Inventory Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Inventory Specialist, or Inventory Control Specialist, oversees the ordering, storing, receiving and distributing processes of an organization’s products and supplies. Their main duties include controlling the flow of supplies and equipment, tracking and analyzing inventory maintenance and developing protocols for loss mitigation.

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Inventory Manager duties and responsibilities

Inventory Managers maintain daily records for invoices and shipments to identify which products need to be replenished. Some Inventory Managers track inventory with lists, but most use inventory management or supply chain software that calculates monthly and seasonal demand. Additional duties and responsibilities may include: 

  • Designing and implementing an inventory tracking system for optimized inventory control procedures
  • Examine the levels of raw materials and supplies to determine shortages
  • Document daily shipments and deliveries to replenish inventory
  • Create detailed reports for adjustments, inventory operations and stock levels
  • Evaluating new inventory, ensuring it’s ready to ship
  • Properly order new supplies avoiding excessive surplus or inefficiencies
  • Analyze various suppliers to ensure the company is receiving the best cost-effective deals
  • Hire and train new employees
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Inventory Manager Job Description Examples


Example 1

The ideal Inventory Manager is a strong leader, has excellent communication skills and is committed to enhancing the customer experience by developing a strong team comprised of members that support inventory control, stock and Web fulfillment. *A day in the life…* * Drive store results by ensuring departments achieve shrink and unit variance goals * Identify, recruit and hire the best talent * Support Buy Online, Pick-up in Store and Web fulfillment orders by ensuring orders are properly filled to meet customer expectations * Ensure inventory management processes are accurate, leading to profitable store results * Collaborate with store partners to ensure sales and service goals are achieved through Buy Online, Pick-up in Store and Web fulfillment * Partner with department managers and the store manager to support store events *You own this if you have…* * Proven success in current role and a strong track record of delivering results * The ability to develop and maintain productive relationships with store manager, regional support manager and other leaders * Excellent communication skills and strong team building skills * A talent for influencing others and leading change * Strong organizational, delegation and follow-through skills * A high school diploma, or equivalent (preferred) *We’ve got you covered…* Our employees are our most important asset and that’s reflected in our benefits. Nordstrom is proud to offer a variety of benefits to support employees and their families, including: * Medical/Vision, Dental, Retirement and Paid Time Away * Life Insurance and Disability * Merchandise Discount and EAP Resources A few more important points... The job posting highlights the most critical responsibilities and requirements of the job. It’s not all-inclusive. There may be additional duties, responsibilities and qualifications for this job. Nordstrom will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with all legal requirements. Applicants with disabilities who require assistance or accommodation should contact the nearest Nordstrom location, which can be identified at [website] *About Us* * We’re a fast-moving fashion company that empowers our people to be innovative, creative and always focused on providing the best service to our customers. The retail industry is rapidly changing, and we have interesting, complex problems to solve every day – from developing cutting-edge technology and opening new stores, to designing fresh, must-have fashion. Whether you’re a genius engineer, a phenomenal salesperson or a supply chain guru, we invite you to bring your unique talents and join our team. We reward great work, promote from within and celebrate diversity. Our values are the core of who we are. They inspire our employees, delight our customers and bring our business to life every day. *Customer Obsessed* We strive to know our customers better than anyone else. We listen, anticipate, build trust and move with speed to deliver on their needs. *Owners AT HEART* We treat every interaction as an opportunity to make an impact and deliver excellence. *Curious AND EVER Changing* We approach problems with curiosity and create solutions. We unlock potential to be bold, think big and inspire innovation. *HERE TO WIN* We’re committed to delivering results, both today and tomorrow. We win as a team by supporting and challenging one another to be better every day. *WE Extend Ourselves* We treat each other with respect and kindness. We do the small things that make a big difference. We create a welcoming environment, helping people feel connected, valued and part of one community. Come on! Join us! Nordstrom Careers Privacy Policy: Job Type: Full-time Pay: From $56,500.00 per year Benefits: * 401(k) * Dental insurance * Employee assistance program * Employee discount * Health insurance * Health savings account * Paid time off * Vision insurance Schedule: * Day shift * Holidays * Monday to Friday * Night shift * Weekend availability Supplemental Pay: * Bonus pay Experience: * Retail management: 1 year (Required) Work Location: One location

Example 2

We are looking for a Purchasing and Inventory Manager. We build about 8-10 van conversions a year, all of which require many parts and materials. A successful parts and inventory manager is a reliable professional with excellent record-keeping abilities. They possess great attention to detail and a business mindset. The goal is to have all of the necessary parts and material here when production needs them. *Responsibilities* * Devise ways to optimize inventory control procedures * Develop streamlined purchasing systems * Inspect the levels of parts supplies and building materials to identify shortages * Record daily deliveries and shipments to reconcile inventory * Place orders to replenish stock avoiding insufficiencies or excessive surplus * Evaluate suppliers to achieve cost-effective deals and maintain trust relationships * Report to upper management on stock levels, issues etc. *Skills* * Proven experience as managing inventory/purchasing or similar position * An analytical mind with strong math skills * Excellent organizational and planning skills * Outstanding communication and interpersonal abilities * Reliable and trustworthy * Spreadsheet savvy * Working knowledge of inventory management software is a plus Job Type: Full-time Pay: $22.00 - $25.00 per hour Benefits: * Paid time off Schedule: * 8 hour shift Experience: * 3 years (Preferred) Work Location: One location

Example 3

Position Title: Warehouse/Inventory Manager Department: Production Reports to: Production Manager *Overview: * The warehouse manager is responsible for the overall operation of the warehouse. As such, this position oversees all material movement into and out of inventory. *Supervision Exercised: * The warehouse manager will direct the activities of and exercise authority over all other personnel assigned either permanently or temporarily to warehouse duties. *(include but may not be limited to) Either through personal effort or through the efforts of those assigned to this area, the warehouse manager shall: 1. Ensure the physical security of the inventory 2. Ensure all required paperwork is properly filed out and submitted prior to allowing material to move in or out of inventory. 3. Ensure the accuracy of the inventory records through proper paperwork and cycle counts. 4. Anticipate material receiving through the tracking of open purchase orders. 5. Ensure that receiving personnel check incoming materials for correct quantities, packing list availability, part number accuracy and description against purchase order, reporting any discrepancy. 6. Ensure that all received materials are placed in their proper location immediately upon arrival, inclusive of prioritizing backorder receipts. 7. Administer the flow of material lists through inventory, ensuring the accuracy of the information on those lists, generating backorder lists, tracking quantities on hand and establishing contract staged areas. 8. Record any changes made to material list within the inventory area and who authorized. 9. Report any discrepancies, errors or omissions found on material lists to production and engineering. 10. Take personal responsibility of warehouse (material staged for shipment). 11. Track shipping schedule and ensure shipments are properly prepared, inclusive of correctness, awareness of any missing materials and packaging for protection. 12. Prepare load sheets for those placing materials on trucks. *Additional Functions: * 1. Maintain files of material movements 2. Order necessary shipping materials 3. Advise the traffic assistant on quantity and size of trucks required. 4. Work closely with the inventory assistant to ensure adherence to proper inventory policies and procedures. 5. Take part in the annual physical inventory. 6. Ensure the organization and good housekeeping of the warehouse and it' s associated areas. 7. Train incoming personnel in policies and procedures. *Education / Experience* 1. Three years’ experience in a similar inventory supervisory position. 2. Working knowledge of computer systems helpful. *Other Qualifications: * 1. Accuracy and above-average attention to detail that the work demands. 2. Ability to direct the efforts of others in the daily routine. 3. Ability to read and interpret numerical information. 4. Consistent attendance record. Job Type: Full-time Pay: $19.00 - $24.00 per hour Benefits: * 401(k) * Paid time off Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Monday to Friday Supplemental Pay: * Bonus pay Education: * Associate (Preferred) Work Location: Multiple Locations

What does an Inventory Manager do?

Inventory Specialists usually work for department or retail stores, developing procedures to effectively manage and maintain a company’s inventory. They’ll make sure a company’s shipment is accurate by conducting inventory counting processes. Inventory Specialists also oversee and manage the inventory storage space in the warehouse to ensure there’s enough room to store new product shipments. 

When inventories start to run low, the Inventory Specialist will place restock orders and make sure they never run out of essential inventory items. They also use management software systems and technologies to manage and update their inventory records accordingly.

Inventory Manager skills and qualifications

Inventory Managers are responsible for recording and ordering materials, products and supplies for both small and large businesses. Individuals with strong record-keeping and organizational skills are often a good fit for an inventory management career. Strong communication skills are essential for Inventory Managers, as they must be able to communicate with customers and employees on a regular basis effectively. In addition, the following skills and qualifications are essential for the position: 

  • Leadership skills for hiring employees, resolving conflicts and keeping employees on task and motivated
  • Critical-thinking skills to establish action plans and routinely assess their effectiveness
  • Organizational skills to manage multiple moving pieces, people and orders
  • Problem-solving skills to anticipate problems before they happen and handle them appropriately when they do

Inventory Manager salary expectations 

An Inventory Manager makes an average of $57,941 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Inventory Manager education and training requirements 

Most Inventory Manager positions require a four-year bachelor’s degree from one of several applicable majors, including business administration and supply chain management where topics ranging from logistics to productivity are covered. Many students also utilize computer models to simulate distribution mechanisms or inventory management.

Some Inventory Manager positions also have certification requirements. Many professionals pursue the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation by successfully passing five exams through voluntary certification programs offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). Once certified, Inventory Managers maintain certification by accumulating points by participating in additional APICS-approved activities and continuing education courses. 

Inventory Manager experience requirements

Many colleges and universities offer a master’s degree or graduate certificate programs in supply chain management or operations for Inventory Managers interested in pursuing upper-level positions. Additional courses in information technology are also useful as companies increase the role of automation and computers in the inventory management process. 

Job description samples for similar positions 

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Frequently asked questions about Inventory Managers


Do Inventory Managers have different responsibilities in different industries?

Yes, Inventory Managers can work in a wide variety of industries where their job responsibilities often vary. They may work in the supply chain management industry, spending their time in the warehouse managing those team members and making sure all their shipments go out in time. In these roles, they’re typically responsible for using complex supply chain management software to enhance efficiencies when stocking and shipping. 

Some Inventory Managers work in retail and merchandising, where they take stock of current items and will order more from suppliers. They’re often responsible for making sure there’s enough inventory in the store while also managing costs and ensuring the company is getting good deals for the products they order. 


What makes a good Inventory Manager?

Good Inventory Managers have impressive analytical and record-keeping abilities so they can easily track shipment times and productivity levels. They should also have strong organizational skills to effectively take stock of inventories and to keep secure files and records of previous inventory reports. Inventory Managers are often in charge of several employees and tasks at a time, so they should be able to multitask and handle unexpected situations in a calm and logical manner.  


Who reports to an Inventory Manager?

Inventory Managers often oversee a large team of employees. The specific team members who report to them often vary depending on where they work. If they work in the warehouse, they may be supervising a larger team of Inventory Clerks and Inventory Specialists, along with additional warehouse team members.

Some Inventory Managers in retail may work independently or they may have an Inventory Specialist or Clerk work alongside them. These employees will typically complete smaller clerical items, so the Inventory Manager can finish longer-term tasks to improve efficiency levels. 


What's the difference between an Inventory Manager and a Warehouse Manager?

Though these roles are sometimes interchangeable, Inventory and Warehouse Managers may hold different responsibilities in various industries. Inventory Managers handle several processes within supply chain management, like inventory control and logistics. They usually make sure the items are safely stocked and order new products. Warehouse Managers typically handle the overall storage and movement of the products and materials in a warehouse. 

Inventory and Warehouse Manager roles are usually separate in larger organizations, where smaller businesses may involve the Inventory Manager overseeing the inventory and supply chain management processes, while also completing warehouse management tasks.

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