A large number of products and goods from all industries are purchased through online shopping every day. Whether it be shoes, groceries or the latest gadgets, nearly anything can be acquired via the internet and customers require extremely quick delivery times. Warehouses and warehouse operatives (also known as warehouse supervisors) are key components to this process.

Without warehouse operatives, the distribution and circulation of goods would fall apart and become significantly less efficient. They are an instrumental part of the logistics industry.

Below we’ve created a mini-guide, explaining everything you need to know about warehouse operatives, including their responsibilities and desired skills.

If you’re a talented warehouse operative and are on the lookout for an exciting career, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly team here at BMR Solutions. We specialise in pairing skilled individuals with some of the South West’s top businesses.

What is a Warehouse Operative?

Warehouses are pivotal to the efficiency of the UK supply chain. It is here items are stored until they are ready to be delivered to shops and homes across the country.

Warehouse operatives are responsible for managing and overseeing the operations ongoing in a warehouse. The duties they are expected to fulfil can vary, but usually include keeping a record of stock on the warehouse management system and checking for damaged or missing items.

Warehouse Supervisor Working Hours

The vast majority of employers require warehouse operatives to work up to 40 hours per week. Shift work is common, and is likely to include weekends, late nights and early mornings.

Desirable Skills of a Warehouse Operative

There are no formal qualification requirements for an entry-level warehousing role, but there are some favourable skills:

  • Successful warehouse operatives will have strong organisational and record-keeping skills. They need to be able to coordinate large volumes of stock, and keep up to date with all items that enter and leave the warehouse.
  • Warehouse supervisors often work as part of a team so having good verbal and written communication skills is a must. They need to be able to liaise and cooperate with colleagues to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  • It’s not always needed, but having a forklift license is likely to open up more employment opportunities. Having experience of working in the industry will also stand you in good stead – even just a week’s experience or a short internship shows to employers that you already know how to do the work and won’t have to waste time in training you.
  • As warehousing becomes more and more automated, nearly all depots use a Warehouse Management System (WMS) to help keep track of the stock they store, which is why candidates with competent IT skills are often favoured. You don’t necessarily need to be confident with the particular systems your potential employer uses, but they’re unlikely to employ an IT illiterate. Any experience of using bar-coders or scanners will also be helpful.
  • The job can be physically demanding, so those who are active and like being on their feet are more likely to thrive in this type of environment. Practical and dexterity skills will also help with the more manual jobs, such as transporting stock.

Responsibilities of a Warehouse Operator

The specific responsibilities of a warehouse supervisor will largely depend on the job role, but typical job duties include:

  • Receiving and loading goods at the receiving/loading dock
  • Store received items in the appropriate location of the warehouse
  • Check stock for damaged and missing items
  • Move and rearrange stock when necessary using heavy lifting equipment
  • Keep accurate records of everything that comes in and leaves the warehouse
  • Housekeeping and health and safety practices in associated area

Warehouse Supervisor Careers in Bristol & the South West

If you’re looking to either start your career in the warehousing industry, or even looking for your next career move, please contact one of our recruitment specialists here at BMR Solutions. We’re a team that has the network and support structure needed to help open the door to more opportunities.

Alternatively, submit your CV with us today so that we can help you to find a vacancy suited to your skillset.

We often have plenty of exciting job vacancies available, so make sure to sign up for job alerts to get notified of any new jobs that you may be interested in.

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