Whether it's clothes for yourself or a birthday present for your mother - much of what we consume is now simply ordered online. We browse through masses of websites to find the right product after comparing different suppliers, instead of searching in the nearest shops. And this online trade is becoming more and more important both in the end consumer business and in the B2B business worldwide.
But what is actually behind it on the part of the providers? They often have a comprehensive product range at hand in huge halls. Warehouse logistics specialists ensure that all processes from delivery, sorting and storage to dispatch run smoothly.
In order to become a specialist for warehouse logistics you follow a few years of apprenticeship in which you learn theory at the vocational school and practical implementation in the training company. When you then start your career after your training, you usually don't do an ordinary office job, but work in the warehouses yourself or help out with loading processes, for example. A job that differs from other professions in logistics in that it offers variety and, in addition to desk work, also some physical activity.
In the beginning, the arrival must be accompanied. The warehouse logistics specialist helps with the unloading from the truck or container, whereupon the goods are checked for intactness and completeness, and order and delivery lists are checked before the goods are stored. For this purpose, the products are stored in the warehouse according to a specific system, which is tracked by an EDP system for faster retrieval. For some products, it is important that they are stored properly, i.e. that the appropriate temperature, light and air conditions are maintained.
However, it is also important that stocks are continuously checked in the warehouse. After all, no mail-order company suddenly wants to be confronted with the fact that it cannot process customer orders because the ordered product is no longer in stock. This inventory control is also the task of the warehouse logistics specialists, who carry it out either with a tour of the warehouse or on the PC in the inventory control or ERP system. In this context, the employees immediately record which products are running less well or which stocks need to be replenished. In this way, they can also directly initiate orders for goods from wholesalers or producers.
But the specialist for warehouse logistics is also in demand on the other side of the warehouse chain. After all, what is sent to the customer first has to be prepared. This means that warehouse logistics specialists also process incoming orders. They assemble the ordered goods, commission, pack, create the corresponding documents such as delivery notes and invoices, and finally release the orders for dispatch. They manage all these processes in the company's internal IT systems. How shipping takes place is also the responsibility of the employees for warehouse logistics. On the basis of the order parameters (e.g. product group or delivery time), they decide whether shipping is best carried out by truck, freight train or container ship.
The job description of specialists for warehouse logistics is much more versatile than one might think. It's not just about filling high shelves and bringing goods into or out of the warehouse. Many interface activities are involved, which require commercial understanding and cooperation with suppliers, customers and internal departments. Warehouse logistics specialists need to know the practical processes within the warehouse as well as the chain of processes in other areas of the company and at transport companies. For internal processes, it is often a prerequisite that warehouse logistics employees have good knowledge of industrial and working safety as well as environmental protection.
Many small steps that can only be done well with organizational talent, a sense for chain-like processes and a penchant for perfected detail work. It's these many small steps that we usually don't see when we order something on the Internet today and the day after tomorrow the parcel is handed over to us by the delivery service.