Managing a warehouse is no easy feat. There are a number of critical aspects the individual in charge is tasked with, from supervising staff to overseeing the shipping, receiving and inventory process to working with other departments to properly plan, measure and forecast and, of course, ensure optimum customer service levels. If you’re in the process of interviewing candidates for a warehouse management position, here are a few important core competencies to look for.
Inventory Management Experience – Handling the inventory process is a major undertaking. Not only is it important to understand how much inventory to order and keep on stock, but there’s also the necessary task of segregating inventory in a way that maximizes efficiency. If your warehouse contains any type of inventoried product or material, a solid background in this area is a must. Experience with inventory management software is also a plus.
Strong Understanding of Inventory Costs – Managing stock isn’t the only component of inventory control. Another critical aspect is that of cost. A good warehouse manager will possess a strong understanding of everything that goes into the costs associated with inventory, including freight, storage, shrinkage, insurance and more. The ability to adequately compile this information for reporting and forecasting is also a must.
Knowledge of Proper Warehouse Layout – Warehouses should be organized in a way that maximizes efficiency. The most commonly used items should be placed where they can be accessed quickly and easily and work stations should be laid out in a logical manner that promotes productivity. The ideal management candidate will have a proven track record for keeping the warehouses he or she has been in charge of running like well-oiled machines.
Experience with Equipment Procurement – The individual in charge of your warehouse should have a deep understanding of the equipment procurement process, meaning how to lease or purchase the right machinery to ensure that the warehouse functions at an optimum level. That means not only making sure that staff has access to the quality, safe equipment they need to do their jobs, but also that the acquisition of that equipment is as cost-effective as possible.
Of course, these are just a few of the many important skills that make a great warehouse manager. The right candidate should also possess strong people skills, the ability to work well independently as well as in a team environment and a positive, can-do attitude. By keeping these items on your checklist of things to look for in the ideal candidate, you’ll have a much better chance of hiring the perfect person for the job.