Why You Need Great Leaders to Achieve Your Warehouse Management Goals
It’s no secret that managing a warehouse is hard work. The pressures warehouse managers face every day are only building as customer demands and expectations increase and the global market continues to expand. Finding time and ways to improve your operation in the face of constant orders can be challenging, to say the least. Time is not a factor many warehouse managers have in abundance; however, in order to manage your warehouse well, you have to fit in activities that will help your warehouse achieve its goals and improve upon its processes.
We say it a lot, and we’ll say it again: great warehouses are only achieved through great leadership. In fact, your leadership is a direct reflection of the state your warehouse will be in 5 years. So here’s the question: In five years, will your warehouse be achieving the goals it has set forth, or will it remain stagnant?
It’s a good question to think about as you plan your warehouse management efforts for the upcoming year.
5 Characteristics of Great Leaders
Developing your own leadership traits can transform your warehouse operation just as much as implementing new software or technology. Here are a few characteristics that set great leaders apart from the rest:
- Great leaders have a plan.
Do you know the direction your company is headed this year or in the years to come? Do you understand the purpose behind the goals that come across your desk from senior management? Attuning yourself to the heartbeat of your company can help you better determine the direction your warehouse needs to take in order to succeed.
- Great leaders take the time to see the whole warehouse picture.
No matter how much we wish we could, warehouse leaders will never be able to be in every part of the warehouse in a single moment. In fact, many of us aren’t even able to visit every area of the warehouse in one shift! With that said, great leaders need to know exactly what is going on in every area of the warehouse at every moment in order to lead it well. Snapshots and summaries won’t do; in a sense, we need a panoramic image of the warehouse.
- Great leaders plan for roadblocks.
Problems are inevitable in the warehouse. In order to take your leadership skills to the next level, you need the ability to foresee problems and develop responsive, actionable plans. Rather than leading their warehouse teams blind, great leaders look ahead at the issues that may arise and adjust their courses accordingly. They know that they cannot prevent problems from occurring, but with a little foresight and informed planning, they can ensure that the warehouse operation goes on without a hitch.
- Great leaders use technology for their benefit.
Technology can provide warehouse managers with many advantages, including increased efficiency, improved productivity, cost savings, improved accuracy, more informed decision-making capabilities, and a real-time view of the warehouse. Through the implementation of barcoding and mobile technology, warehouse leaders can arm their staff with the tools they need to get the job done and get it done well. Rather than be cautious about new technology and solutions, great leaders do the research necessary to find out if and how these solutions can boost them to success.
- Great leaders invest in the next generation of leaders.
The final (and most important) characteristic of a leader is his or her ability to train up great leaders. You may be responsible for the entire warehouse, but who do you have in place to take charge on the receiving dock? Who you choose to represent yourself when you cannot physically be present matters more than you think. By selecting the right person to take charge and investing in their development as a warehouse leader, you are essentially building the future of your company. You won’t always be there, so developing great leaders while you still can should be your top priority.
We did not become a leader in warehouse management technology without a lot of work and effort. We put in the time and energy necessary to not only understand how the warehouse works, but to also help leaders like you improve it. Our Sage 100 warehouse management products are designed to provide you with a holistic view of the warehouse so you can identify issues as they arise and train your team on how to respond. Our Sage 100 mobile app, Scanco Warehouse, even allows you to see what is happening in the warehouse in real-time so you can better plan how to manage your warehouse operation.
Great leadership involves more than simply showing up; it requires you to be present, proactive, and in the know on all aspects of the warehouse. We are in the business of training great leaders – are you?