A Day in the Life of a Warehouse Manager
There is never a dull moment in the day-to-day life of a warehouse manager. The constantly changing conditions from day to day, week to week, and season to season requires the operations and warehouse manager to be one of the most well-rounded people onsite. Warehouse managers interact directly with clients, transportation managers and drivers, warehouse staff and management personnel. This requires the warehouse manager to be supremely prepared for multiple scenarios in each of these interactions. The demand for warehouse managers is high right now and you should not be shy about using your supply chain skills and experience to obtain a new position.
The client will want to know if their product will be delivered on time or if their truck will have space to offload product. The driver will want to know if a loading dock will be available with adequate staff trained to properly and safely offload the product. Staff will want to know where to put the product and upper management wants to know if they should purchase more product due to the availability of space.
Warehouse managers start their day/shift by getting up to speed on the previous shift or day’s status, then focus on processing their shift’s or day’s orders and activity. As the shift/day moves along, the warehouse manager can ease out of direct operations to look towards planning and allocation of resources. Is shipping and receiving aligned to move efficiently? Are all orders picked and prepped and ready to ship? Is there adequate staff to handle the shifts/day’s business?
The warehouse manager may also be monitoring safety standards and is ever aware of potentially unsafe situations with product movement and how to mitigate them. Keeping this safety antenna keenly attuned is critical to the prevention of workplace accidents that can not only harm employees but completely disrupt the day’s operations and movements.
There is never a dull moment in the life of a warehouse manager. There are always moving parts and people.
Typical Working Conditions
Warehouse managers spend most of their time in the warehouse which may or may not be climate controlled, particularly at incoming and outgoing docks. Extreme temperatures can be part of the job. Safety attire is common. Hard hats, closed-toe/steel-toe boots, and coveralls help to keep warehouse personnel safe. Mobile devices or computer terminals strategically located in the warehouse allow for immediate product log and space updates, as well as scheduling and rescheduling of shipping and deliveries. The level of organizational skill and process development will directly impact your day and that of the entire warehouse staff. Unorganized and chaotic working conditions lead to product and profit loss. That’s why organizational skills are a key component to a successful warehouse manager. The warehouse manager typically does have an office area to work on plans, process reports, and have meetings with the people they directly supervise.
Warehouse managers need to be familiar with operating computers or devices as they interact with applications such as Warehouse Management Systems, Order Fulfillment Systems, and the like. Whether it’s spreadsheets that help manage inventory or more cutting-edge material handling systems integrators that specialize in warehouse automation and storage optimization solutions.
The emergence and dominance of eCommerce platforms and purchasing habits has rapidly increased the need for rapid response fulfillment behaviors. These evolutions have forced warehouses to get “smarter.” Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), cutting-edge robotics technology and advancements in inventory and shipping tech has created a need for warehouse managers to have more technical aptitude than in years past. A lot of this software and technology is fairly intuitive but requires more than a tacit familiarity with tech platforms designed for warehouse management.
Warehouse Manager Salary Range and Education Requirements
The salary range for a supply chain warehouse manager can vary greatly depending on your education level and certifications. Most warehouse manager positions require a high school diploma or a GED as a minimum educational qualification. However, a bachelor’s degree may be preferred depending on the complexity of the facility. Salary Ranges are highly dependent on size of the warehouse, management specialty, number of direct reports or FTEs who report to you, advanced certifications, and years in the position. Your salary is also highly reflective of cost of living in any given region as well as general salary trends in the industry as well as candidate availability. Given all of these factors, an average warehouse manager’s salary in an average-sized facility with an average-sized staff will be in the $55,000 to $60,000 range.