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Dick Sorenson

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5 Habits of Highly Effective Warehouse Managers

Posted by Dick Sorenson on Jun 5, 2018 4:00:00 AM

How smooth is your management style? Effective warehouse managers have a few things in common. They develop traits that stem from experience on how to best deal with everyday frustrations, challenges, and the needs of employees. training-2874597_640(1)

Do you possess the traits of a highly effective warehouse manager? If any of these 5 traits describe your management style, you do.

5 habits of effective warehouse managers

1.   They give constructive criticism, praise and recognition to people they manage.

It can be easy to overlook the importance of operator praise and recognition But, it doesn’t require a lot of time to make drivers feel valued or to recognize areas they need to improve. Track an operator’s performance and productivity and communicate this kind of support using the telematic data gathered from operator report cards and forklift monitoring.

Offering rewards or incentives takes it a step further. Employees want recognition that shows they are valued and you see their hard work. This promotes continued hard work because they know it matters and will be recognized. And recognition doesn’t have to be large — the point is to receive praise and to feel that someone noticed their efforts.

2.    They stay one step ahead of training needs.

OSHA requires ongoing training, which is vital to reinforcing safety protocol and to combat driver complacency. Training should be timely, interesting and scheduled when it’s needed, not when it’s convenient. For example:

  • Just-in-time training – such as operator certification and regulatory required training
  • Targeted training – areas where your operators are falling short or have become complacent

3.    They nip safety violations in the bud.

Do you have drivers with a need for speed or reckless behavior? Effective management requires preventive action. Horseplay, speeding and irresponsible driving are behaviors that effective warehouse managers should address immediately. Irresponsible operators not only put themselves at risk, they compromise the safety of others. If this occurs, they should be disciplined and retrained.

4.    They know how to think lean and reduce warehouse costs.

From OSHA fines to lost inventory, there are many ways to waste time and money. For example, identifying where your biggest routing challenges occur and addressing them immediately saves time, money, and decreases the risk of impacts. Use wi-fi to locate the precise location of inventory and every fleet vehicle on the floor — and to predict traffic and operator behavior before issues occur.  

5.    They intuit the needs and changing demands of business.

Can managers see the future? With telematic insight they can. Captured data is useless if you can’t easily use it to foresee changing business needs, keep up with demand, and take the necessary corrective action.

An effective solution is using a software system that identifies the “who, what, where, when and why” instantly, with just a few clicks of the mouse. It helps predict and identify trends for inventory, fleet utilization, and any regulatory compliance issues.

Effective warehouse management requires dedicated follow-through, real-time information and insight, and taking action that serves the best interest of the business, its employees and customers.

Topics: root cause, operator behavior, cost reduction, connected warehouse solutions, delegation of tasks, teamwork, warehouse management, continuous improvement

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