Inventory is a vital part of any business. It is the responsibility of the inventory specialist to compile and maintain records of the quantity, type, and value of the supplies of a company. Generally, their duties and responsibilities focus on all aspects of inventory movement including product sales, re-stocking, and accounting for every item in the warehouse.
Businesses are highly reliant on product sales as well as accurate accounting of the available stock. This allows the company to operate smoothly, fill orders, ship products, and determine future needs according to sales and depletion of existing stock. Inventory is the total amount of goods or materials available. The amount of inventory is reflected on the surplus stock count, receiving and shipping data, and product returns.
Inventory specialists are also in charge of preparing journal entries, monthly and year end closings, fixed asset maintenance and general ledger reconciliations. They play a vital role in every business whether it’s big or small.
Duties and Responsibilities
The inventory specialist is in charge of a variety of duties and responsibilities in a business. Generally, an inventory specialist coordinates inventory requirements and procurement details with vendors and customers. He also makes inventory budgets and maintains the company’s stock ratio.
He also tracks the transportation and distribution of inventory. It is the inventory specialist who oversees the records of all stocks and compiles evaluation reports. Daily auditing of inventory is also a task for the inventory specialist.
Other duties of an inventory specialist include supervision of the inventory cycle counting; accounting and reporting of inventory surplus, product returns, and damages; cost movement of company products evaluation and purchase and invoice details assessment; re-stocking and filling order forms; and estimation of potential stock requirements according to sales reports.
Education and Training
Candidates for this job position should have a bachelor’s degree in administration, material management, logistics, supply chain or any related field. Those with a post graduate degree in supply chain, retail, operations, inventory management or a related field have an advantage and can be paid a higher salary.
An inventory specialist should have supervisory skills. The job includes overseeing functions like improvement of the production line methods and staff training in general inventory processes. A candidate should also have basic knowledge of using the barcode equipment.
Computer skills and knowledge in inventory software and programs are a must. He should have strong calculative and analytical skills. Excellent communication skills are also important for an inventory specialist. He should be able to meet required deadlines and have time management skills.
Work Conditions and Salary
Inventory specialists should be able to handle multitasking. Depending on the type of business, its size and growth, and its market, a specialist may be required to perform several other functions relevant to the employer’s product line.
Inventory specialists work in the warehouse and have their own office. There is no specific salary rate for these specialists. It depends on the company he is affiliated with. Nevertheless, related experience, education, and skills can be considered important factors for receiving higher pay.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/