The warehouse associate role is perhaps the most important to any warehouse operation. These professionals are responsible for moving inventory and orders at every point. Without them, and perhaps without you, everything would grind to a halt.
But it can be hard to understand what that really means. So, Red Stag Fulfillment is looking at this pivotal role and is sharing with you why every associate is so essential to what we do.
What is a warehouse associate?
Warehouse associates, also called warehouse team members, are the people responsible for doing the heavy lifting of eCommerce fulfillment each day. At Red Stag, that’s what we consider the most crucial part of the services we offer. So, you would be the person handling packages, orders, inventory, and equipment that move throughout a warehouse each day.
While that sounds pretty straightforward, it comes with many different areas to specialize in and tasks to keep the job exciting and engaging. Every warehouse is different, so the job adapts accordingly. Let’s look at typical duties for warehouse associates and team members here at Red Stag’s operations across the U.S.
What are the duties of a warehouse associate?
A warehouse associate at warehouses like the ones we run can expect to be on their feet most of the day, walking and moving as they help people get the products they love in the mail. Other times, you’ll be working with boxes and packages, moving them on or off the trailers that carriers like FedEx and UPS bring to the warehouse dock doors. There are different roles in operations for warehouse associates, so here are a few duties and tasks related to these different opportunities.
Receiving and loading
- Taking boxes and pallets off carrier trailers
- Moving items to designated warehouse space
- Scanning pallets and individual boxes
- Checking boxes for potential damage
- Putting boxes onto nearby shelves or on racks throughout the warehouse
- Removing wraps and outer materials, breaking down excess boxes
- Stacking orders inside of carrier trailers for delivery to final customers
- Ensuring stacked items in carriers, on pallets, and on the warehouse floor are safe, secure, and optimized for the space
- Following print or digital assignments to pick specific items up from warehouse shelves
- Scanning barcodes to verify items in each order
- Using carts, hand trucks, and other equipment as necessary
- Verifying orders and delivering them to conveyors or packing stations
- Addressing areas in the warehouse for cleanliness or pointing out safety concerns to team leads
- Scanning barcodes and orders to verify picking accuracy
- Packing orders into boxes following clear directions
- Adding special materials (e.g., tape or flyers) to boxes for final preparation
- Using computer systems to verify box weight and dimensions
- Printing and applying labels
- Safely moving boxes down conveyors or to staging areas
These are just some of the tasks you may have to perform. What’s common to each is the ability to move quickly while maintaining great attention to detail. Think about how you want to receive packages in the mail or from carriers — that’s the care we take and the experience we want everyone to have when they get an order fulfilled by Red Stag.
What skills do you need to be a warehouse associate?
Warehouse associates will develop many skills through on-the-job training, but some skills can help you land the job and succeed from day one. Each warehouse or company will also have a list of “desired” or “preferred” skills and characteristics that may be best suited for that option. Every associate skill plays a role in the commitment that 3PLs like us make.
Typical skills and qualifications
- Punctuality and ability to manage time and schedules
- Ability to work long shifts on your feet
- Capable of walking long distances or for long periods each shift
- Must be able to lift up to 40 lbs. frequently and push heavy carts
- Strong verbal communication skills
- Computer literacy and willingness to learn new technologies
- Ability to work with and add value to a diverse team
- Willingness to treat everyone with dignity and respect
Desired skills and characteristics
- Previous warehouse experience
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and make quick decisions
- Willingness to look for problems and work to solve them
- Self-motivated because many goals and performance metrics are individual
- Works well with a team and likes taking on a variety of tasks
- Willingness to learn unique technology because many warehouses have proprietary systems
- Desire to grow and establish a career
Sometimes, skills can help you land a warehouse associate position that comes with different responsibilities, more incentives, or higher base pay. These skills typically require training, such as being certified to operate a forklift. If you’re looking for work as a warehouse associate, be sure to let people know about the unique capabilities you bring to the table.
What can you expect as a warehouse associate?
Warehouse associates have fast-paced jobs with a lot of action, but great teams make the day go by quickly. To help you understand a little more what a day could look like, we’ve asked one of our own Warehouse Pickers to share their experience. Click the image below to get the inside scoop from Corey Garrison, Packing Trainer at Red Stag Fulfillment.
Red Stag Fulfillment is a leading fulfillment company for eCommerce businesses. We know what it’s like to shop online and get either a great or a poor experience in the delivery. Our goal is to give every client and their shoppers the best possible experience so that they’re happy when products arrive on their porch. To do that, our warehouse associates work hard to ensure we offer accurate, reliable, secure, and fast shipping. We move fast but place a higher priority on being accurate and attentive.
However, unlike what you might’ve seen on the news, team members aren’t run ragged. We set reasonable expectations, have a break room that people actually use, and ensure that we have proper safety equipment and practices in place. Every member is treated with dignity and respect, which starts in the warehouse.
We also know that our warehouse associates are the people who keep our business running smoothly. Everything we do depends on them. So, we aim to help each associate grow and thrive in their role. That means celebrating wins like offering incentive bonuses and giving out Top Performer awards in every class that goes through our New Hire Training Program. Every day can be one you’re proud of here at Red Stag.
If you’re interested in learning more about warehouse associate and team member positions, head on over to our Careers Page to see what’s available and discover more about Red Stag, our values, and why so many team members love what we do.