By Nsim team
If you want to become an inventory control specialist, you first need to determine if this career path is well suited to your skills and interests. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as an inventory control specialist:
• You are highly organized and pay close attention to detail
• You enjoy work that involves documenting and communicating procedures
• You are skilled at balancing the needs of having adequate inventory, while ensuring there is not excess
• You have an excellent understanding of the supply chain process
• You are able to organize items by broad and specific classifications
• You are excellent at building professional relationships with employees and vendors
• You want to have a direct impact on the financial success of your employer
An inventory control specialist, also known as an inventory management specialist, is a business administration professional that is responsible for maximizing an organization's profit, with regards to inventory, by keeping track of the movement of an organization’s products, as well as monitoring orders, deliveries and shipments.
Inventory control specialists must oversee the movement of inventory units, within a single location or between multiple locations, in order to prevent inventory levels from becoming too high (as this ties up capital, and causes inventory to become obsolete with time), or from becoming so low that the operational needs of the company cannot be met.
Competent and efficient inventory control specialists are also concerned with controlling the various costs associated with the inventory: the total capital invested in the inventory, the tax burden created as a result of the cumulative value of the inventory, the administrative costs of maintaining excessive inventory, and other costs.
Inventory Control Specialist Job Duties
• Oversee the accurate monitoring, ordering and storage of inventory
• Supervise receiving staff during deliveries, or receive deliveries directly
• Confirm that delivered goods match purchase order specifications of quantity, condition, model number, etc.
• Adhere to strict accounting procedures when inputting essential data on all materials handled
• Recruit, hire, train, supervise and support inventory control clerks
• Liaise with shipping and receiving managers to ensure the necessary items are in stock
• Develop and implement comprehensive inventory policies and procedures in order to properly manage the flow of supplies and merchandise
• May take inventory manually and enter orders in a computer system on an as-needed basis (in smaller companies)
The educational requirements for becoming an inventory control specialist vary based on the size and type of the employer, the other qualifications of the candidate, the level of experience of the candidate, and other factors.
You may qualify for some inventory control specialist jobs with only a high school diploma, although many employers prefer to hire candidates for inventory control specialist jobs that have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in Business, Accounting, Inventory Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, or a related field.
In order to become successful in a career as an inventory control specialist, you need to posses a certain set of technical and interpersonal skills. These skills will help you make the most of your career as an inventory control specialist by allowing you to perform your job duties with competence.
It is important to note that the skills required of an inventory control specialist may vary by size and type of employer. For example, an inventory control specialist that works for a small company that distributes snack foods to convenience stores will need a slightly different skill set than an inventory control specialist that works for a large company that manufactures oilfield equipment.
Below we have listed general skills that are in high demand with various employers of inventory control specialists; you will see many of these skills, or variations of them, listed on inventory control specialist job postings:
• Able to understand mathematical conversions
• Able to organize items by broad and specific classifications
• Able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees and vendors
• Able to perform minor equipment repair
• Able to direct the work of others
• Able to accurately write and document inventory procedures
• Strong project management skills
• Excellent understanding of the supply chain process
• Able to balance the needs of having adequate inventory, while ensuring there is not excess
• Proficiency with MS Office
• May require skill in the operation of specialized equipment, such as forklift operation
Inventory control specialists are employed by small, medium and large organizations that maintain an inventory. They are mostly hired on a permanent, full-time basis by the following types of organizations:
• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government departments
• Supply chain management consulting companies
• Construction and manufacturing companies
• Medium and large retailers
• Small, medium and large distribution companies
• Hospitals and health care institutions
• School boards
• Colleges and universities