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Inventory management is an important part of an organization’s profitability because the faster the turnover, the more money the organization makes. The inventory manager is mainly responsible for ensuring that the organization has the right amount of stock to meet customer’s needs and also to avoid overstocking certain items, which ties up cash and storage resources. Companies invest a significant amount of financial resources in acquiring inventory, so the manager has to be up to the task of strategically managing the investment.
Ensuring that the organization has optimal levels of stock is one of the key responsibilities of an inventory manager. He monitors the levels of stock and makes purchase orders when it falls below desirable levels. He also works with the rest of the management team to ensure that the organization has adequate supply of stock during peak customer periods, such as during sales and on holidays. It is up to the inventory manager to ascertain the quality of goods that are delivered to the organization and also to confirm that they are still in excellent condition before they are shipped out to the customer.
The inventory manager is responsible for directing the flow of goods into, through and out of the organization’s storage facilities. He liaises with the marketing, customer relations and warehousing departments to ensure that the customer’s order is properly filled with the exact goods that were requisitioned. If the marketing department is running a promotion, the inventory manager should be apprised so he can include the promotional items in the order. In some cases, the inventory manager might double as the purchasing manager. As such, he is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with suppliers to ensure efficiency along the supply chain.
The inventory manager must prepare and ensure the accuracy of documentation relating to inventory. He records the quality, quantity, type, style and any other characteristic of goods that the organization holds in inventory to give the rest of the management team a clear picture of what the organization has and what it needs. The manager also needs to track the inventory flow to identify slow moving and dead stock. It is the responsibility of the inventory manager to ensure the integrity of the stock management systems to guard against pilferage, theft, fraud and other activities that adversely affect the organization’s operations. The documentation is useful for formulating marketing and procurement policies and strategies to improve stock turnover.
The manager is responsible for managing the staff in the inventory department. He has the final decision-making authority on the hiring of inventory planners, quality assurance officers and other members of staff needed to run the department. He is also responsible for training them on organizational ethics, safety standards, return policies, sales promotions, work flow processes and practices that relate to the handling of inventory. In addition, the manager deals with grievances, complaints and disciplinary matters arising out of his department.
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Joseph Petrick has been a writer and editor since 2003. He writes career, business and education articles. His work has appeared in several online publications including Career Today. Petrick holds a Master of Arts in philosophy/economic anthropology from Pennsylvania State University.