When products are not moving from one place to another, they are mostly stored in warehouses or distribution centers. Warehousing is a requirement for most businesses that manufacture, import, export or transport goods. Warehouses ensure better inventory management, more efficient packing and processing, superior customer service, it ensures price stabilization, because it offers the possibility to store products till demands are high. Warehousing provides safe storage of perishable goods, which ensures improved risk management.
Generally speaking, Warehouse logistics means all movements of goods and information in warehouses and distribution centers. It covers activities such as receiving, storage, order-picking, accumulation, sorting and shipping. Many Warehouse logistics companies deal with workforce forecasting and planning, storage location assignment, Inbound and outbound truck scheduling, Order – Truck – Dock assignments, routing and sequencing of order picking tours and slotting (storage assignment optimization).
Warehouse logistics is focused a lot around optimizing storage space. This could be exerted for example by using racks and bins to store the items in a warehouse. Racks are tall shelves often used in warehouses, and bins are individual spaces within the racks. Allocating items to these racks and bins, allows you to save valuable floor space, and the warehouse staff will be able to locate products easier, when they can locate it based on bin or rack locations.
People working in warehouse logistics have various tasks depending on their role and the demand. Some professionals will be estimating and planning for daily operational costs, or analyze product trends and forecasts to be prepared for customer demand. You also need someone to choose the right software to manage operations in your warehouse and lay out a proper strategy for handling damaged products and returns from customers. Other tasks would be implementing pest control measures to protect your products or enforcing a safety policy that will help prevent accidents, and be prepared if anything goes wrong.
Professionals in warehouse logistics need a strong problem-solving skill and knowledge of warehouse procedures. Communication skills are important, to ensure efficient processes. Someone just entering the career path in warehouse logistics should be eager to learn and apply continuous improvement to both new and pre-existing workflows. Warehouses are exciting and high-paced work environments that challenge and encourage the people working there, to find solutions to complex storage and process equations.
After getting your first experience in entry-level positions, for example as an assistant, you will start gaining operational experience and processing orders. Through working with operational tasks, as for example Clerk, you get extraordinary know-how of Warehousing, and your career path is going towards either becoming an expert in your niche, could be as a Warehouse Specialist or Product Manager, or gaining more responsibility in your field, as Warehouse logistics manager or Warehouse Team Lead. These particular management and team lead roles involve operating the storage of company goods and managing warehouse staff. Warehouse logistics managers will often be processing orders, arranging the dispatch and delivery of materials, and keeping up the quality, quantity and safety of stocks. Other than training staff, this role also requires that you keep accurate records, liaise with suppliers and manufacturers, and maintain health and safety standards.