Inventory and Stores Manager

No business can function effectively without the necessary people, equipment and materials. Inventory and stores managers ensure that the people, materials, and equipment are available at the right time and place, for the work to be done.

Inventory managers are responsible for the control, storage and distribution of the organisation’s production materials and maintenance spares, as well as bookkeeping of accounts and financial control of the department’s budget. They need to establish and maintain good communication between the stores and other departments such as production, engineering and maintenance.

A vital responsibility is the security and safety of goods, as well as maintenance of all inventory records. The ‘shrinkage’ of stock has to be kept to a minimum.
They oversee quality control, purchasing and sales, the receipt of stock and advise all relevant departments of the arrival of stock. Inspection and checking of all deliveries has to be thorough and rejected stock returned to the supplier. They need to check invoices and that accounts are paid correctly.

They are responsible for materials handling, when stock needs to be moved from the stores to the production areas. All incoming goods are checked against purchase orders. If everything is correct, the accounts department is advised to make payment to the supplier.

The importance of this position can be seen by the fact that an inventory and stores manager controls and safeguards up to 70 % of an organisation’s entire expenditure. In most cases, this amounts to millions of rands.

Inventory and Stores Managers work mostly in separate offices in huge buildings that can house all the stock, but this depends on the nature of the organisation. If the items are large and bulky the manager may have to move between the office and the stockyard or warehouse.

Personal Requirements

  • good writing and organisational skills
  • able to work well with people, both subordinates and superiors
  • totally honest, with strong sense of responsibility, since you are in charge of valuable stock
  • methodical and accurate worker
  • aptitude for figures
  • computer literacy


  • all industrial and commercial enterprises, that own valuable stock and equipment
  • mines
  • government departments, provincial administrations and municipalities
  • armed services
  • self-employment, with enough experience, initiative and capital, can start own independent warehousing and storage business.

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a warehouse
  • make an appointment to speak to an inventory and stores manager about this type of career


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