Companies use warehouses to store inventory and materials. Warehouse staff must ensure that goods are received promptly, counted accurately and stored safely to ensure smooth operations. Depending on the size of the company and complexity of warehouse operations, a business needs at least a few levels of warehouse staff to operate successfully.

Warehouse Clerks

Warehouse clerks receive, store and distribute inventory. In the receiving cycle, warehouse clerks unload trucks and count inventory. They ensure inventory and other materials are stored in a secure location away from loading docks. In the distribution cycle, warehouse clerks fulfill customer orders and place purchase requisitions for additional materials when necessary. Depending on the size of operations, an organization may separate the warehouse clerk function into receivers, stockers, drivers and mail clerks.

Warehouse Coordinators

Warehouse coordinators are responsible for coordinating the movement of inventory between shipping and the warehouse. They're generally responsible for entering inventory data into the company information system. In the receiving cycle, warehouse coordinators reconcile shipping receiving reports with company purchase orders to ensure that vendors deliver all necessary product in working order. In the distribution cycle, warehouse coordinators manage picking tickets for customer orders and respond to inventory queries from the sales department.


Warehouse managers oversee individual warehouse operations. They manage warehouse clerks and coordinators, including hiring, training, and continuing professional development. Warehouse managers conduct periodic inventory counts to ensure the accuracy of records. They establish and monitor security procedures to maintain the safety of warehouse equipment and inventory. They ensure that the warehouse operations comply with all necessary regulations and interact with the director of operations with management on warehouse issues.

Director of Operations

The director of operations sets warehouse policies and analyzes operations data to maximize productivity. The director reviews financial data to determine how efficiently the company is using its materials and labor. The director also examines sales and operational reports to make decisions about product mix and inventory procurement methods. In addition to understanding warehouse operational activities, operations directors often participate in price setting and help establish long term goals for the department.