Public warehousing has always been a business of people as much as a business about product. Transportation and buildings are the most expensive element of public warehousing followed closely by the cost of labor. While there is little that can be done about the rising cost of fuel or a long term warehouse facility carrying costs, labor costs are something which lie within management control. Over time, two rules and practices have emerged that will help optimize warehousing efficiency and profitability and maximize staff effectiveness.
According to Bob Shallenberger, Vice President of Business Development at FW Warehousing, a warehouse needs to constantly strive for increased flexibility and agility. Understanding that change is inevitable is crucial for a successful warehouse and distribution center. The fear of change is a major obstacle to great management, one that can hamstring an otherwise great company.
A good warehouse manager knows the strengths and weaknesses or each and every staff member, and the manager will assign tasks appropriately to those people’s strengths. It is natural for people to gravitate toward certain tasks that they feel comfortable doing, but it is more important that they succeed and that success comes from matching what they enjoy with what they excel at doing. Also, it’s important for the manager to acknowledge a task well done so that the staff members feel appreciated. This appreciation will drive the staff to work harder knowing their work is not going unnoticed.
The best public warehousing managers delegate responsibilities to others for tasks that they are most capable accomplishing. If no staff member is expert at a particular task, it is crucial to consider implementing testing and training to develop an expert from within. Remember, it’s better to take the time to train properly, rather than having to go back and reteach and relearn a task.
FW Warehousing is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Midwest warehouse distribution centers in Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis totaling more than four million square feet. Founded in 1949 with a focus on food-grade storage, FW later broadened its services to include contract warehousing, dry storage, hazardous material and chemical storage, temperature-controlled storage, product distribution and B2B and B2C fulfillment.
FW Warehousing has more than 50 years of experience in third-party 3PL logistics and has been ranked in the top 100 Third Party Logistic Companies in the country by Inbound Logistics magazine.
For more information about FW Warehousing and its complete warehousing, fulfillment and logistics capabilities, visit the FW Warehousing website.