Warehouse managers are a vital part of the supply chain process. They oversee the efficient receipt, storage, value-adding servicing and dispatch of a wide range of goods including food, clothing, healthcare products, manufacturing parts and household items.
To achieve this, they manage people, processes and systems. They ensure productivity targets are met and oversee the maintenance of warehouse and labour management systems. Warehouse managers may also be involved in operating automated storage and retrieval systems. They ensure workplace health and safety requirements are met and take responsibility for the security of the building and stock.
In a large operation, warehouse managers manage teams of workers through the use of team leaders and supervisors and deal with personnel issues such as the recruitment, training and discipline of staff.
Specialist warehouses involve the storage of temperature-controlled products, such as food and pharmaceuticals, and the storage of hazardous materials.
Typical work activities
Work activities depend on the size of the operation.
- In large storage operations, managers have a more strategic role and deal with planning, coordinating, administration and general management issues, which include the day-to-day supervision of staff and overseeing work organised by team leaders (who then report to the manager).
- In a small operation, a manager deals with more practical, 'hands-on' work.
Typical work activities include:
- liaising with customers, suppliers and transport companies;
- planning, coordinating and monitoring the receipt, order assembly and dispatch of goods;
- the efficient utilisation of space and mechanical handling equipment, ensuring quality, budgetary targets and environmental objectives are met;
- having a clear understanding of the company's policies and vision and how the warehouse contributes to these;
- coordinating the use of automated and computerised systems where utilised;
- responding to and dealing with customer communication by email and telephone;
- keeping stock control systems up to date and ensuring inventory accuracy;
- planning future capacity requirements;
- organising the recruitment and training of staff, as well as monitoring staff performance and progress;
- motivating, organising and encouraging teamwork within the workforce to ensure productivity targets are met or exceeded;
- producing regular reports and statistics on a daily, weekly and monthly basis;
- briefing team leaders on a daily basis;
- visiting customers to monitor the quality of service they are receiving;
- maintaining standards of health and safety, hygiene and security in the work environment, for example, ensuring that stock such as chemicals and food are stored safely;
- overseeing the planned maintenance of vehicles, machinery and equipment.
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