Four Skills Needed to Become a Warehouse Manager

Posted April 2, 2018

Effectively managing a warehouse calls for a distinctive skill set and mentality. It involves managing a team of specially trained employees who can accomplish complicated inventory and shipping duties often using heavy equipment and machinery.

A warehouse manager is a key player in the supply chain industry who controls the flow of goods in and out of a warehouse. They may be accountable for training staff members, communicating with vendors and transportation businesses, and making certain staff are working in a safe environment. This job is distinctive in that it brings together both supervisory and physical work. A warehouse manager might be training someone or contacting a trucking company one minute and helping unload a truck the next.

If you are currently considering a job as a warehouse manager, review the following essential skills for the job.

General management ability

Some people get promoted into management positions because they excelled as a front-line employee. However, technical skills that translate to success as a front-line worker don't always translate into positions of management. An effective manager is adept at 'soft skills' like conflict resolution, allocating resources, planning and delegating.

A big part of managing is supervising people with various strengths, weaknesses and personalities. Some employees are exceptional, capable of performing many tasks that are not necessarily in their job descriptions. Although, simply because someone is capable of doing something, it does not mean they are the best fit for the job. Employees with a team-first mentality are often much more valuable than exceptional solo artists.

Good communication

You've probably heard it a million times: In order to have a successful career, you need to be a good communicator. Nowhere is that notion more valid than in a managerial role.

Good communication lays the foundation for a productive relationship between a manager and their employees. Staff members should always be informed about the latest company developments that affect them. In addition to regular meetings, a good warehouse manager has an open-door policy and welcomes good news as much as they welcome bad news.

Relationship building

A warehouse manager must have a trusting relationship not only with their employees, but also with outside vendors.

Trust always starts with transparency. A warehouse manager must be honest and open, expecting the same in return. Often, trust issues will crop up in areas where strict documentation is required. However, if vendors or employees understand that strict documentation protects them, they will be more likely to trust the system.

Coaching ability

In addition to coaching underperforming employees, warehouse managers must be able to provide training as warehouse jobs evolve and change. Automation and analytics are expected to revolutionize the supply chain in the coming years and warehouse employees will need a manager who can guide them through the changes

At Ambassador Personnel, we regularly connect skilled professionals to job opportunities in management. If a management job is the next step on your career path, please contact our full-service staffing firm.