Whether you have a large store with a dedicated inventory management team or you manage the inventory of the store you own yourself, inventory control requires certain skills. Here are some of the essential skills that the people responsible for inventory control must have for optimal inventory control:
To obtain the best purchase prices, guarantee appropriate delivery times and optimize purchasing and storage conditions, the inventory manager must know how to negotiate with suppliers and collaborate effectively with other departments of the store.
The inventory manager must inevitably negotiate with suppliers to obtain the best possible purchasing conditions. Good negotiation leads to price reductions, discounts or favorable payment terms. This significantly impacts the profitability of the store!
It is also sometimes necessary to negotiate faster or more flexible delivery times with suppliers. Negotiation results in delivery agreements that meet store needs, minimizing the risk of shortages or delays in supply.
If the store sells products on consignment, the inventory manager should negotiate storage conditions with suppliers. This negotiation is about, for example, agreements on storage capacities, security conditions, return policies and the procedure in the event of unsold items. With good negotiating skills, the inventory manager ensures that storage conditions are optimal to preserve product quality and minimize storage costs.
Wondering about the difference between consignment and traditional inventory? Find the difference between the two here!
To ensure that inventory needs and inventory capacity are understood and factored into overall store decisions, it is sometimes necessary for the inventory manager to discuss with other store departments (sales, finances) on topics such as sales forecasts and raw material requirements.
Organizational skills are essential for effective inventory management. An inventory manager manages and controls several elements simultaneously such as inventory levels, inputs and outputs and the use of available resources. They must follow stock movements and know where the products are, whether they are in the warehouse, in the store or in transit.
Adequate organization makes it possible to quickly locate products, match deliveries and orders, minimize errors and losses, optimize storage space and react more quickly in the event of a problem. You also have to be organized to be able to respond quickly and accurately to requests or questions from other departments of the company.
Inventory control involves meeting numerous deadlines with suppliers and customers, regularly monitoring inventory and placing orders at the right time. These tasks must be performed on a regular and timely basis.
Effective time management allows the inventory manager to find a moment for all their tasks, to avoid delivery delays and to have an excellent knowledge of the inventory at all times.