Warehouse FAQs
What does warehouse training consist of?
Every DC is different, so a Mt. Sterling experience may differ greatly from that of a Liverpool or Williamsport experience, for example. However, warehouse employees in every location must complete a thorough 90-day training program consisting of classroom instruction and on-site, hands-on involvement. We’ll also get you trained and certified on forklift operation so you won’t need to do that on your own time or pay for it out of pocket. Learn more about warehouse-specific training and orientation here.
What's the difference between a fulfillment center and a distribution center?
A fulfillment center and a distribution center both serve as critical links in the supply chain, but they focus on different aspects of logistics and operate under different models. A fulfillment center specializes in handling individual customer orders, often for e-commerce businesses. It receives products, stores them briefly, picks items based on individual consumer orders, packs them, and then ships directly to the customer. The focus is on high customization and quick turnaround times for small, consumer-focused orders.
On the other hand, a distribution center is designed to handle bulk shipments. It receives large quantities of products and redistributes them to distributors, wholesalers, retail chains, or other companies that require large loads of products from multiple manufacturers and suppliers. The shipments are usually larger and less customized than those in a fulfillment center. While a distribution center may store products for a longer period, its primary function is to serve as a hub for receiving, storing, and shipping goods in large quantities.
What is the role of a distribution center?
A distribution center acts as a hub in the supply chain where goods are received, stored, and then shipped out to various destinations. Unlike a traditional warehouse, which primarily focuses on storage, a distribution center is optimized for a rapid throughput of goods. Products often arrive in bulk and are then broken down into smaller shipments that are sent to distributors, wholesalers, or other distribution centers. Distribution centers are crucial for inventory turnover, minimizing storage time, and maximizing efficiency in the overall supply chain. At Dot Foods, we often use cross-docking, in which products are never stored in the warehouse. They are received, reorganized, and dispatched as quickly as possible.
What does a redistributor do?
"Dot Foods is a redistributor. Redistributors are intermediaries in the supply chain. They buy products in bulk from manufacturers and then distribute smaller quantities to distributors, wholesalers, or even directly to consumers. Unlike traditional distributors, redistributors often handle a wide variety of goods from multiple manufacturers, providing a one-stop solution for customers seeking diverse products.
The redistributor model allows retailers and other end-users to order smaller quantities of each product without the logistical complexity of dealing with numerous suppliers. Redistributors streamline the supply chain by consolidating orders, managing inventory, and facilitating efficient shipping."
What is the purpose of warehousing?
The main purpose of warehousing is to store goods and manage inventory in a centralized location, helping with the efficient and organized flow of products from manufacturers to distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, or directly to consumers. Warehouses are vital nodes in the supply chain, offering services like storage, sorting, picking, packing, and shipping. By consolidating goods in a warehouse, companies can better manage their inventory levels, optimize shipping and distribution, and respond more effectively to market demand. Warehousing also creates economies of scale, reducing overall logistical and storage costs.
What skills are needed to work in a warehouse?
To carry out warehouse duties, a variety of skills are beneficial, in addition to physical fitness. Typical warehouse worker skills include the following:
  • Basic math skills are essential for tasks like inventory counting.
  • Strong attention to detail is crucial for accurately picking and packing items.
  • Teamwork skills are important, as you'll often collaborate with colleagues to complete tasks efficiently.
  • Familiarity with warehouse equipment like forklifts is advantageous but not mandatory, as we provide comprehensive training for any equipment you will use.
  • Communication skills are key for understanding instructions and conveying information to team members.
What types of machinery or equipment are warehouse workers expected to operate?
Warehouse workers operate a range of machinery and equipment including forklifts and other load-moving equipment. Workers will also operate a handheld scanner and tablet to assist in their job operations. Training is provided for all equipment operations to maximze safety and efficiency.
What are the typical working hours for warehouse jobs?
Warehouse jobs have flexible scheduling options in our distribution centers. You can choose from three 12-hour shifts, four 10-hour shifts, day shifts, or night shifts. We also offer part-time work for those seeking fewer hours. While our operations run 24/7, these options allow for work-life balance without committing to a five-day workweek.
Are there opportunities for career advancement in warehouse jobs?
Yes, there are many opportunities for career advancement in our warehouses. Workers often start in entry-level warehouse jobs (e.g. material handlers) and can progress to roles like team leads, supervisors, or warehouse managers. We offer on-the-job training programs and encourage employees to obtain certifications, which enhance their qualifications for higher-level positions. Many of our managerial staff started in entry-level roles and advanced through demonstrated performance and skill development. Dot Foods encourages employees in every department to grow with the company.
How physically demanding are warehouse jobs?
Warehouse jobs at our distribution centers can be physically demanding, requiring warehouse workers to perform tasks such as loading, unloading, order picking, and packing. Warehouse workers must be able to lift 60 pounds and must complete a physical abilities test to ensure they are ready for the physical components of the job. Many roles involve constant movement, including walking, bending, lifting, and reaching. We'll teach you proper lifting techniques and all our warehouses use comprehensive safety measures to minimize the risk of injury. 
How much does the warehouse pay?
Wages differ from location to location, so it's best to speak with a recruiter about the specifics. However, you can also earn incentive-based pay on top of your hourly wage for exceeding productivity goals. You'll also be eligible for bonuses and periodic merit raises as well. Many locations even offer differentials for night and weekend work.
Can I choose which warehouse environment I want to work in?
At most locations, all warehouse workers will split time in between three environments or "temps": dry (room temperature), cooler (36 degrees) and freezer (-2 degrees). In Mt. Sterling, however, workers will stick to one "home temp" of their choosing.