Businesses use warehouses to store manufactured goods, raw materials and others types of merchandise. Warehouse managers oversee all the operations in these facilities, ensuring supply chain processes are not disrupted. If you are an excellent planner with good skills in coordinating, you could become a competent warehouse manager.
See also: How to Maintain Warehouse Safety
1. What Do Warehouse Managers Do?
The duties of warehouse managers include:
- Hiring and supervising staff that may include forklift technicians, loaders and stockers
- Training new employees on warehouse health and safety procedures
- Developing ways to effectively utilize storage space
- Receiving deliveries and authorizing dispatches
- Maintaining positive relationships with transport companies
- Keeping inventory of goods and equipment in the warehouse
- Ensuring forklift trucks and other warehouse equipment are in sound mechanical condition
- Overseeing the use of automated warehouse systems.
2. Work Environment
Warehouse managers usually work from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. However, managers working in busy warehouses such as those used by manufacturing firms spend part of their weekends on the job.
Depending on the nature of goods the warehouse stores, managers may need to wear protective clothing such as hardhats and safety glasses.
According to PayScale, the average annual salary for warehouse managers is $47,791.
4. Entry Requirements
It takes a combination of relevant work experience and the right education to become a warehouse manager. Although educational institutions don’t offer degrees in warehousing (at least as yet), you can start by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. It is essential to ensure the program has coursework in warehousing.
Some of the institutions offering supply chain management degrees with warehouse coursework include:
With your bachelor’s degree, you will certainly start out as a warehouse supervisor and work your way up with increase in experience.
In small warehouses, you can also begin in an entry-level position and rise through the ranks as you gain experience and demonstrate leadership qualities to your employer.
5. Important Qualities
The skills and abilities you need to succeed as a warehouse manager include:
- Excellent leadership skills
- Strong skills in personnel management
- Strong planning, coordinating and organizing skills
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to find effective ways to utilize storage space
- Good computer skills
- Good practical and technical skills
- A good level of physical stamina
- Good teamwork skills
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- The ability to meet tight deadlines
- Sound decision-making skills
- Good math skills
- Good inventory management skills.
6. Career Advancement
Where next after getting employed? Well, if you are keen on taking your career to the next level, you need to obtain a professional certification and an advanced degree. Here are your best options:
- Obtain the Certificate in Warehouse Management from the American Institute of Business and Management
- Purse a master’s degree in operations and supply chain management or business administration
- Secure membership in the International Warehouse Logistics Association to demonstrate your professionalism and network with warehousing professionals from other countries.
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of warehousing managers include:
- Manufacturing firms
- Retail businesses (both large and small)
- Companies that provide logistics and transportation services
- Academic institutions
- Construction companies
- Healthcare facilities
- Government agencies.
As an experienced warehouse manager with a professional certification and an advanced degree in supply chain management, you can be promoted to the position of logistics and supply chain manager.
See also: How to Become a Supply Chain Manager
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of all logisticians – warehousing managers and other professionals who manage the supply chain – will grow by 22 percent within the next seven years, twice as fast as the national average for all jobs.
So, if you want a career that enables you to ensure consumers have all the products they need in their local retail stores, then you should pursue this profession.