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How Do I Become an Inventory Supervisor?

A woman checking inventory.
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  • Written By: W. Joyner
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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Among the major issues facing many businesses is the matter of inventory control. One of the primary role players in this area is the inventory supervisor. In seeking to become an inventory supervisor, you should strive for a combination of education, training and experience. Having an associate's degree and taking courses in accounting can be beneficial even if they are not required. Possessing organizational and analytical skills is helpful, being in good physical condition can be important, and having previous experience working with inventory schemes can be something that helps you achieve your goal of becoming an inventory supervisor.

An inventory supervisor is an individual who is involved in managing the shipping and receiving of goods for a business. In many company hierarchies, this person works under the direction of a purchasing director. Included in the responsibilities of the inventory supervisor are the proper arranging of the inventory in the warehouse, the security of the inventory and compliance with the company’s inventory control procedures. In many cases, he or she also will oversee and direct several employees.

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To become an inventory supervisor, you usually do not need a high level of secondary education, although an associate’s degree in business can be helpful. Training and certification courses in logistics, management and other related areas of study are also beneficial. Any program of study undertaken should include a course in basic accounting that also covers inventory accounting procedures. An understanding of inventory accounting and methods of valuation are crucial for inventory supervisors.

Working in the field of inventory management requires an assortment of skills. Anyone looking to become an inventory supervisor should possess strong math, organizational and analytical skills. A sound aptitude for logic and the ability to be detail oriented also are valuable assets. Additionally, familiarity with inventory management software programs and interfaces is highly advantageous, as is knowledge and understanding of industry regulations.

Other factors that are often considered by employers when seeking an inventory supervisor is the individual’s physical condition and ability to meet the physical demands of the job. The task of supervising inventory is not limited to paperwork. It also can include heavy lifting, bending and stooping as well as operating various pieces of equipment such as a forklift or pallet jack.

Another primary consideration is the candidate’s experience. It is not unusual for an individual to begin in a lower position and work his or her way up to become an inventory supervisor. Such an individual usually possesses intimate knowledge of the inventory practices and policies of the company. He or she also is familiar with the layout of the inventory scheme and often has good ideas for positive change. That knowledge and experience can often serve to shorten the amount of time that is required to become proficient in the new position.

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