Inventory controllers are professionals who specialize in the management of the various types of inventories that are maintained by companies as part of the standard process of conducting business. In general, the inventory controller is charged with the task of keeping the level of the inventory within perimeters that are considered to be high enough to allow the company to function at optimum efficiency, but low enough to create the least amount of tax liability for the corporation.
Often a large corporation will employ more than one inventory controller, with each member of the inventory controller staff assigned the task of overseeing the functions of one or more inventory types within the business. Since any given company, especially a manufacturing corporation, will maintain inventories that range from raw stock to manufacturing supplies to finished goods, the task of efficient inventory control is often easier with several controllers working to ensure that all types of inventory are managed properly.
One inventory controller may have the responsibility of managing the supplies inventory, often by tracking the daily issues and usage of machine parts and other materials essential to the operation of the plants that produce goods offered by the company. Generally, an inventory controller that is focused on supplies or maintenance inventories will employ an ordering process that is based on average usage. Essentially, this means utilizing history about the past usage patterns of an item combined with the average amount of time it takes a vendor to deliver an order of the item once it is placed. This strategy allows the inventory controller to place orders so that the plant never runs out of necessary parts and resources, but helps to prevent large amounts of parts running up the net worth of the inventory.
An inventory controller may also be charged with the responsibility of maintaining the finished goods inventory for a single plant or the entire company. This will involve keeping a constant track of daily production that is added to the current inventory of sellable goods, less the goods that are shipped to fulfill orders. Sales departments often interact regularly with a finished goods inventory controller to determine if there are products in stock that can be used to fulfill a customer request.