As The Simpsons episode ‘Homer’s Enemy’ made clear, running a warehouse opens up a world of possibilities. But if you don’t want to end up like Milhouse, left helpless with the rats and rubble of your now literally collapsed former empire of entertainment, then pay attention to this job description!
As a warehouse manager, you are in charge of overseeing the supplies of the company. It is up to the warehouse manager to make sure that the safekeeping and dispatching of the company’s goods are well accounted for.
This is a more complicated system than it might seem. The manager has to create plans and systems for the proper function of the warehouse, make sure that the warehouse is safe, clean and free of any health risks, and handle issues with equipment and warehouse personnel.
The actual job of the warehouse manager can either be administrative and managerial or practical, depending on the systems and equipment being utilized by the company. Bigger companies tend to use more elaborate systems and processes, so managers working for them have to focus rather more on the administrative aspect of the job.
Salary & benefits
As a warehouse manager, you can get an annual salary of £17,000 to £25,000.
Experienced managers, on the other hand, can get as much as £65,000.
The working hours can be quite gruelling: managers need to be at the warehouse before operational hours and leave the warehouse well after it closes. Remember, Bart left Milhouse on his own all night, left with only a truncheon and a coffee machine that dispensed vermin!
Although things might not get quite as bad in the 3D world, you should expect even longer hours during peak seasons, wherein there will be an influx of goods sent to and taken from the warehouse.
To be a warehouse manager, you don’t need any specific undergraduate degree, although a background in logistics and management can be helpful for your application.
Those with experience in retail management also have an edge in this field (handling a warehouse and handling a retail store essentially call upon the same principles and concepts). In addition, employers will most likely look for applicants with experience of working with a team.
As for soft skills, numeracy is essential here. Warehouse managers are, in essence, leaders, so you should be able to work well as a motivator and a delegator. The job can be quite dry and repetitive, so you need to have, unlike a bespectacled Van Houten, enthusiasm that doesn’t falter regardless of the situation.
Training & progression
Continuing training varies from company to company. Some offer work-based training, while others offer formal training schemes that can take a year or two to finish (which you will need to take alongside doing your job as a warehouse manager).
Those seeking additional training should look for courses that deal with transport and logistics—the two core areas of warehouse managing.
Once you’ve gained enough experience as a warehouse manager, you can be promoted to a senior manager. You can also get positions in a business development area outside the warehouse.
Although this job position seems a bit specialised, the skills that you use here are actually seriously transferrable to other areas of the business, particularly in the manufacturing and the retail industry.