Career Development

What Does an Inventory Controller Do?

Find out what an inventory controller does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an inventory controller.

Inventory controllers are responsible for ensuring that the products your company sells are properly accounted for and stored. They monitor inventory levels, check in new shipments of goods, and ensure that everything is being handled correctly throughout the entire process.

Inventory controllers may also be tasked with managing the flow of information between different departments within their company. For example, they might work with sales teams to help them identify which products are available and which ones are out of stock.

Inventory Controller Job Duties

Inventory controllers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing reports on inventory levels and recommending purchase orders or sales based on trends in usage rates
  • Reviewing inventory records to ensure that they are accurate and up to date
  • Monitoring physical inventory levels and ordering additional inventory when needed to meet customer demand
  • Keeping track of inventory costs and prices such that they can be passed on to customers through price increases
  • Calculating inventory shrinkage rates to determine potential causes of theft or loss
  • Performing reconciliation of inventory records with external entities such as suppliers and customers
  • Monitoring inventory levels to ensure that they are within acceptable ranges
  • Reviewing inventory data and initiating follow-up actions with suppliers or manufacturers when inventory levels drop too low
  • Creating and maintaining an inventory of all inventory items held by the company

Inventory Controller Salary & Outlook

Inventory controllers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $80,500 ($38.7/hour)

The employment of inventory controllers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for inventory controllers will be driven by the need to control costs and ensure efficiency in supply chains. Inventory controllers will be needed to help companies reduce waste and increase productivity by ensuring that products are shipped only when they are needed.

Related: Inventory Controller Interview Questions and Answers

Inventory Controller Job Requirements

There are a number of qualifications required to obtain a position as an inventory controller. They include:

Education: Inventory controllers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer an associate or bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Relevant coursework includes accounting, business, finance, economics and statistics.

Training & Experience: Inventory controllers typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning the company’s inventory management software and processes. It may also include shadowing an experienced inventory controller to learn how to perform daily tasks.

Certifications & Licenses: Inventory controllers don’t need a certification to get a job, but one can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for positions.

Inventory Controller Skills

Inventory controllers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Accounting skills: Accounting skills are essential for inventory controllers. They use accounting skills to record and track inventory data, including the cost of goods, sales and expenses. They also use accounting skills to prepare financial reports and budgets.

Data analysis: Inventory controllers use data analysis to track and monitor inventory levels, sales numbers and other business data. They use data analysis to make informed decisions about inventory levels and production schedules. Data analysis skills can also help you interpret data-driven reports that can help you make business decisions.

Inventory management: Inventory controllers often use inventory management software to track and monitor inventory levels. They may also use this software to create purchase orders and track the status of shipments. Inventory management skills can help you track and monitor inventory levels and make adjustments to ensure the company has the right amount of products.

Problem-solving: Inventory controllers often work with a team of other employees, so problem-solving skills can help you collaborate with others to find solutions to challenges. You may also use problem-solving skills to find ways to improve processes or develop new methods to track inventory.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information through speech, writing or other methods. As an inventory controller, you may be required to communicate with other members of your team, suppliers and customers. Strong communication skills can help you convey information clearly and answer questions effectively.

Inventory Controller Work Environment

Inventory controllers work in warehouses and office settings. They may be required to lift and move heavy boxes of inventory, so they must be physically fit. They also need to be able to sit or stand for long periods of time and to do repetitive tasks. Most inventory controllers work full time, and some may work evenings and weekends. They may also be required to work overtime during busy periods, such as the holiday season.

Inventory Controller Trends

Here are three trends influencing how inventory controllers work. Inventory controllers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology to Improve Inventory Management

The use of technology to improve inventory management is becoming increasingly popular as businesses look for ways to streamline their operations. This trend is leading to an increased demand for inventory controllers who have experience using technology to manage inventory.

As businesses continue to adopt new technologies, inventory controllers will need to be able to adapt and utilize these tools in order to stay ahead of the competition. They will also need to be familiar with the latest trends in supply chain management in order to ensure that their company is using the most efficient methods possible.

More Focus on Supply Chain Optimization

As businesses become more focused on supply chain optimization, they are beginning to realize the importance of having a strong inventory controller. This is because the inventory controller is responsible for ensuring that the company has enough product on hand to meet customer demand.

By understanding how to optimize the company’s inventory, the inventory controller can help to reduce costs and increase profits. In addition, he or she can also help to ensure that the company is prepared for any potential disruptions in the supply chain.

Greater Attention to Data Analytics

Data analytics is becoming an increasingly important part of business decision-making, as companies are realizing the value of being able to make informed decisions based on data rather than just intuition.

This trend is having a significant impact on the role of the inventory controller, who is now responsible for collecting and analyzing data in order to make better decisions about where to stock products and how to best manage inventory.

How to Become an Inventory Controller

An inventory controller career can be a great way to start your career in business. As an inventory controller, you’ll be responsible for managing the flow of goods and materials within a company. This includes everything from ordering new stock to ensuring that products are correctly stored and distributed.

To become an effective inventory controller, it’s important to have a strong understanding of business processes and procedures. You should also be able to work effectively with people at all levels of the organization.

Advancement Prospects

An inventory controller typically starts out in a junior position, such as inventory clerk. With experience, they may advance to inventory supervisor, and then to inventory manager. The most experienced and successful inventory controllers may eventually become supply chain managers, responsible for the entire supply chain of a company.

Inventory Controller Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an inventory controller to manage our inventory and stock. The ideal candidate will have experience in inventory management and stock control. They will be responsible for ordering stock, keeping track of stock levels, and ensuring that stock is properly stored and organized. They will also be responsible for conducting regular inventory audits and investigating any discrepancies. The inventory controller will be responsible for ensuring that our inventory is accurate and up-to-date, and that our stock levels are sufficient to meet customer demand.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain accurate records of all incoming and outgoing inventory
  • Perform regular audits to ensure accuracy of inventory levels
  • Investigate and resolve discrepancies in inventory records
  • Monitor inventory levels and reorder stock as necessary to maintain optimal levels
  • Work with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of inventory
  • Coordinate with other departments to ensure smooth operations
  • Prepare reports on inventory levels, trends, and needs
  • Train new employees on inventory procedures
  • Implement and maintain inventory control systems
  • Develop and implement strategies to reduce inventory costs
  • Evaluate and recommend improvements to existing inventory procedures
  • Manage team of inventory clerks

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience in inventory management or similar role
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • High school diploma or equivalent

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business, accounting, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in inventory management or similar role
  • Experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)


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