Working in a warehouse can be hectic, regardless of size. But if you have only ever worked in a small warehouse, you could quickly feel overwhelmed at a large warehouse, and vice versa. Here are five key differences to consider when deciding what size warehouse is right for your next position.
At a smaller warehouse, there tends to be an “all hands on deck” mentality. It’s common for all employees to be trained on all aspects of the job, and to simply do what needs to be done throughout the day. In a larger warehouse, roles tend to be more well-defined. You might be a picker, a packer, or a quality control specialist and spend most of your time doing that specific position. Many large warehouses cross-train employees, but you will still likely have a primary job role.
That all-hands-on-deck spirit tends to lead to close-knit teams at smaller warehouses. Everyone knows everyone, and there is often a lot of camaraderie. At a large warehouse, it could take months to get to know every single person. These warehouses rely on formal training to ensure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do, and you could find yourself working alongside strangers on any given day. If the training is strong, things will still move smoothly, but teams tend not to be as close on a personal level.
Larger warehouses tend to have more formal pathways for advancement, along with mentorships and other career development options. But you might have to stand in line behind many people with more seniority. At a smaller warehouse, there may be fewer opportunities, but when one comes along, it is typically easier to land.
Shipment timing tends to vary based on the size of the warehouse. Larger warehouses often have bigger clients with scheduled shipping dates that could be six months or more in the future. Smaller warehouses often cater to smaller clients with more unpredictable, just-in-time shipping needs. This means that the overall rhythms are generally different at different-sized warehouses.
Most clients that choose large warehouses know what to expect. There is a basic pattern, and deviations are relatively uncommon. Those who choose a small warehouse often expect white glove service. They may be unfamiliar with the logistics process and need a bit more handholding from warehouse team members.
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