Warehouse managers are a vital part of the supply chain process. They oversee the efficient receipt, storage and dispatch of a wide range of goods including:
- healthcare products;
- manufacturing parts;
- household items.
They must manage people, processes and systems and make sure productivity targets are met. They also oversee the maintenance of warehouse and labour-management systems and may be involved in operating automated storage and retrieval systems.
Warehouse managers are responsible for workplace health and safety standards and for the security of the building and stock. In a large operation, they 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.
Specific tasks carried out by a warehouse manager can include:
- liaising with customers, suppliers and transport companies;
- planning, coordinating and monitoring the receipt, order assembly and dispatch of goods;
- using space and mechanical handling equipment efficiently and making sure 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 necessary;
- responding to and dealing with customer communication by email and telephone;
- keeping stock control systems up to date and making sure inventories are accurate;
- 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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