Challenges in Managing a Large Warehouse

Whether you are running an import-export business or a transport spare parts industry, a warehouse system is crucial for the smooth operation of your business. It helps you to keep stock, employees’ vehicles, and various other equipment. However, managing it effectively is a time and money-consuming endeavor as it involves a series of complicated tasks.

Simply put, organization is the key to an effective warehouse management system. It helps to deal with space, data collection, and inventory management. Moreover, it also helps employees to deliver customer orders on time and accurately. Effective organizational skills help warehouse managers in lowering costs and boosting revenue growth.

Common Challenges

Warehouse management is not a piece of cake. The reason is that it involves various complicated and time taking processes including inventory maintenance, data records, budget management, labeling, labor costs handling, and many more. Therefore, 68% of warehouse managers face difficulties in operating the system effectively. [1] 

To ensure effective warehouse management, it’s crucial to understand all the hurdles or challenges of managing warehouses effectively and their appropriate solutions. Therefore, we listed here the top warehouse management challenges that cause trouble – not only for the manager but for the entire organization;

1.    Inventory Record Keeping

The main purpose of running a warehouse is managing inventory to ensure on-time delivery of customer orders. Therefore, the first and biggest challenge for warehouse managers is keeping a record of inventory. They have to keep an accurate record of existing stock, required items, arrival dates, expiry period, trending products, and much more.

Handling all these calculations manually not only consumes a lot of time but also results in errors or mistakes. These mistakes can cause you massive trouble. The use of a digital warehouse management system enables you to address with this problem.

2.    Labor Management

Labor is the main pillar of effective warehouse management. They are crucial for performing different tasks to ensure the smooth and fast running of the system. Warehouse managers often face the challenge of poor labor management. Assigning wrong tasks, misclassification of employees, and failing to provide them with essential tools or skills can result in severe consequences. It can also cause out of control labor costs, poor morale and job satisfaction, and can drive employee attrition.

Providing your workforce with appropriate training sessions and advanced tracking tools can help you solve this puzzle. It will not only enhance employees’ skills but also boost the quality of their work.

3.    Space Utilization

Warehouse managers often are faced with ineffective space utilization. They often failed to provide sufficient space for new arrival stock, packing or shipping areas which results in mess creation.  In addition, many warehouse stocking patterns are developed through necessity rather than planning and the technical debt is apparent through reduced productivity metrics.  It can result in the loss of required products, delay in delivery, and even cancellation of multiple orders.  This can extend to a knock-on effect of dissatisfied or complete loss of customer accounts.

Labeling shelves, inventory classification, and regular decluttering are the best solutions to deal with space issues. It will not only provide you with more free shelf positions but also streamline shipping processes.

4.    Seasonal Adaptations

The major challenge that warehouse managers face with the change of every season is adapting to new changes. The reason is those customer requirements keep fluctuating with the change of season, trends, and styles. They require the latest brands or products. In addition to new and expiring products, many retail oriented firms will have extreme swings in their inventory needs between peak and normal demand patterns.  Redesigning the warehouse according to new requirements is a difficult task. However, keeping a close eye on your inventory, market trends, and customer demands can help you to stand firm against this problem.

5.    Shipping Redesign

Streamlining the shipping process is also a major problem in managing the warehouse effectively. Make sure to keep picking items in the right direction and places which are easily accessible by the shipping team. Specialization makes increasing sense as the warehouse becomes larger and more complex.  Proper use of conveyance, mechanization, and segregation of tasks like cycle count, pick, pack-ship and loadout will drive increasing efficiency.  Labeling shelves and classifying inventory into the right categories can greatly help you to solve this problem.  Shipping doesn’t begin at the pack station and considering the warehouse as a series of interconnect processes will help create the greatest return on process optimization.

6.    Following Traditional Methods

The major challenge faced by warehouse managers is the use of traditional methods which add to the risk of errors, delays in delivering orders, and boosting operational costs. Investing in the latest technology is the only solution to this problem.   Logistics is a constantly evolving discipline and customers will often choose who to do business with on their ability to deliver.  Being open to new methodologies and technology will allow for the organization to meet the challenges of aforementioned changing customer requirements.


There you have it! These are some of the biggest challenges that you can face as a warehouse manager or entrepreneur. Make sure to avoid these troubles by adopting effective strategies. The most reliable, economic, and fast solution to all these problems is getting a digital warehouse management system that can lower your burden and provide accurate information or analysis.

Learn about the industry’s most modern, effective, economic, flexible, and rapidly growing warehouse management software on the market. These solutions streamline crucial warehouse management tasks including paperless picking, packing, shipping and customer service workflows.

Through automation and real-time inventory visibility, best-of-breed warehouse management systems help businesses achieve +99% order accuracy, fulfillment in under 24 hours, and value in a very rapid timeframe.

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