Inventory management isn’t the easiest thing to master. As a business owner, you need to be aware that the employees you hire will have varying degrees of inventory control experience. If your inventory system is an integral part of your business, it’s probably a smart idea to include inventory management training as a part of your comprehensive management training programs and even your sales management training programs.

If you include a segment of inventory management training into the overall training sessions of your new employees, everyone at the company will know the ins and outs of your daily inventory protocol.  Job aids and written process documents are fine, but nothing can substitute for an actual training session.  That way, all your employees will be able to help you monitor raw materials, work in progress, and finished products.  You can also send specific material management and inventory management personnel to specialized training – organizations such as APICS (Association for Operations Management) offer classes and certifications for production and inventory managementInventory management training focuses on materials planning but also emphasizes the importance of the entire inventory process including supplier management, production scheduling (working with inventory constraints) and performance metrics.  Having trained specialists on board can be a key competitive advantage.

However, since inventory can easily get out of control and absorbs so much of your company’s assets, each of your sales team members and production team members should also know how the basics of your inventory management software. And they should be able to monitor and analyze inventory software data to help you figure out what you need to order from suppliers at certain points in time.

Managing materials and handling inventory management duties in any company can be a full-time job.  Certainly, continuous improvement is generally much easier when you have resources that have received inventory management training and are focused on analyzing the data that emerges from your inventory tracking software.  While it might seem like a luxury expense, the right employees with the right training will allow you to make the best use of your company’s limited resources.  Small improvements in data entry mistakes, higher inventory turns, less shrink, and better planning can result in big bottom-line results!