The modern warehouse requires top-class communication and collaboration

I write a lot about the importance of good leadership in warehouse logistics. One big reason for this is the communication in warehouse. It is so important with a transparent, clearly and reliable communication flow through the warehouse from the top to the floor and back.

Different environments demands different leadership, the modern warehouse with omni-channel and e-commerce demands a very communicative leadership. Fast decisions during the day in a volatile flow both inbound and outbound.

I also often writes about the high risks of sub-optimization in warehouse logistics with silos between different departments and tasks in the warehouse. In order to avoid sub-optimization you need agile teams with multi-competence that you as a leader move around depending on what department have the highest workload in a specific moment.

In the volatile environment I describe above, you need high communicative skills in order to explain and motivate your decisions to your staff. You need to build a culture that accepts and tolerates feedback regarding performance of productivity and quality.

When I talk about communication in warehouse, I mean two-way communication. It is very important you as a leader encourage your team to speak up and have an active role in your warehouse production. It is impossible for the warehouse management to see and react in every detail. You are dependent of a team who take responsibility and take own initiatives.

I advocate a leadership with a humble approach. You as a leader do not know everything; your team is the experts in the warehouse flow and tasks. You need to encourage them to have an active role in the continuous improvements.

In order to make the staff feeling an ownership I suggest daily meetings on the warehouse floor. You can communicate today’s challenges and focus areas. But just as important, you can also gather important information and improvement areas from your team.

A communicative warehouse need a flat organization with short flow between floor and management. Agile warehouse logistics need strong and reliable communication in order to have correct information for fast decisions.

Believe me; what I describe above is not easy. You need to build trust in order to give and receive feedback and a humble approach to secure you don´t reject valuable information about the warehouse operations. You have to understand, you as a leader don´t know best. Your skills are communication and being able to consolidate information to make the right decision in consultation with your management team.

The best book I have read and learned from in order to build a communicative organization is “Radical collaboration” I strongly recommend you to read it. See link below.

Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships: Tamm, James W., Luyet, Ronald J.: 9780060742515: Books

Roberth Karlsson

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