Inventory Controller Skills (With Definitions And Tips)
Updated 5 March 2023
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Companies use supply chain management to streamline their business processes, from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished goods. Inventory controllers or stock controllers are individuals who develop inventory management systems, maintain inventory stock and analyse supply chain data to identify and resolve issues. Knowing the hard skills and soft skills required for the job role can assist you in pursuing a career in this field. In this article, we discuss various inventory controller skills, learn how to improve them, explore information about them in the workplace and examine ways to highlight these skills.
What Are Inventory Controller Skills?
Inventory controller skills include both hard and soft skills used in the workplace and for career advancement. The minimum qualification required to become an inventory controller is a higher secondary certification from any of the recognised boards. Some professionals may specialise in a variety of fields, such as logistics, business administration or sales, as part of their bachelor's degree. They can also pursue additional certifications to enhance their credibility and improve their skills.
Related: What Is An Inventory Manager? (Plus How To Become One)
Examples Of Inventory Controller Skills
Here are some examples of hard skills and soft skills for inventory controllers:
The duties of inventory controllers include performing data entry, in the form of invoices, inventory stock, purchase and pricing reports and inbound and outbound orders. To input data into a digital database effectively, they require entering data from a range of sources, such as handwritten documents, receipts and physical records. Data entry knowledge can help ensure that entries are accurate and up-to-date.
Related: A Complete Guide On Data Entry Jobs
These professionals use a wide range of tools to perform their daily duties. They use various inventory management tools to maintain stock, track inventory, generate reports, create dashboards and integrate with accounting software to assess cash flow. Knowledge of these tools can help them accomplish their tasks more efficiently.
Related: 8 Inventory Management Software Solutions (With Benefits)
An invoice is a commercial document that the seller issues to a buyer, which records details such as products, quantities and their prices. Inventory controllers are responsible for creating and managing invoices for vendors and customers. This helps them keep a track of sales, manage inventory, record business revenue and predict future sales.
Related: What Is A Vendor? (Definition, Types And Examples)
Professionals in this field can use inventory management software to track products along various stages of the supply chain. Having good database management skills helps them document inventory items, maintain a list of suppliers and vendors, store product metadata, schedule orders and create reports. It also assists them in analysing trends, identifying supply chain issues, assessing supplier performance, tracking sales and improving business processes.
Creating an effective budget allows the company to minimise its logistics costs, maximise its profits and ensure customer satisfaction. This requires inventory controllers to design a budget that considers the current market trend, customer demand and seasonal trends when ordering stock. This helps ensure that there is enough supply to meet the customers' demands and minimise costs on unused goods.
Related: What Is FIFO Accounting? Definition, Example And Advantages
Inventory controllers communicate regularly with suppliers, vendors, distributors and customers as part of their daily activities. They may also work with bookkeeping professionals and the finance department to maintain records of purchase orders, pricing reports and sales data to ensure supply chain efficiency. This requires them to be proficient in both oral and written communication.
Related: Verbal Communication Examples In The Workplace (With Tips)
Inventory controllers work with warehouse professionals, vendors, suppliers and customers as part of their job. This requires them to communicate effectively, demonstrate responsibility and accountability and practice active listening. The ability to work collaboratively with others is an integral part of good teamwork skills.
Related: 10 Powerful Tips For Successful Teamwork
Attention to detail
Inconsistency in data or errors in tracking inventory can cause overstocking or out-of-stock (OOS). This may cause a loss in revenue, reduce cash flow, impact customer experience and deplete brand value. The ability to focus on details allows these professionals to validate the accuracy of data records, manage inventory stock, forecast demand and supply requirements and conduct inventory audits.
Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips
Handling multiple shipments and related activities such as preparing orders, negotiating with vendors, record-keeping, re-stocking and coordinating logistics can be time-consuming. These professionals can plan their work effectively and meet deadlines by developing an effective time management strategy. They can do this by creating to-do lists, delegating work, automating repetitive tasks and maintaining a tracker.
How To Improve Inventory Control Skills?
Follow these steps if you want to improve your skills for this role:
1. Set a goal
As professionals advance in their careers, they set career goals to monitor their progress. Some of these goals include learning new inventory management software and mentoring junior inventory controllers. You can start by setting a career objective, outlining the steps to follow, identifying the resources you require and choosing a completion date. It is also essential to monitor your progress to ensure that you remain focused on your goals.
Related: 8 Career Goal Ideas (With Definition, Benefits And Tips)
2. Seek experience
Most inventory controllers do not require advanced education. Professionals in this field often develop skills through experience. Job opportunities, such as customer service and assistant positions, may prepare you for a career as an inventory controller. A position in inventory control may also allow you to receive on-the-job training and enhance your skills as you gain experience. You can also take additional courses to get acquainted with inventory management tools that allow you to efficiently manage the supply chain.
3. Ask for feedback
Many employers appreciate it when employees ask for feedback and show a desire to improve. Getting feedback from your colleagues or supervisors can help you identify areas for improvement. Identify the actions required to make improvements and prepare a step-by-step plan. Monitor your progress and introduce changes to your plans when necessary.
Inventory Control Skills In The Workplace
Demonstrating skills at work helps you build credibility and gain the trust of your colleagues and supervisors. Here are some ways you can demonstrate them in the workplace:
Have a thorough understanding of business processes. Having an in-depth knowledge of a company's supply chain can help you propose strategies to improve it. This includes understanding the supply chain structure, customer demand, company policies and cash flow.
Make recommendations. It can be beneficial to suggest innovative ways of improving the current business processes that can lower costs and maximise profits.
Propose solutions. Identifying efficient solutions to business problems displays your problem-solving abilities and creative thinking skills.
Related: 6 Material Handler Skills: Examples, How To Improve And Tips
How To Highlight Inventory Controller Skills?
Highlighting your strengths and skills on your resume and cover letter and during the interview can increase your chances of getting hired. Here are some ways you can do that:
Inventory controller skills for a resume
The professional summary section of your resume is a good place to list your skills. This helps the interviewer get a quick overview of your professional background and work experience. Describe how your skills contributed to your previous success. Include a section to describe your proficiency in inventory management, record keeping, auditing, inventory pricing and other relevant skills. Review the job description to include keywords that a hiring manager may search for when going through your resume.
Inventory controller skills for a cover letter
Include examples of how you used your skills in your previous roles to accomplish your goals. Describe how you plan on achieving similar results for the company in which you are interested. For instance, you can describe how you improved inventory accuracy by 11% within six months. A quantifiable accomplishment adds credibility to your resume and shows that you are results-driven.
Related: Short Cover Letter Sample (With Helpful Steps And Tips)
Inventory controller skills for a job interview
Interviewers often ask you about your previous work experience to assess your professional expertise. When describing your work experience, mention how you applied your skills to solve various problems and optimise business processes at your previous workplace. For instance, you can provide an example of how you established new operational procedures to improve the efficiency of the supply chain by 11%.
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