Posted by Thelma Marshall, VP of Solutions, June 30, 2020

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Managing styles can differ, but there are a few common characteristics in warehouse management that garners results and creates a strong team. Fact is, successful leaders remember to look at things at a granular level, monitor for red flags that signal problems and know how to motivate others to achieve more.

Sounds like a lot to do when you are just keeping your head above water, but with the right information, it really just involves taking a  few simple steps to stay ahead of challenges and motivate your team.

For example, one important trait is to be proactive in everything you do. This means you take the steps needed to prevent issues that occur in your operations versus simply reacting to problems as they arise. 

Here are the facts: Reactive behavior and failure to proactively tackle challenges will impact progress.  Less than 30 percent of all warehouses today are efficient, and often, it’s the result of a failure to make proactive changes. 

Here are a few other steps all warehouse managers should include in a daily routine.

Monitor KPIs strengths and weaknesses

First off, manager should commit to working toward continuous improvement of KPIs every single day.

Use the latest technology to save time. TotalTrax’s latest solution, CommandPulseDX, simplifies the process, putting everything you need to know on one dashboard.  

Quickly identify which KPIs are on target, and which are not. Then use a pull-down screen to identify the reasons (who, what, when and why).   

Address red flags as well as problems  

Walk the floor. It’s amazing what you’ll see — idle trucks, idle operators, misplaced SKUs/pallets, and slotting of inventory in the wrong places. A distribution center, especially B2C, has a continuously changing demand plan. 

  • Identify what is not going well — and why — then implement a solution to address the issue right away. 
  • Speak with operators and employees that play a role. 
  • Create a plan. Whether that includes further training, change in job assignment, or modified behavior, make expectations clear. 
  • Set a goal for improvement and a time frame to achieve it.

Create a team mindset

There are several ways to build a team mindset in your warehouse. 

  1. Consider each employee’s ideas as valuable. Nobody knows the challenges and issues slowing down productivity better than those who are on the floor doing the work every day. Ask for opinions and suggestions.
  2. Set clear team goals and communicate why they matter. If workers know why something needs to change or improve they develop a vested interest to the results.
  3. Provide team and individual recognition for a job well done. Your employees want recognition that shows they are valued and you see their hard work. This promotes continued hard work, because they know it matters and will be recognized. And recognition doesn’t have to be large – the point is to receive praise and to feel that someone noticed their efforts.

Successful facility management requires fluid planning skills, the ability to motivate a team and proactive behavior that mitigates challenges. Telematics can ensure you have the time and information you need to get results. 

 

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