5 Habits of the Best Warehouse Managers
There isn’t any question that managing a warehouse is extremely complex – warehouses have so many departments requiring complete coordination so everything runs efficiently. Just one small miscommunication could end up reflecting badly on the businesses your own warehouse works with every day.
If you’re considering being a manager of a warehouse, you need specialized skills going beyond the physical. You’ll need specific mindsets to help bring calm and collected leadership.
Without these traits, the overwhelming stress of keeping everything running optimally could inevitably lead to burnout.
One thing you’ll discover is that top-tier management means working almost as a single mind. This includes communicating well not only with your own employees, but also with the businesses who depend on your warehouse for fulfillment.
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Here’s five habits of the best warehouse managers you’ll find worthy of imitation. Some of these skills are teachable, though many are gained through experience.
1. Earn the Trust of Employees
Gaining trust is important for any manager. Even so, it’s more essential for a warehouse manager because it reflects on how well each department works. All of this occurs through setting clear goals and expectations for employees.
Once your warehouse team has trust in what your stated goals are, they’ll work more productively. You have to clearly state those goals so they’re understandable by all, and be accessible to answer any concerns your team has.
2. Be Transparent
Be transparent about all your operations on the employee end and with your business partners. The businesses depending on you need to know what’s occurring with your equipment, inventory and shipping procedures. Likewise, your employees need to understand how important every element is in the warehouse so they communicate better with one another. Utilizing an integrated warehouse management system will allow everyone to access the same information in real-time, so everyone is on the same page.
Close monitoring is the key to effective transparency so there aren’t disputes about what’s really going on in your warehouse, whether it’s about inventory levels or customer orders.
3. Walk Your Warehouse Once a Week
The best way to scope out problems is doing a walking tour of the warehouse every week to monitor activity first-hand. Don’t solely depend on automated systems or security cameras to give you a complete picture of what’s going on – seeing with your own eyes what’s occurring helps spot subtle issues you can correct immediately.
Keep in mind that a weekly walk-through keeps you connected on a more personal level with your warehouse team.
4. Communicate Frequently
Thanks to mobile technology, communication in warehouse settings has improved to a point where you can keep everyone on the same page. Integrated business applications allow employees to see notes and data regarding orders, inventory, customers and suppliers in a single view. You should also hold live meetings regularly so everyone can have awareness of what each person is doing.
Some company employees never bother to meet one another if they work in separate departments. As a manager, make sure everyone knows one another well. Make sure they’re collectively knowledgeable about pertinent warehouse news like new hires or policy changes. Active communication among all departments and employees means less confusion, more productivity and a more effective business.
5. Keep Training Your Employees
Technology in the distribution industry is rapidly advancing, and failing to keep up could be disastrous. Your warehouse employees should never stop learning, and it’s why a good managerial habit is to keep recurring training going. The more your employees learn new technologies, the more you can optimize your warehouse functions and processes.
Technology changes in logistics are constant, so training at least every six months keeps your employees up to industry standards. No matter the level of each department, everyone should get new training as a way to evaluate job performance.
To get the most from your warehouse management system, it should be fully built-in with your financial, customer management and ecommerce systems to give you full visibility into your business. Aplicor delivers a powerful, scalable and flexible real-time warehouse management system that helps you boost productivity, reduce costs, shorten order fulfillment times, increase customer satisfaction and deliver a rapid return on investment. Contact us today to learn how we can help you see a 2% to 5% improvement in performance.