An inventory controller plays a pivotal role towards efficiency and profitability of an organization. They can be the difference between mere survival and optimal performance of the firm. Through our experience in working with multiple firms and inventory management personnel, we have managed to single out 3 qualities possessed by top-notch controllers:
1. Clear Communication
Since the controller sits at the centre of moving goods and services, it’s paramount to give precise directions to everyone involved in the system. They do not want to misquote the current stock levels when communicating with the manufacturing manager, lest the business finds itself contending with overstocking or understocking. A great manager will know when to ditch the email and make a phone call instead. They will have to develop analytical skills to deduce trends in the trading data and communicate the findings in a concise way. Do not forget the fact that this role comes with the need to continuously document transactions. Such documentation can be used by a host of stakeholders including regulatory bodies, financiers or even clients.
2. Technical Aptitude
Just like in any other field, an inventory controller must master some key inventory formulae and metrics so as to steer the sales department forward. For instance, they should be able to understand terms like lead times and reorder points, or even understand the need to hold stock rather than ship it out at certain times. A deep understanding of such terminologies and financial maneuvers will help them to make informed decisions that will positively impact the business in an operational or financial perspective.
Gone are the days of manual inventory recording. Thanks to the internet and cloud-based inventory management software, a controller can automate most control functions and merely exercise an oversight role. With inventory management apps like DataQlick, a controller can seamlessly transfer inventory between virtual and physical locations. They can also manage the inventory remotely, and conveniently send or receive invoices. In an era where we have multiple eCommerce platforms, a controller needs to monitor stock movements across all channels such that they can create a comprehensive report as at a particular point in time.