Stock controller

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Jane Andrews is a stock controller for a mail order wine supplier based in. She monitors stock levels for all the literature that is included in the wine cases.

What is your main role?

Most cases of wine that we send out have literature in them such as welcome packs, tasting notes and sales information. I monitor stock levels of this literature so that we don't run out of supplies. I also co-ordinate the packing of literature ready to go to customers.

How is maths used in your job?

I use maths daily. I use sums in spreadsheets, which monitor literature stocks from one day to the next. Another area that involves a great deal of maths is putting away stocks in our warehouse. For example, I have to work out whether there is enough room in a particular space in the warehouse. I do this by looking at how many boxes there are already and how many we want to add.

What might you do in a typical day?

I use SAP (the computer system we use to monitor stock levels) to see how the stocks have moved since the previous day. I enter the information from this report into a spreadsheet and give it to all the members in our team, as different people manage separate stocks. We use this information to see if we will run out of stock in the near future. This enables us to order new literature so that we always have sufficient stocks available.

Another job that I do every day is to check literature stocks that the wine suppliers provide, which is included in the cases. These stocks come from the companies and they may need time to get further supplies printed. I update spreadsheets that tell us how many cases of wine and how much literature we will need for the coming month.

Do you spend all your time in the office?

I spend a lot of time in the office, but I also liaise with warehouse staff regularly. This involves going out into the warehouse where it is essential to wear safety shoes and a hard hat; there are a lot of heavy boxes stored at very high levels and there are fork lift trucks operating.

What other skills do you need to be a stock controller?

I have to work to strict deadlines. This means I have to be very organised and able to prioritise my tasks. I enjoy working as part of a team in a friendly environment. Although this job can be quite stressful, I also enjoy working to deadlines - I perform well under pressure.

How do you see your career developing?

I'd like to take on more responsibilities to include controlling all the wine stocks as well as the literature.

Jane's route to her career as a stock controller

  • GCSEs, including maths.
  • A levels at school
  • Further A levels at college before working for the company doing general office duties.
  • Promoted to a stock controller.

Jane's tips

  • Take a business studies course. It will be useful for understanding stock control.
  • If you don't feel confident to go straight into stock control, enter a company at a lower level. It helps you to understand the company you are working for.

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Salary of a stock controller

  • Staring salary for stock controllers will vary according to location and size of business.
  • A trainee would expect to start at around £12,000, rising to £16,000 with experience.
  • Stock controllers in large-scale companies could earn up to £25,000.

Getting in

  • There are no minimum entry qualifications, but basic maths, English and IT skills will be useful. You can gain qualifications such as City & Guilds Level 2 certificate for retail stock controllers.
  • Most of your training is on the job. Some big retail stores, for instance, offer their own training schemes.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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