In 2020 we have heard a term repeated over and over again that has not been part of the everyday vernacular in decades. That term is ‘essential business’. Thanks to Covid-19, Government officials and business owners had to take stock of which businesses are so important to the greater good of society that even in a time of crisis they must remain open. Obviously at the forefront of these conversations emerged hospitals and care facilities, but warehouses and manufacturing
were a close second.
During a time when shopping is considered a risk, companies have altered their model to take a different approach. Direct to consumer shipping from a centralized warehouse now takes precedent over market research and product placement on a shelf. We all enjoy the luxury of 1-2 day delivery on goods, but rarely do we take the time to appreciate the worker who is the reason we can have virtually any product we could dream of purchasing show up at our front doors. Those individuals are warehouse associates. Take a look at the different roles found in a traditional warehouse and the critical functions that are performed to simplify our lives, and in recent instances, keep us safe:
Different warehouses for different purposes
Warehouses come in many different forms. There are the quintessential sprawling Amazon and Walmart warehouses you may see off the side of an interstate that are the size of a city block. In these facilities there are such a variety of products that on a shelf you may see a sleeve of golf balls sitting next to a jar of peanut butter. Direct-to-consumer warehouses are what the common citizen may have the most contact with, but there are many other warehousing facilities. Some may just store raw material waiting to be manufactured into a product, while others may be holding a surplus of inventory waiting for demand to increase as a price stabilization tool. In each of these the roles of the individuals who work there may vary, but the concepts are still the same.
What goes on inside a warehouse?
When one steps into a warehouse you may see several different pieces of equipment. One of the most common would be a forklift. This is a vehicle with extended forks on the front that is used to lift and transport pallets or loads of material. A forklift operator has many responsibilities, but safety is at the forefront. Operators must ensure their load is balanced, their path is clear, and their machine is maintained in good working order. Forklifts come in several forms whether they be reach, sit down, or standup, and the attachment on the front can be different as well such as a clamp.
Some other important roles in a warehouse are a picker and a packer. Pickers retrieve material from various sections of the warehouse when needed, whether it has been ordered or is going to be put to use. Packers are another outbound role who put the items in a box or appropriate packaging and send it out with the appropriate label or shipping documentation.
Another role that is commonly found in a warehouse are inventory control associates. These individuals are responsible for maintaining accurate levels of inventory by doing cycle counts or various forms of tracking. Many warehouses also have a position called a shipping clerk. This individual is responsible for maintaining accurate documentation and shipping and receiving records.
Depending on the size of the warehouse the management levels may differ. Associates may report to one manager who is over the whole operation or there may be a level of hierarchy. In a larger warehouse a group of associates will report to a lead over that area, which the lead will then report to a supervisor who is responsible for a larger area. The supervisors in turn can report to a warehouse manager or an assistant warehouse manager.
Find your next warehouse job with TRS Craft
The large, boring looking buildings that you may pass in an industrial park or on the side of the road are actually housing an intricate network of logistical operations that are critical to how our world operates. From an outside view some warehouse jobs can be viewed as unskilled or entry level positions, but in a time of difficulty in the world warehouse workers were considered some of the most important members in our society.
At TRS Craft Services we pride ourselves in supporting our warehousing clients with the highest quality of incoming associates. We recognize the significance in the functions these facilities perform and make it our mission to assist with their continued success. Find your next warehouse job with us today or get in touch with your local office.