factors that affect how much product their distribution facility orders and stores.


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Types of product Products that come through a distribution facility need to be transported, handled, and stored in different ways. Every product falls into at least two, if not more, of these categories: 1 solid, liquid, or gas 1 edible and/or perishable 1 dangerous or hazardous 1 heavy or light 1 low or high in value 1 soft or rigid (not flexible) 1 difficult in shape 1 Customs-bonded (kept until the correct documentation and fees have been paid to Customs).

Dangerous goods and hazardous substances are looked at more closely in the ‘Health and Safety in Your Workplace’, ‘Managing Inward Goods’ and ‘Picking, Packing, and Dispatch’ sections.

A box containing 20 cans of aerosol adhesive could be considered to be solid and gas, light, rigid, dangerous, and low in value.

Activity 1.6 In this activity, trainees find an example of a product in their distribution facility for each category listed above. They also need to record where and how that product is stored. Purpose Trainees: 1 use some industry language (such as ‘hazardous’, ‘perishable’, and ‘custom bonded’) to classify the products in their workplace 1 think about how a product’s characteristics influence how and where it can be stored.

This information will be important to trainees when they complete assessment task 3.

Working in Distribution – Trainer's Resource


Transporting products Products are moved along the supply chain in different ways: 1 by air – plane or helicopter 1 by sea – container ship or ferry 1 by land – train, B-train, refrigerated truck, or van. The choice of transport method depends on a range of factors, including: 1 where the product is coming from or going to 1 the nature of the product (for example, whether it is perishable, hazardous, or fragile) 1 when the customer expects the product to be delivered 1 the size and weight of the product.

XYZ Logistics has a client in North Auckland that grows and delivers fresh flowers to florists around New Zealand. Because of the fragile and perishable nature of the product (flowers), any orders for South Island customers must be sent by air so that the flowers arrive while they are still fresh.

Activity 1.7 In this activity, trainees think about how a product from their distribution facility is transported along the supply chain. Purpose Trainees consider the factors that influence how a product is transported along the supply chain.


Copyright © 2010 Retail Institute

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RIDL2.SAMP Oct ’10

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National Certificate in Distribution Level 2  
National Certificate in Distribution Level 2  

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