Warehouse managers tend to work at a single facility, managing one or more aspects of the flow of goods, from incoming receipt of goods to putaway/storage, then picking, packing, and shipping of goods out of the facility. In addition to the flow of goods, some warehouse managers may have other responsibilities such as quality, yard management, information systems, or security.

Similar Job Titles:

  • Distribution Center Manager
  • DC Manager
  • Fulfillment Center Manager
  • Operations Manager

Typical Job Titles of Direct Reports:

  • Inbound Supervisor or Receiving Supervisor
  • Outbound Supervisor or Shipping Supervisor
  • Picking Supervisor
  • Put-away Supervisor
  • Inventory Supervisor

Warehouse Manager Position Overview

The warehouse manager position covers a multitude of disciplines. Mostly, warehouse managers will be overseeing the movement and storage of goods throughout the warehouse. These onsite operations involve proper handling of goods to be shipped, received goods, and stored goods. Additionally, a warehouse manager needs to understand the logistics of handling and moving products. This requires an understanding of required safety practices. Warehouse managers also need to be able to supervise staff.

The size of the facility and the company, plus the number of orders per day and the complexity of the operations will also dramatically impact the day to day duties. For instance, managing a 10,000 square foot independently owned warehouse is much different than managing a 250,000 square foot warehouse that’s part of a conglomerate that has many warehouse facilities. The level of automation, technology, and systems management is completely different between these two positions. However, it all goes back to the variety and volume of products being moved through the facility and the mechanisms that track products and resources.

Some core responsibilities of a warehouse manager include:

  • Audit and report inventory while making recommendations on which items to order and restock 
  • Manage warehouse associates, monitoring work and ensuring the safe use of warehouse equipment 
  • Establish warehouse practices and protocols to achieve an efficient warehouse 
  • Set warehouse and team goals in collaboration with executive management and other team leads 
  • Monitor workplace performance and lead training initiatives to improve employees 
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest federal and state safety regulations Communicate with other departments to ensure products are shipped in a timely manner
  • Pull and organize orders for from warehouse by part number and quantity as directed by picking ticket in priority assigned. Orders may be customer orders, IBTs or returns (excess and vendor). 
  • Package, label and ship customer orders by UPS, US Mail, bus, motor freight and local truck deliveries. 
  • Ensure all stock is pulled and loaded into the delivery vehicle with accompanying and necessary documents, in conjunction with delivery schedules maintaining a minimum accuracy rate of 99%. 
  • Train new employees on the proper use and maintenance of equipment and facilities utilized in the performance of their job. 
  • Follow-up to ensure results are achieved. 
  • Coordinates manpower requirements by increasing or decreasing personnel and overtime to meet changing conditions.
  • Interfaces with other departments to ensure Inbound and outbound deadlines are met. 
  • Develops a process plan including people, resources, equipment and floor space for each distribution receipt. 
  • Establishes or adjusts work procedures to meet departmental schedules. 
  • Analyzes and resolves work problems, or assists workers in solving work problems.
  • Confers with other Supervisor(s) and Managers to coordinate activities of department.
  • Reports machine and equipment malfunctions to maintenance personnel. 
  • Interprets company policies to workers and enforces safety regulations. 
  • Adheres to all safety procedures in the performance of job duties. 
  • Weigh materials or products and record weight and other production data on tags and labels 
  • Participate in the annual physical inventory. 
  • Work on special projects as appointed by the warehouse manager

Required and Desired Skills

Warehouse managers need to know how to direct and oversee their area of the warehouse and understand how their area affects the work of other warehouse managers. Warehouse managers do everything from overseeing the receipt and shipping of goods, to storing the goods, and the management of those who are moving the goods around.

There are soft and hard skills involved in being a warehouse manager. A good balance of both will go a long way to being successful in this role. Hard skills involve quantitative analysis, familiarity with system management tools, knowledge and expertise operating warehouse equipment, space relations, safety protocols, safety training, safety certification, multi-tasking and a keen ability to prioritize tasks. Soft skills in the warehouse center more around how staff is managed properly.

A good warehouse manager must have superb communications skills, both written and verbal. The ability to quickly and accurately convey data points as well as be able to individually and collectively manage staff to maintain and meet deadlines and protocols ensures that systems operate in a timely and consistent manner. The need to understand and execute basic math skills is also essential to success on the job, along with basic computer skills and aptitude. 

Organizational skills might be the most impactful skillset for any warehouse manager. The need to properly design, develop, and implement systems which improve workflow is absolutely essential for this position. The ability to adjust and tune these systems on the fly is also a crucial component of the job and day to day operations.

  • Team supervision
  • Receiving of goods
  • Shipping of goods
  • Inventory management
  • Facilities Maintenance
  • Staffing levels / workforce planning
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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 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.

Technology Enhancements

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 speciality, 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 salary of an average sized facility with an average sized staff will be in the $55,000 to $60,000 range.

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