9 Skills a Warehouse Operations Manager Needs to Master

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 10, 2018

Jul 10, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

As a warehouse manager, you have the task of overseeing the inner-workings of a warehouse operation. This involves a complex set of processes and functions that work together to help maintain a superior flow of goods in and out of the specified facility.

The warehouse is an essential hub in any supply change. Interruptions or productivity lags in the warehouse can impact the entire supply chain significantly.

As a warehouse operations manager, you have the task of ensuring this doesn't happen. If this sounds like a tough job - you're right!

However, if you are interested in this position, or making a career as a director of warehouse operations, it's a good idea to learn about some of the essential skills you will need to possess.

Explore the things you need to know to be successful in this position, here.

1. Forward Thinking

In the management position, you need the ability to make accurate predictions regarding the potential needs of your company. Additionally, you need the ability to predict the outcomes of actions taken at any point on the supply chain.

This skill allows you to act faster, develop contingency plans for issues that may arise and see potential risks. You must always think and plan ahead.

Just like the old saying goes, "its better safe, than sorry."

2. Strong Decision-Making Skills

The ability to study the impacts of decisions on processes and people helps warehouse managers understand the impact of human nature, corporate policies and both internal and external forces.

As a warehouse manager, you may be responsible for collaborative relationships, raw materials, technology, talent, budgets, technology, machinery, and facilities. You have to learn to conserve and manage resources to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

There are several, established decision-making techniques and models to help you analyze various things, such as quality, time, price and value.

3. An Extensive Knowledge of the Industry

Being aware and informed about the latest information and happenings in supply chain technology and products is essential to being a successful warehouse manager.

From the software used for tracking productivity to when a commercial garage door needs to be replaced - all of these tasks are on you.

The best way to stay on top of things is to research what other companies are doing and then use that to your advantage.

In addition to knowing the latest trends in the industry, you also need to know how to present yourself. For example, you may use different forms of dress or conversation styles when dealing with suppliers versus upper management.

As a manager yourself, you have to know the industry and what is required of you at every turn.

4. System Creation Abilities

The very best warehouse managers have a firm understand on how to create scalable systems. These systems are what work to drive productivity, open communication, and track data.

As a warehouse manager, you need the ability to design, analyze and maintain workflows, along with transformational processes and business channels. If you know how to establish and enhance your existing systems, you can help improve customer satisfaction, operating efficiency, and profitability.

5. Be a Team Player

Being a quality warehouse operations manager means you acknowledge that the success of all aspects of the supply chain is a group effort.

While there are tips and information on leading your team effectively, you can start the process by allocating tasks properly. Learning to commend good work and paying attention to team member's efforts.

Any time you are working with other teams or units in the supply chain, it's a good idea to treat everyone with professionalism and respect.

6. Keen Attention to Detail

All supply chains have several components and tiers. As a result, you have many responsibilities on your plate.

Just like with most jobs (even the ones outside of this industry), paying attention to small details and being organized is a must.

When you have the position of warehouse manager, you can develop a system you re comfortable with. This will allow you to review and keep tabs on things as quickly and efficiently as possible.

7. Adaptability

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, one said - "The only thing that is constant is change." This quote is one that's relevant to working in a supply chain.

Regardless of how early you finished planning, prepared all your paperwork and finalized your transactions details, unplanned things are going to occur.

Problems and last-minute changes are usually inevitable in a warehouse manager's life. As a result, you have to be quick on your feet, make the needed changes and adjustments.

8. Accountability

When you are in a management position, you are the "go-to" person. However, just like any other position, there are some consequences you will face.

If things don't go as planned, then you have to take responsibility for the mistake. A quality manager won't play the blame game. They will know when and how to own up to their mistakes, and even be willing to take a bullet for the team or even the company.

9. Great Interpersonal Skills

As a manager, you are going to deal with individuals from all walks of life - from those above you and those below you. You need to make a great connection with everyone you interact with.

There is absolutely no room for miscommunication in written or face-to-face interactions.

Are You Right for the Position of Warehouse Operations Manager?

As a warehouse operations manager, you will have quite a few responsibilities. You need to ensure you have the skills and ability to handle these before jumping into the role.

If you are considering a new career, there's no question that this one may be right for you. However, if you are looking for something different, check out the jobs section on our website.

We can help you find the tools, resources, and information you need to help you succeed in any career or industry you choose.