When it comes time to hire your next warehouse or distribution manager, what should you be looking for? What qualities and skill sets will give your warehouse management and inventory control person the ability to keep your bottom line healthy and strong?

Among many talents such a manager should have, make sure they include the following five:

Can they manage inventory?

Any schmo can figure out where the inventory is and what’s available. What you want is someone who knows how to segregate inventory into all the different categories and understands the primacy of protecting that inventory against theft and damage. The ideal warehouse manager must know exactly how to keep different inventory classes in their proper order so that it is always under protection.

Understanding Inventory Costs.

Does your prospective manager understand how inventory costs you money to warehouse? Can he or she calculate the costs of storage, obsolescence, theft, insurance, damage, and freight on outgoing and incoming shipments? Can they get a handle on electricity costs? How about heating and cooling costs? Don’t make a commitment until you’re sure they understand the importance of keeping inventory costs to a minimum.

The proper warehouse layout.

Warehouse layout is all about protection of the inventory. Your manager must have the ability to plan ahead and define clearly the human traffic areas, as well as taking into account pillars and natural obstructions. How does he or she propose to maximize your storage space? Do they know how to lay out industrial floor tape to exactly define where employees and equipment can navigate safely throughout the entire warehouse?

Using the right equipment.

Your new warehouse manager must have plenty of experience in purchasing or leasing the proper capital expenditure equipment for your employees, such as scissor-lifts and forklifts. The wrong equipment, or faulty equipment, means expensive delays in moving heavy crates or big inventory classes.

The proper storage and shelving units.

In the final analysis your inventory will only be correctly protected when your warehouse manager has correctly identified the right type of shelves and storage units for your operation. It goes without saying that these items will be sturdy, well-constructed units that can shield your inventory against accident and damage. The kind of warehouse manager you want to hire will know the brands and construction that work best in your warehouse environment.

Don’t hesitate to call on your Fishbowl expert for help in finding and keeping key members of your warehouse and inventory staff. They are always glad to share the latest trends and knowledge with you!