For any business to operate as it should, it takes a whole team. In the beginning, some start-up companies do begin as the efforts of one singular person with a vision. However, especially as a small business starts to grow, it becomes harder and harder for a single entrepreneur to handle all the moving parts of a successful company. As such, it’s important to compile a team that works well together and has a common vision in mind to move the company forward.
There are many different positions within business management that are vital to daily operations as well as future growth. One key position to keeping a company running smoothly, and the role that we’re going to be discussing today, is that of a corporate inventory manager. In this article, we will cover what exactly a corporate inventory manager is, what tasks they can take care of for your business, and what resources they may need in order to be successful.
Corporate Inventory Manager Definition
The definition of a corporate inventory manager may seem self-explanatory, but it’s important to outline it anyway. In essence, the corporate inventory manager is responsible for managing your inventory. This role involves a person who is responsible for overseeing the movement of products from the moment they enter your business to the day they are sold and head off to a customer.
In addition to just watching the inventory and ensuring that it gets where it needs to go, your corporate inventory manager will also be responsible for the more overarching aspects of inventory, such as reporting. They will be a vital resource in helping you to determine which pieces of inventory are moving at certain rates and how you can best adjust your purchases to ensure your business is profitable.
Corporate Inventory Manager Job Tasks
The position of a corporate inventory manager is quite a big one, and as such, this role involves a lot of daily tasks. Here, we’ve grouped the most common job tasks of a corporate inventory manager into these five categories:
Your products have to come from somewhere in the first place, which is why supplier evaluation is a key part of the role of any corporate inventory manager. This employee will be responsible for working with your suppliers (and perhaps even helping you choose them in the first place), ordering products, making sure various orders come through as they’re supposed to, and taking care of any issues like delays or mistakes in shipments.
In addition to working with your current suppliers, your corporate inventory manager may also be on the lookout for other suppliers who could offer you better rates or faster turnaround times. Your corporate inventory manager may work to negotiate the terms of your contracts with various suppliers to ensure that you are operating at peak cost-efficiency.
Some bigger companies may have a separate employee that is in charge of product acquisition, but in the case of many smaller businesses, this role falls into the hands of the corporate inventory manager. It’s probably common sense to say that the corporate inventory manager is responsible for getting inventory in the door. This process involves knowing what products need to be ordered in the first place, placing those orders, and doing so at a time that takes the best advantage of promotions and other cost-saving strategies.
Within product acquisition, a corporate inventory manager will also take a look at the inventory that’s currently in stock in order to properly adjust their purchase levels. This ensures that your company never has too much or too little of a product in stock at any given time. In addition, your corporate inventory manager will stay aware of any promotions or sales that your suppliers may be running, or they might negotiate with your suppliers to get a cheaper rate for bulk purchases. All of these steps add up to getting the ideal amount of inventory for the lowest price possible.
Businesses don’t always need the exact same amount of inventory for any given product at the same time. For instance, if you sell snowshoes, you’re likely to need more inventory in stock during the winter months. Your corporate inventory manager will be responsible for tracking these changes in supply and demand and keeping up with historical data to ensure your business is prepared to meet the needs of your customers. This role involves tracking your inventory to create reports and identify trends that can be used in the future, as well as understand what products are in demand at any given time by any given group of your target audience.
Forecasting inventory needs is a key part of the role of a corporate inventory manager since these forecasts make it easier to predict exactly how much of an item your company might need. If your company knows that it gets a higher demand of a certain product in a certain season, while other items aren’t as requested during that time, your corporate inventory manager can keep track of these changes and ensure that you don’t have too much or too little of any one product.
Reporting and Documentation
All of the data that is compiled while forecasting inventory simply can’t be kept in one’s head. It involves lots of documentation and reporting from your corporate inventory manager. This employee will be responsible for keeping track of every item that comes into your business, often with the help of an inventory management system. They will be able to track products on a number of criteria including name, style, model number, and more.
Additionally, your corporate inventory manager will keep reports of your various inventory levels at every stage of your business. At any given moment, your corporate inventory manager should be able to tell you how many of a certain item you currently have in stock, what items are pending in what quantities, and when expected shipments of various products are expected to arrive. Finally, your employee should be able to easily tell you how much your current stock is worth. All of these reports in conjunction can help you track loss, plan any promotions that you might be able to extend to your customers, and generally ensure that you are keeping products in stock that your customers are asking for.
Inventory Cost Analysis
At the end of the day, your bottom line is everything. The cost of your inventory can play a huge role in your overall profits, which is why the position of corporate inventory manager is an incredibly important one. When your employee performs inventory cost analysis, they are helping you decide which of your current products are selling in the way that they should and are providing enough profit to justify keeping them in your lineup. If there is a product that just isn’t selling, your corporate inventory manager may be able to help you come up with a promotion or sales strategy to get these items out of your warehouse.
In addition, your corporate inventory manager can also help you save in terms of storage. This employee will be able to help ensure that you are keeping just the right amount of stock on hand at any given time and not paying for more storage space than you actually need. Additionally, they can help you maintain low transportation cost from the supplier to your business and then to the customer. All in all, your corporate inventory manager is a vital part of ensuring that your business is profitable and has the lowest operational costs possible.
Corporate Inventory Manager Resources
With a position as vast and important as that of corporate inventory manager, no one person can be expected to manage everything on their own. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your employee is equipped with all of the tools and resources they might need to do their job to the best of their abilities.
If your business is small when you first hire a corporate inventory manager, they may be able to handle most of their duties on their own. However, eventually, they will likely need a support team around them to help with duties such as order placing and inventory intake. Being able to delegate these smaller tasks makes it easier for your corporate inventory manager to help you focus on the broader aspects of your business.
Secondly, one of the most important things you can do for your corporate inventory manager is to provide them with a sufficient tracking system. Some businesses choose to do this manually with paper and pencil, while others choose to use spreadsheets like Excel or Google Sheets. Either of these options is great for a smaller business just starting out.
As your business continues to grow, you may consider adopting an inventory management system or a full-scale cloud ERP software. In that case, consider working with DEAR Systems for your business management needs. Not only is our software designed to help you manage your inventory, but it also assists with features such as accounting, manufacturing, eCommerce, and more. We are happy to work with customers from around the world to help them grow their businesses, proving that our unique software is applicable to any business in any industry.