A warehouse should run like a well-oiled machine, with every part in perfect working order. One of those "parts" involves the work of a warehouse manager – the person in charge of assigning tasks, delegating responsibilities, monitoring productivity levels, and making sure all operations are running smoothly. The warehouse manager is a huge influence on the overall efficiency and productivity of a distribution center. That's why it's so important to hire the right person from a start. Let's take a closer look at why you need a great warehouse manager to lead your team.
A manager in any industry should be someone that employees and owners alike can trust. You should feel confident about this person's ability to handle your company's money, inventory, and decision making, as needed. At the same time, your workers should feel comfortable talking to your warehouse manager about any problems that may come up, even if they are on a personal level. A leader who can get along with the entire team will be a great asset to your workforce.
In many instances, the owner of a warehouse is not the person making decisions and fixing problems. Those responsibilities fall on the warehouse manager who is in the building day in and day out. A good warehouse manager will be able to identify problems early on and come up with effective, creative solutions on the spot. For instance, if there is a glitch in the inventory management system, your manager will need to come up with a way to correct the reports so all the numbers are as they're supposed to be. The more proactive your manager is, the better your warehouse will run.
Organization is a crucial part of running an efficient warehouse. All it takes is one obstacle to create a chain of slow production levels throughout the day. A strong warehouse manager will be detail-oriented, with the ability to visualize the organization of the warehouse in its entirety. You may have department managers who delegate over certain areas of the warehouse, but the actual warehouse manager has to see what all those departments look like together. This is what keeps your distribution center operating like clockwork.
It's important for your employees to trust your warehouse manager, but that doesn't mean they should view him as a friend. This is an authority figure that ultimately acts as a representation of you and your business. It should be a leader who naturally commands respect based on the way he carries himself and the way he interacts with employees. Warehouse managers often have to make tough decisions, like letting employees go or cutting hours due to budget adjustments. These are decisions that the employees are not going to like. As long as they respect your manager's authority though, they will get through the issues and work toward mutual goals.
Great managers know how to bring out the best in people. They get to know their workers on an individual basis and find ways to tap into their strengths. For instance, a person working as a picker in your warehouse may show an interest in forklift operating. If the manager feels that person would be a good fit for the job, he may recommend that employee to go through special training to take on new tasks. The employee will feel better in a role better suited to his interests, and the company will benefit as a whole from the increase morale and productivity levels. All of this, just because there was a good person leading the team. Consider the information above when you go to select your warehouse manager and find the person best suited for the role.
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