What is a Warehouse Manager?

D. Jeffress

A warehouse manager is a supervisor at a product storage facility or distribution center. He or she is responsible for directing workers in their daily activities and implementing new policies to improve productivity, safety, and quality. Professionals also perform administrative duties, such as setting schedules and hiring and training new employees. A manager at a small warehouse is typically in charge of supervising all operations on a specific shift, while several warehouse managers may be employed by a large facility to oversee specific departments.

A warehouse manager might oversee shipping and receiving operations.
A warehouse manager might oversee shipping and receiving operations.

Most warehouses are large, busy places to work. Shipments that arrive on trucks from manufacturing plants must be unloaded, checked, and stored according to policy guidelines. Orders for outgoing products are gathered, packaged, and placed back onto trucks for distribution. It is the responsibility of the warehouse manager to ensure that arriving and departing shipping procedures are carried out as efficiently and accurately as possible. The manager delegates tasks to different workers and actively directs them to make sure things run smoothly.

Warehouse managers are in charge of the daily operations at a facility.
Warehouse managers are in charge of the daily operations at a facility.

Much of a warehouse manager's job involves performing human resources duties. A manager identifies the need for additional labor, advertises openings, and hires new employees. He or she might lead training courses for groups of new workers or provide personal, on-the-job training for individual employees. Managers often conduct scheduled performance reviews to help laborers improve their productivity. When a worker has a concern or a complaint, he or she can discuss the problem with the warehouse manager to find a solution.

Successful warehouse managers will understand the roles of each subordinate under their authority.
Successful warehouse managers will understand the roles of each subordinate under their authority.

Managers also perform walk-throughs of their facilities to ensure workers are following safety regulations and that equipment is kept clean and well maintained. They must be familiar with regional and federal occupational safety codes to identify and remedy potentially dangerous situations before they result in accidents or fines. Managers research and purchase new equipment when necessary to improve productivity and safety.

The requirements to become a warehouse manager vary between employers, but most managers obtain their positions after gaining several years of experience in entry-level warehouse jobs. Warehouse owners often prefer to promote existing workers rather than bring in outside managers since employees are already familiar with the daily activities, policies, and expectations of the company. A bachelor's degree or higher in business administration, human resources, or occupational health may be necessary to obtain a position at a large facility. A warehouse manager who excels at the job and pursues additional education and training may be able to advance further within a company to an executive position.

Warehouse managers must have experience with logistics.
Warehouse managers must have experience with logistics.

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Discussion Comments


@sunnySkys - Wow, it's unfortunate that someone had to get hurt before anyone realized that manager was behaving negligently. What a bummer.

It just goes to show that people in management positions have a lot of responsibilities. I mean, look at all the stuff that a warehouse manager does: safety checks, hiring, and other administrative duties. That is a lot for one person to take on!

I'm not trying to make excuses for the warehouse manager in your story, but I can easily see how someone could forget what they're supposed to be doing in a position like this!


I think being familiar with the occupational safety codes is one of the most important things for a warehouse manager. It's very easy to let conditions in a warehouse environment deteriorate to the point of being unsafe.

A friend of mine works in a local warehouse, and they just went through a huge scandal. The warehouse manager was slacking off on doing safety inspections. Some of the equipment they were using was older, and really needed to be replace. Which the manager would have done, had they been paying attention.

Anyway, I'm sure you can see where this story is heading. There was an accident, someone got hurt, and that manager got fired for being negligent in his duties. A lose-lose situation all around.

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