If a recent survey of managerial and executive compensation in warehousing and distribution is any indication, mid-level managers don't have much to worry about. It's a different story, however, for their bosses.
According to a survey by the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC), the median 2008 compensation— including salary and bonuses—for general managers, traffic managers, office managers, and customer service managers has grown by double-digit percentages over 2006 levels. Median compensation for operations managers increased by 8.6 percent during that period.
Their bosses didn't fare as well. Earnings for vice presidents of marketing and sales and for the average salesperson have declined by 16.2 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, from 2006. WERC says the declines are due to reductions in the bonuses or commissions typically paid to sales and marketing folk. In addition, the average vice president of logistics is bringing home 0.8 percent less in 2008 than in 2006. But that's not to say that those at the VP level on the sales and the operational sides need to wonder where their next meal is coming from; both groups are drawing compensation well into the six figures.
WERC officials declined to comment on whether the declines in sales bonuses and commissions were related to the weak economy, or if they represented corrections from inordinately high levels of compensation paid during 2006. In the report, however, the organization noted that in the 2006 study, the sales positions surveyed had enjoyed a "significant increase" in median total compensation.
The survey was based on 167 responses. Thirty-five percent of the participants were wholesalers and distributors, and 33 percent were third-party service providers.
Copies of the study are free to WERC members and $150 for nonmembers. For info, go to www.werc.org.