Job as a warehouse manager

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Mark Leigh is a warehouse manager for a supermarket chain. He is based at a Glasgow store and has worked in his current job for three years. Mark oversees the activities in the warehouse, ensuring that every product reaches the shelf at the right time.

What are the main responsibilities of your job as a warehouse manager?

I manage a team of ten people and we receive daily deliveries of items from all over the country. It is our responsibility to get them into the store. I keep up to date with all the stock that's going in and coming out. I'm also responsible for driving sales by making sure that stock is used up.

The warehouse can get very busy with four 40 foot wagons to unload at the same time! In order to deliver anything on time I have regular contact with the different departments in the store.

What else does your job involve?

Health and safety is another important part of my job. I undertake regular health and safety checks. I also train staff on working in the different areas of the warehouse and make sure that they're using the appropriate protective clothing.

What is a typical working day in your job?

I start work at 7.30 am and spend some time talking to the night shift warehouse manager to check that everything has run smoothly throughout the night. I'll then catch up with my team. Later on, I will meet with the other store managers to discuss any issues for the day.

I then work out the staff rotas and wages. For the rest of the day, I'll oversee activities in the warehouse and get involved with managing and moving stock. My working day finishes at 5.00 am. I work five days a week, with two late nights and three early starts.

What training did you receive?

Before I started my job, I received four weeks of training, which covered all aspects of business and warehouse management skills. I had to work towards a range of modules and pass a test at the end of my training.

Do you use any special equipment?

I work with forklift trucks and pallet trucks to move deliveries around the warehouse. I also use a computer to book and finalise deliveries.

Do you have to wear a uniform?

Yes, I have to wear a store shirt and tie. I also wear regulation health and safety clothing to protect me whilst working in the warehouse. This includes steel toe capped boots and warehouse trousers.

What sort of skills and personal qualities do you need being a warehouse manager?

A good knowledge of health and safety is essential. You also have to be very well organised, flexible and hard working. This is a very physical job and you need to be fit. A good sense of humour also helps when things go wrong!

What are your career plans for the future?

I'd like to move into logistics management in one of a major supermarket's distribution centres.

Mark's route to his warehouse manager job

  • Started work as a retail assistant.
  • Progressed to retail deputy store manager.
  • Worked for five years as a warehouse night shift manager.
  • Present job.

Mark's tips

  • Try to get experience in a retail warehouse department.
  • Get on a forklift truck training scheme when you're at the appropriate age.

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Salary of a warehouse manager

  • Salaries will depend on the department and company you work for.
  • Starting salaries begin at around £17,000 a year.
  • With experience, it is possible to earn up to £20,000.
  • Warehouse managers could earn up to £25,000 or more.

Becoming a warehouse manager

  • Most employers require applicants to have a degree in relevant subjects, such as business studies/management. However, it is possible to enter this profession with relevant industry experience.
  • It is possible to gain NVQs/SVQs whilst working as a warehouse operative to help promotion to higher grades. NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Distribution and Warehousing is an appropriate qualification.
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK) offers relevant professional qualifications including a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma.
  • Warehouse managers can study part time for qualifications such as an MSc in Logistics or Supply Chain Management.
  • Employers will provide in-house training and support to new warehouse managers. This can last up to two years.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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