Expand mobile version menu
  Skip to main content

Inventory Control Manager

What They Do

Insider Info

Inventory control managers keep businesses running. They provide information on how much stock is on hand, what raw materials are needed to make more and how many orders can be filled.

Retail stores, warehouses and manufacturing plants employ these managers to get things where they need to be when they need to be there. If there aren't enough products in a store, sales are lost. If a factory runs low on raw materials, it can't make the finished product.

But it's just as important not to have too much of something on hand. Storage space is expensive to buy or lease. Businesses pay tax on everything they have in stock. And inventory must be paid for even if it's not sold. So having too much of something around can be a real drawback in the competitive world of business.

Just in time refers to the practice of keeping inventory as low as possible, and having materials or products delivered only as they're needed. APICS (the Association for Operations Management, formerly known as the American Production and Inventory Control Society) offers specific advanced courses in "just in time."

Most inventory control managers work regular hours, though those in retail stores can find themselves harried during holidays and other busy seasons. And almost every manager must go through inventory review at least once a year, which involves physically counting every item in stock.

Inventory control managers manage other people, as well as the timely, well-planned flow of goods.

Computer programs can track customer purchases and match them with store or factory stock. The once painstaking process of matching everything up is now largely automated.

But inventory control managers aren't worried about losing their jobs to a computer network. Regardless of how efficient computers have become, the human element remains vital to inventory management. "The computer has made our jobs easier, but there has to be someone in there that can reason," explains inventory control manager Lynn Davis. "The computer can't read between the lines."

At a Glance

Keep stock of supplies

  • You'll manage people as well as goods
  • This work generally involves regular hours
  • Courses and certification are available


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


Powered by XAP

OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.