Hiring an inventory manager can help your business become more organized, productive, and profitable. With the right inventory manager on your team, it’s that much easier for your company to streamline inventory operations and practice better inventory control.
But to reap the benefits of an inventory manager, your business will need to attract great candidates, interview them, select the right one, and ensure they are set up for success from day one. In this article, we’ll help you better understand what inventory managers do, when it’s time to hire one, what to look for when selecting one, and how the right tools can empower your new inventory manager to optimize operations from the start.
What do inventory managers do?
Inventory managers are hired to oversee inventory at your business, whether an independently-owned auto shop, a handful of local breweries, or a construction company operating across the entire country.
Some of inventory managers’ most important responsibilities include:
- Overseeing inventory—or a team of people who oversee inventory—at given locations
- Maintaining inventory management software
- Reviewing inventory audits, stock levels, and supplier performance to optimize the inventory control strategy
- Managing employees, ordering, and deliveries to ensure smooth operations and well-stocked shelves
- Improving supplier relationships and removing vulnerabilities from the business’s supply chain
- Reporting to management or ownership regarding inventory levels, spending, budgets, personnel issues, and other concerns
- Training new employees and keeping experienced employees sharp
When to hire an inventory manager
Many businesses find that with the right inventory management software in place, their existing team can manage inventory together without adding a new employee. But, for many businesses, having a dedicated inventory manager is an absolute must. Which is to say, there’s no prescribed “right time” for every business to hire an inventory manager.
However, when the logistics and responsibilities of managing inventory became so complex that another employee (or team of employees) can no longer give inventory-related tasks the time or attention they deserve, it’s often a sign that you should hire an inventory manager.You may also hire an inventory manager as your business expands to multiple locations, sees revenue soar, or identifies missed opportunities to practice better inventory control that wastes time and money while adding unnecessary stress.
Hiring an inventory manager often dovetails with overhauling your inventory management system. After all, regardless of who you hire, a spreadsheet still won’t be able to scale as rapidly as your business. If you’re hiring for an inventory manager role, it’s probably also a good time to consider inventory management software.
Creating an inventory manager job description
If you’ve decided it’s time to hire an inventory manager, you’ll want to attract the best candidates by creating a great job description.
Start by sitting down and determining exactly what you’d like your inventory manager to do, what knowledge you’d like them to have, and how you envision them helping your business track inventory, assets, and supplies. You’ll also want to highlight any particulars about what inventory your business manages and how.
You’ll also want to consider what qualifications are essential to your business. In general, inventory managers tend to have relevant work experience in your industry, plus:
- A Bachelor’s Degree, often in a related field
- More than five years of experience in inventory
- At least two years of experience in a managerial or supervisorial role
- Excellent communication and management skills
Inventory manager jobs are sometimes listed under other related titles, such as Inventory Control Analyst or Senior Inventory Manager.
While every business—and every offer—is different, Indeed estimates that the average wage for an inventory manager is around $14 an hour, with some inventory managers making up to $56 an hour. You’ll set compensation based on industry standards, your candidates’ experience, and the cost of living in your area.
Questions to ask during an inventory manager interview
When interviewing an inventory manager, you’ll want to pinpoint how their past experiences managing inventory might help your business improve its inventory management strategy. You may want to ask questions about:
- Experience using inventory management software
- Ability to solve supply chain challenges
- Ability to vet, manage, and negotiate with suppliers
- Proficiency in using automation features—including barcodes, QR codes, and low stock alerts—to manage inventory more efficiently
- Experience creating, implementing, and sustaining a standard operating procedure
- Ability to oversee complex inventory audits, maintain a perpetual inventory system, and identity and rectify instances of inventory shrinkage
- Ability to work alongside management and accounting teams to optimize inventory control, reduce cash burn, and speed up accounting processes
You’ll also want to sit down before the interview and consider your business’s industry-specific inventory needs. From fleet management to raw materials storage, every company has its own set of unique inventory needs. Make it a point to verify that your next hire can help you address them.
Onboarding your new inventory manager
Once you’ve selected the best candidate for the job—and they’ve accepted your offer—it’s time to set up your newest employee for success. Evaluate the state of your inventory management system. Whether your business is already proficiently using inventory management software or still keeping track of stock in a notebook, your inventory manager’s first few weeks are the perfect time to evaluate what’s working and what needs improvement.
Once your whole team sees eye to eye on the next steps, ensure your inventory manager has all the resources they need to help your business stay organized, optimize inventory control, and save time, money, and stress.
Sortly is a top-rated inventory management software solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether your company already has an inventory manager, is looking to hire one, or is simply looking to get organized without adding any new employees, Sortly can help you track everything you have in stock—and so much more.
With powerful features like barcode and QR code scanning, low stock alerts, customizable reports, and a truly visual inventory system that allows you to see every last item your business owns, Sortly can change how you inventory while speeding up both everyday processes and more tedious undertakings, such as audits and inventory counts.
Ready to see how Sortly can help your business, inventory manager or not? Begin your free, two-week trial of Sortly’s premium features today.