6 Ways Your Warehouse Experience Has Prepared You for a Supply Chain Management Career

Warehouse Experience

It’s the question you dread every time you get together with your buddies: “So, how’s work?”

You’ve been working in a warehouse for a few years now, and although you have no complaints about your job, you’re starting to wonder what else might be out there for you. Many of your friends are being promoted and working their way up the career ladder at jobs they love. You wish there was a way to leverage your warehouse experience into a more advanced career.

You’re in luck—supply chain management could be the perfect career field to take your warehouse experience to the next level. Supply chain managers are the organizational experts behind a company’s process for moving products from supplier to consumer.

You’ve been right in the thick of that process for some time now, so it only makes sense that you’d want to learn more. We’re here to help you in that process.

6 things working in a warehouse has taught you

Believe it or not, you already have many of the skills and experiences that are essential for a successful supply management career. Read on to find out just how far your warehouse experience could take you.

1. You know the basics of the supply chain

At its core, supply chain management (SCM) is about getting your organization’s product from point A to point B as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Understanding the supply chain system is one of the key tenets of success as a SCM professional. Your work in the warehouse has already exposed you to the basics of the supply chain, giving you a leg up in this advanced career.

To leverage your warehouse experience towards an SCM career, you should “learn how the systems work—the order flow, the warehouse management system, the load tendering or transportation management systems,” says Mark C. Smith, Pacific West Area Vice President at Penske Logistics. You might not know all of these systems like the back of your hand, but a basic familiarity with how these systems are used can be helpful for when it’s time to look at the bigger picture.

2. You’re a master at managing inventory

You spend your days handling incoming and outgoing deliveries, checking for damaged products and keeping an accurate inventory of what’s in the warehouse. These basic inventory skills are essential in the world of supply chain management.

“Understanding inventory management is also a big plus and a skill set that’s valuable,” Smith says. That’s because, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), supply chain managers are tasked with managing inventory turnover, inventory control, warehousing and receiving. You check shipments for accuracy against inventory lists and keep records of damaged or defective stock on a daily basis. Your warehouse job has provided a strong foundation on which to build a supply chain management career.

3. You understand how the warehouse works

The warehouse is a vital component of the supply chain. Supply chain management addresses questions like, “Do we have enough product available?”, “How can we strategically design the warehouse layout?” and “How can we become more efficient by combining shipments or consolidating the warehouse?”

The warehouse is the common denominator between all these questions. You’re a pro at knowing how the warehouse functions most efficiently and where there are hidden gaps that could be fixed to make the supply chain system run more smoothly.

Your frontline experience in a warehouse also gives you a unique perspective—some plans and fixes may be possible in a theoretical sense, but fail spectacularly in practice. Having a first-hand knowledge of what’s feasible and what’s not can be incredibly valuable.

4. You’re familiar with the technology

Supply chain managers rely on specific technology to help them do their jobs. The learning curve can be steep for the inexperienced, but you’re ahead of the game thanks to your introductions to the right tech software in the warehouse.

The DOL reports that supply chain managers are expected to use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software—such as SAP, Oracle Hyperion or Microsoft Dynamics—as well as inventory management software. Though you may not use these programs to their fullest extent in your current warehouse position, any familiarity could give you a leg up on others who are starting completely fresh.

5. You have leadership potential

Have you ever had to work for a demanding boss who didn’t understand how much hard work you put into your job? They probably weren’t someone you looked up to as a strong leader in the workplace.

When you’re working in a supply chain management role, your warehouse experience can garner you respect among subordinates who know that you understand all the hard work their jobs entail. Your deeper understanding of their work environment can also help you make strong decisions and understand how to best help them perform their job duties.

6.  You’re a customer service pro

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that customer service is listed as an important proficiency for a warehouse worker. You interact with customers every day, and you always do your best to keep them satisfied and meet their expectations.

Those same customer service skills will come in handy in a supply chain management career. Supply chain managers have to coordinate with both internal personnel and external suppliers and customers as they plan for demand and negotiate costs and shipping schedules. That makes a logistics career the perfect place to put your top-notch customer service skills to good use.

Leverage your warehouse experience

Your warehouse experience has prepared you for a supply chain management career in ways you may not have guessed. You have inside knowledge and skills that will give you an advantage as a logistics professional. With a career like that, you’ll never dread telling your friends about your work again.

If you’re excited about the possibility of advancing into a supply chain management career, learn more about the ins and outs of the job in our article, “6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Supply Chain Management Career.”

RELATED ARTICLES:

About the author

Ashley Brooks

Ashley is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She believes in the power of words and knowledge and enjoys using both to encourage others on their learning journeys

female writer

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits90 Credits180 Credits48 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTSStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREEStart HereMASTER'S DEGREEPURSUERSEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEEnd HereMASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS90 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE180 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNPMSNRN to BSNLPN to RN BridgeAccelerated BSNProfessional Nursing ADNPractical Nursing DiplomaPre-LicensurePost-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-maginify-glass icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked