An inventory specialist is someone who works for a business, typically a retail or manufacturing location, and is primarily responsible for dealing with inventory counts and issues in the store. This can be a lower position, where the title is primarily meant to sound more important than it really is, or a management position closely tied into the daily operations of the store. Regardless of the status of the position, the typical duties can often include performing daily counts, tracking down inventory problems, communicating with warehouses and distributors, organizing scheduled inventory counts, and effectively organizing the inventory of a business.
Inventory is generally regarded as the product or materials that are located at a retail store or manufacturing facility. It is sometimes also referred to as “physical inventory” and usually consists of the goods that a store sells or that a manufacturer uses to produce other products. In either type of establishment, inventory is important and so an inventory specialist is typically hired to ensure the proper counting and storage of such products.
Daily counts are often an important duty performed by an inventory specialist. These types of counts typically involve physically finding products in a store to ensure that what is in the store matches the records kept on computer or in other forms of bookkeeping. Errors in shipping, shoplifting, employee theft, and mishandling of products at sales registers can all lead to differences in physical inventory and what should be there. By performing these types of counts, mistakes and other issues can often be discovered and solved more quickly.
Since much of a business’s inventory comes in from other manufacturers or distributors, an inventory specialist may also have to deal with warehouses to determine the roots of inventory issues. If a pallet of merchandise was not on a truck, then the specialist will usually have to track down the pallet and ensure it reaches the store or facility where it belongs. Yearly store inventories are also a major aspect of what people in this position are often responsible for overseeing.
These types of yearly inventories often reveal “shrink” or “swell” in company profits through discovering that product is either missing or has been found in surplus to what should be present. Excessive shrink can often effect the employment of an inventory specialist, so precise counting is quite important to anyone in that position. Inventory specialists may also be responsible for ensuring that product is properly placed on shelves, so that customers can find what they are looking for. Excess product may need to be stored in overhead compartments, and an inventory specialist may also have to ensure that this is done in a way that is safe and efficient.