The role of warehouse managers has drastically changed over time. A warehouse manager is no longer just expected to ensure that goods are stored in the right place, products easily retrieved, and each requested item is moved from one location to another.
These tasks are still important, but thanks to advances in technology and increased demand in the supply chain, the role of a warehouse manager is more strategic than functional. That’s why your company needs access to warehouse managers that can adapt to support supply chain management.
If you are wondering how managers today are different from managers in the past, let’s further examine the changing role of warehouse managers so that you can find the right talent to fill critical roles in your company.
THE CHANGING NATURE OF MANAGERS TODAY VS. THE PAST
Technology has enabled individuals in managerial roles to take on greater responsibility and ownership of activity in the warehouse. There are many more tools at your disposal than in the past to help warehouse managers embrace this challenge.
Plus, as the business community continues to recover from supply chain disruptions caused by the global pandemic, warehouse managers play a critical role in using data to identify issues, respond accordingly, and keep the supply chain moving.
Consider three of the most important hallmarks of successful warehouse managers that you should look for to support your warehouse.
1. Strategic Use of Technology
Many warehouse managers are accustomed to using some type of warehouse management system (WMS) to track the status of products, monitor inventory levels, and generate reports. However, many other pieces of technology need to be deployed to support efficiency and productivity.
Specifically, the use of automation continues to drive today’s warehouses. Perhaps your company is already using smart technology such as automated picking tools, guided vehicles, and automated inventory control platforms.
The key for warehouse managers is knowing how use this technology strategically. Not every piece of technology is the right fit for your warehouse, an that’s why managers need to be able to discern which tools are helpful versus those that don’t add value.
You may need a different type of manager today from managers in the past to understand how to best use available technology to support the supply chain.
2. Use of Data Analysis + Predictive Analytics
Another major advancement in the warehouse is the use of data analysis and predictive analytics. According to recent surveys, these pieces of technology are two of the most important elements to support the modern supply chain:
- Data analysis (41% priority in supply chain management)
- IoT (39% priority)
- Cloud computing (39% priority)
- Info security (31% priority)
- Predictive analytics (29% priority)
Data analysis and predictive analytics can be utilized in the warehouse to anticipate when inventory levels will drop below thresholds, feed data into the system to automate re-ordering certain products, track unusual changes that prompt action, and help generate reports to support decision-making.
Today’s warehouse managers don’t need to be data scientists. Still, they need to understand how to analyze the data presented to them, use it to make predictions, and then strategically take action to support the warehouse’s role in the supply chain.
3. Motivate Warehouse Workers
In addition to using advanced technology, warehouse managers need to be able to motivate warehouse workers differently to achieve higher levels of productivity.
Automation has replaced many basic tasks in the warehouse. Now, warehouse workers are taking on greater responsibility beyond moving boxes or scanning labels. As a result, the role of a warehouse manager has changed from just monitoring whether products are in the right place to engaging warehouse workers to help them use available tools to support the supply chain.
As you can see, managers not only need to understand how to use technology, they also need to be able to instruct warehouse workers on the value of using technology – being able to convey the “why” behind certain actions is a critical skill that not every warehouse manager possesses.
When it comes to effective motivation, there is a significant difference between what’s required of today’s warehouse managers compared to the past.
WORK WITH ALTERNATIVE STAFFING TO FIND WAREHOUSE MANAGERS
We proudly work with companies that utilize warehouse space to support their supply chain. We can help you identify the right talent to strategically manage your warehouse.
Through our support as a leading warehouse staffing agency, you’ll be able to reduce turnover, increase productivity, and grow revenue by filling key positions with the right talent.
Talk to us today about identifying a staffing solution for your warehouse. We’ll analyze your current state, look for opportunities to fill roles, and draw from our excellent talent pool to provide you with highly-qualified talent. Let us elevate your operating reality.
It was helpful when you said that they should motivate your workers. My sister was at my house yesterday afternoon for lunch, and she talked about how she wants to get a warehouse for her skincare company, but she wants to also hire a manager to help her with everything. I’ll pass this information along to her so she can know how to find a good warehouse manager!