A Day In the Life - How A Warehouse Operates

Almost any industry that you can think of centers its business organization on the specifics of manufacturing and its warehouse operations.

Products and services offered are, first and foremost, dependent on production. As such, working in a warehouse can be a hectic but rewarding job, full of challenges like optimizing pulling, packing and shipping orders, and obtaining OSHA Forklift Certification. These agile, powerful machines are instrumental in moving around the equipment and product necessary to making a day at "the office" run smoothly.

Arriving at the Warehouse
The first thing you do when showing up for work at the warehouse plant is to pick up the so-called pull ticket – also referred to as pulling orders. This tells you all you need to know about the items that you are responsible for getting en route to their destination by the end of the working day, and contains the location and the number of ordered products. Warehouses are usually quite large, and so several identifying numbers are needed to accurately and efficiently place the items you will be “fork-lifting” from their positions.

The next order of business, after you find the products specified on the pull ticket, is packaging. Different warehouses have different materials, but they generally serve the same function when it comes to adding a layer of protection outside and inside the box you choose:

  • There’s bubble-wrap, consisting of many tiny, air-filled bubbles in perfect rows
  • Medium-sized, air filled and air-tight pillow bags arrayed around the items
  • Thick, recyclable packing paper or newspapers
  • Styrofoam peanuts

After securing the box and its contents, you will have to make sure there’s identification on the outside, appropriate to the specific protocols of your particular warehouse. After this is done, you will move on to the next stage, which is known in many warehouses simply as the forklift stage. As is the case in most industries that offer certification of one kind or another, OSHA Forklift Certification identifies you as a capable handler and is tantamount to a professional stamp of approval.

The Stretch Run
Finally, you will prepare the items you’ve packed for shipping. If the items are large – and they usually will be, if only because you are shipping in bulk – you’ll drive the forklift over to the position and start moving the boxes to the shipping station, where the more up-to-date manufacturing warehouses have warehouse management software to expedite the process. After you weigh and apply any outstanding labels, you’ll scan the shipping address into the computer, as well as the shipping options chosen by the buyer, being sure to record all relevant details on the pull order ticket, which you will turn in to conclude your day at the warehouse.

As you can probably understand from this, OSHA Forklift Certification isn’t necessary for a lot of what you’ll do in the warehouse; it does, however, identify you to potential employers as being physically capable (eyesight, operational knowledge, etc) of handling the more difficult aspects of your intended job. At the very least, it gives you that singular advantage on your resume, vs. a competitor who has opted not to go for it.

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