Warehouse Specialist Job Description
Warehouse Specialists ensure that the daily functions and procedures of warehouses, such as distribution centers for manufacturers and retailers, run smoothly and efficiently. From shipping and receiving to maintaining inventory, the Warehouse Specialist must keep close tabs on all facets of warehouse operations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7 percent growth rate for the transportation and warehousing industry, which includes Warehouse Specialists, through 2022, with an estimated 114,100 jobs being added to the industry each year.
Warehouse Specialist Duties and Responsibilities
The true scope of a Warehouse Specialist’s job will depend upon the needs of the company they work for, but there are quite a few primary responsibilities that can be applied to nearly all Warehouse Specialist positions. We reviewed job listings to identify the following core responsibilities.
Oversee Shipping and Receiving
Fulfilling orders, packaging items for shipment and arranging delivery pickups are standard duties of the Warehouse Specialist. They may also be responsible for the loading and unloading of materials and products they , as well as verifying the quantity of items received against invoices. Warehouse Specialists are often tasked with keeping detailed shipping and receiving logs to account for all materials that enter and leave the warehouse.
Organize Storage Areas
Warehouse Specialists not only physically restock shelves, but also are often responsible for organizing how and where materials are stored. Creating an efficient system and keeping a clean warehouse are important parts of the Warehouse Specialist’s job.
Warehouse Specialists monitor inventory levels in a warehouse. When supplies become low or run out they will either process orders themselves or alert the inventory specialist in their company about their needs.
Warehouse Specialist Skills
An eye for detail and an ability to problem solve are important traits for the Warehouse Specialist. They must also be good communicators and multitaskers in order to successfully manage day-to-day operations at a busy warehouse. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Warehouse Specialists with these core skills. If you want to work as a Warehouse Specialist, focus on the following.
- Understanding large-scale organization systems
- Knowing inventory control systems
- Managing multiple projects simultaneously
- Meeting physical requirements, such as lifting, bending and standing for long periods
- Knowing Microsoft Office programs, such as Word and Excel
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Warehouse Specialist toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Ability to operate a variety of tools
- Experience using warehouse equipment, such as forklifts and handcarts
- Knowledge of OSHA safety guidelines and practices
Warehouse Specialist Resources
There are more helpfulresources available on the Web for anyone interested in becoming a Warehouse Specialist. We scoured the Internet and found these links full of learning opportunities.
Warehouse Specialist Books
Warehouse Management by Gwynne Richards – An informative look at ways to minimize cost of warehouse production and improve efficiency.
The Definitive Guide to Warehousing by Scott B. Keller and Brian C. Keller – This guide is issued by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and covers everything from warehouse design to customer service. A great look at how to run an efficient and successful warehouse operation.
The Time, Space & Cost Guide to Better Warehouse Design by Maida Napolitano – A useful book that provides new ideas and concepts on designing and managing a warehouse.
Warehousing Education and Research Council – Founded in 1977, this organization filled the need for education, research and networking opportunities for those in working in the warehouse industry.
American Production and Inventory Control Society – APICS began in 1957 with just twenty members and now boasts more than 40,000 members worldwide. This organization provides training, education, career development and research for the supply chain and operations management industry which includes areas such as inventory, materials management, purchasing and logistics.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – This organization was founded in 1963 and offers education and information for those working in the supply chain industry.
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