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A Warehouse Supervisor is responsible for the operations inside of a warehouse. This includes the movement of product as well as people management. Warehouses are used by a very large variety of businesses spanning multiple industries. These businesses can include retail goods, grocers, manufacturers, transportation companies and more.
Warehouse Supervisors should have strong organizational skills so they can be continually on top of the needs of the warehouse. A close eye must always be kept on the merchandise inside of the warehouse which takes keen attention to detail. A Warehouse Supervisor is responsible for many levels of staff including permanent, temporary and sometimes unionized employees. The ability to be a diplomatic, yet firm, leader is a must.
Technical skills of a Warehouse Supervisor should include strong knowledge of spreadsheet and tracking programs such as Excel. Warehouse information systems (WMS) are almost always used in warehouses. This type of software is used to track the day to day operations of a warehouse, calculating KPI's and assessing profitability risk factors such as loss prevention, damage, and overtime. Other systems utilized in a warehouse may be ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems.
A Warehouse Supervisor must be comfortable (and likely, certified) in the operation of a variety of forklifts and other warehouse machinery. The ability to troubleshoot this equipment is a bonus for any employer. Proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) must be worn inside any warehouse. This includes a hardhat, reflective vest, and steel toed work boots.
The role of a Warehouse Supervisor can be very physical as there is a significant amount of walking, lifting, pushing, and standing involved. Depending on the needs of the warehouse, a Warehouse Supervisor may have a variety of shift requirements. Some warehouses have full coverage schedules including a morning, afternoon and midnight shift. Depending on the Warehouse Supervisor's level of experience, and seniority, they may be required to begin their career as a midnight Warehouse Supervisor.
A Warehouse Supervisor should have some post-secondary education in Business Management, Operations, or Supply Chain. Some employers may be open to candidates who have a High School Diploma and multiple years experience in warehouse or manufacturing operations management.