May 09, 2020

Role of the warehouse manager ? Warehouse Manager in Warehouse

Managers today need to do more with less, and obtain better results from limited resources, quite ever before... A manager’s job is to provide an environment where individuals are internally motivated to do the very best job possible, in the very best spirit possible, to make the very best contribution possible.

Today’s warehouse managers do not patrol the warehouse in brown coats clutching a clipboard and pencil. They are more likely to be in a suit or corporate uniform, use a personal digital assistant (PDA) and more often than not are seen hunched over a laptop deciphering the newest cost and productivity figures.
This chapter examines the challenges facing today’s warehouse manager and therefore the attributes required to affect them. Each challenge is introduced to the reader and is further examined intimately within the remaining sections of the book.
One of the most challenges for the warehouse manager before we start to seem at the warehouse itself is whether or not they and their colleagues see themselves because of the right person for the job.
 It is a neglected area. The effort expended on developing warehouse management isn't proportionate to the importance of the warehouse as a business... We see tons of warehouse management where people have just been promoted and don’t really understand how to run warehouses. Those (retailers) that do have it in-house got to understand it’s a critical part, and retail is simply the top of the availability chain.

A recent job description for a distribution centre manager required the following key skills and outlined core accountabilities which are typically sought from today’s senior warehouse managers: these included an ability to negotiate, information technology skills, basic finance and business acumen, people management skills and an ability to motivate and lead large numbers of employees through communication and engagement.
The job description and the core accountabilities were as follows:

  • the provision of a responsive and cost-efficient warehouse that's aligned with the current and long-term requirements of the global business strategy;
  •  responsibility for the leadership and direction of the warehouse team;
  • to ensure that the warehouse is capable of delivering the volume requirements of the business;
  •  to drive continuous improvement in the cost-efficiency of the operations;
  • to set the long-term vision for the warehouse in line with the strategic plan and to ensure that future volumes and customer service requirements can be met;
  • to safeguard the human and physical assets employed in the warehouse;
  • the management of projects and introduction of new initiatives;
  • to maintain strong relationships with suppliers; and
  • the development and management of industrial relations within the warehouse environment.

The people aspect is extremely important and employment description for a distribution centre manager produced by WERC suggested that the manager needs a capability to:

  • develop and maintain a productive work team by creating programmes for hiring, training and professional development;
  •  match the skill and background of personnel to the work required;
  • apply sound communication and motivational techniques, create programmes to supervise, counsel and discipline associates;
  •  implement an appropriate performance evaluation system for recommending promotions, wage increases and terminations.

The warehouse manager features a number of operational challenges and is additionally expected to know and implement company strategy in reference to warehouse activity.

Again we see the trade-offs that the warehouse manager has got to affect. These include cost versus responsiveness and cost-efficiency versus volume throughput.
It is good to ascertain that safeguarding human assets is included within the list of core accountabilities as this is often a standard worry for warehouse managers.
Today’s manager has got to maximize the effective use of his/her operational resources whilst satisfying customer requirements. This can be done effectively through motivating and managing staff effectively. People are a warehouse’s most valuable assets and should be used appropriately.
The above description is fairly typical of the wants of a warehouse manager in today’s fast-moving economic environment. The expectation is that the manager will achieve high customer service levels but also reduce cost through improved productivity and performance. Added to this is the constraint of lower inventory, reduced customer lead time and the pressure to ensure the safety and security of staff, equipment and stock.

The six basic tenets of warehouse management are often summed up as follows:

  • accuracy;
  • cost control;
  • cleanliness;
  •  efficiency;
  •  safety; and
  • security.

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