Inventory clerks work in a variety of environments, such as parts warehouses and retail stores. You may be an inventory clerk focusing on success or a supervisor developing a job description for a clerk. In either case, take your lead from the objectives and goals of your department. As supervisor, plan increased responsibility for a successful clerk. Develop goals for yourself as an inventory clerk to meet and exceed expectations set by others.
Fresh inventory information is best. Supervisors must forward data quickly, so set objectives for staff based on fast job completion. Use existing company standards as the basis for a clerk's performance, including objectives for continuous improvement. Clerks aiming for excellence set goals for completing tasks quickly to aid departments downstream. In a warehouse setting, for example, the supervisor may know it takes two hours on average to count inventory in a particular section. She'll target incremental improvements. The ambitious clerk aims to meet those goals and find ways to streamline further.
Counting quickly is ineffective when numbers are wrong. Successful inventory clerks and their supervisors create accuracy objectives. Spot checking's a good idea, whether a clerk's self-checking or a supervisor's evaluating. Both clerk and supervisor compare performance against known results. For example, the shipping department double-checks an order pulled by a clerk. The clerk's goal may be a 90-percent rate of accuracy weekly, based on the shipper's checks. Attainable, measurable goals and objectives engage a supervisor's workers to succeed -- useful tools for a clerk to keep herself motivated.
Treating co-workers and other departments as customers can focus interpersonal performance for the inventory clerk. Cooperation and minimal conflict are the supervisor's goal, so both worker and supervisor will consider what specific objectives suit the work environment. While evaluation in this area is difficult to quantify, the way a clerk fits in and gets along with others is likely easy to see. A depersonalized objective, such as improving relations between departments, may suit a situation where existing conditions are satisfactory but need refinement.
For both clerk and supervisor, progressive goals and objectives will include the inventory clerk's core tasks and look beyond to other roles. For example, the supervisor directs a clerk who works closely with accounting to cross-train in data entry as both personal development and an expansion of the business's human resources. Likewise, a warehouse inventory clerk expands her knowledge of material handling equipment to become more versatile. The supervisor lists these developments as objectives and goals with time expectations, while the inventory clerk takes initiative and defines her own game plan.
2016 Salary Information for Material Recording Clerks
Material recording clerks earned a median annual salary of $28,010 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, material recording clerks earned a 25th percentile salary of $23,000, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $35,800, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,095,300 people were employed in the U.S. as material recording clerks.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Material Recording Clerks
- Career Planner: Inventory Clerk Job Description and Jobs
- Bright Pearl: Ten Reasons why Accurate Inventory is Important
- Bayt International: Seven Ways to Stay Motivated at Work
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Material Recording Clerks
- Career Trend: Material Recording Clerks
A full-time content creation freelancer for over 12 years, Scott Shpak is a writer, photographer and musician, with a past career in business with Kodak.