The job of a warehouse manager is essential for the supply chain of any type of product.
As companies like Amazon and other online retailers grow, the operation of warehouses and distribution centers has become more complex and extended.
In the following article, you will find the description of a warehouse manager job, including skills, experience, requirements, and more.
Typical duties of a warehouse manager include three key stages: receiving products, storing and keeping them, and distributing.
These three responsibilities involve a range of essential duties such as cataloging, storage, security and safety, coordination of the logistics managers, and supervision of the warehouse team.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Warehouse Manager Do?
A warehouse manager has to keep the operation of a warehouse organized at all times.
Their schedule can include working at nights or weekends to ensure that the items of the top-priority are handled properly.
Prospective warehouse managers are usually required to have obtained a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or similar field.
A business degree can also be helpful.
There are a lot of opportunities for career growth.
However, most of them will require additional education.
Management of supply chains for businesses includes several layers.
Duties of a Warehouse Manager
- Assert the warehouse security, as well as security of a loading dock and the adjacent areas, preventing theft.
- Manage the reception of goods that will be stored in the warehouse.
- Sort the items placing them in the appropriate and safe locations, considering temperature, size, weight, available space, and light exposure.
- Prepare the shipments and help with loading the outgoing items on trucks.
- Prepare the work schedule for warehouse workers.
- Maintain and follow the safety protocols for workers and equipment.
- Recruit and terminate personnel.
- Communicate with partners to determine the incoming and outgoing times of the new items, while efficiently managing space and inventory.
Warehouse managers have to handle a constant flow of items coming in and out.
They have to take into account the rates, destinations, and origins, as well as time periods.
So, the managers should be highly organized and maintain the knowledge of the shipment and determine the use of resources to get things going effectively.
Warehouse managers can work odd shifts, especially at the beginning.
They have to be able to work under pressure and cope with difficult conditions.
They should also be able to easily adapt to the changes in the delivery schedule or other events coming up.
How to Become a Warehouse Manager
While it’s fairly easy to start working as a warehouse manager in the first place, going further can involve more extended experience and education.
The training and experience required for the job are usually related to logistics and supply chain management.
Training and Qualifications
First off, the aspiring warehouse managers are expected to have a college degree in business or logistics-related field.
You can work as a warehouse worker and earn a degree at the same time and then move up to the manager’s position within the company.
Alternatively, you can apply for the position right after graduation.
In any case, the degree is necessary to receive the knowledge and skills needed to manage a warehouse.
Usually, new managers don’t have as many responsibilities and have to work odd shifts.
But during this time, they can receive extra training on the job.
After that, they can start working with less or zero supervision.
Later on, if they want to advance in the field of logistics, they can obtain a senior manager or even a regional manager’s positions.
This advancement is more common for larger companies.
For these positions, you will need more extensive knowledge which you can gain through a master’s or MBA degrees in supply chain management or other related fields.
The requirements for experience can be different.
Usually, a degree is a requirement while work experience is more of a bonus for the employers.
There are rarely any internships available for this position, so it can be difficult to nail the first job.
After the fundamental training, becoming established can open a lot of doors both outside the companies and within.
Good school performance and interviewing skills can help you get the first job.
Although, after you are hired, the degree becomes less important.
Warehouse managers often work odd hours.
Since warehouses should be open every day for most of the day, there always should be a manager available.
So the schedule may include weekends and evenings.
More experienced managers can choose their shifts better.
But graveyard hours will always be involved
Because of the 24/7 sort of work in the logistics field, this can be challenging.
This is especially tough if there are priority shipments involved.
During peak seasons, the workload can increase even more and become intense from fall until the end of the holiday season.
The outlook of the warehouse manager’s job depends on two key factors.
First, shipments are increasing every day with more and more items shipped, so there’s always a need for warehouses and logistics.
Two, most of the logistics companies are switching to technological solutions to replace human labor.
Due to this, the need for warehouse workers and low-level managers may be gone.
With more education, warehouse managers can advance to upper-level positions in the supply chain companies and logistics.
But there’s still a chance of technologies taking over the basic duties.
Because of this, human labor in warehouses may become completely unnecessary.
A job of a warehouse manager can be complex and challenging but is fairly accessible.
The biggest threat for the warehouse managers today is the chance of advanced automation of the warehouses’ operation.
The opportunities for all positions on warehouses are a major concern.
Due to that, it is smart to start mastering other skills and trying to enter another field.
It’s not exactly clear when the technologies may replace human labor in warehouses, but it is something that needs to be taken into consideration.