A fulfilment manager makes sure customers receive their correct orders in good condition and on schedule. He directs his team in processing shipments and resolving customer complaints. To ensure profit margins are maintained, a fulfilment manager must have excellent control of his inventory to facilitate timely shipping of goods and merchandise.
Excellent inventory and project management skills are required for this job. Familiarity with computerised inventory forecasting and fulfilment programs is necessary. Good communication abilities are required to effectively negotiate with vendors as well as supervise and motivate the fulfilment manager's staff. The ability to analyse demographics and market trends is required to efficiently meet fluctuating customer demands and avoid losses incurred by excess inventory. Proficiency in manufacturing and production planning is necessary for this job.
Inventory planning and guaranteeing orders are efficiently processed is the focus of a fulfilment manager’s job. Constant interaction with vendors guarantees a fluid, up-to-date inventory of goods resulting in a high level of customer satisfaction. The manager is also required to constantly monitor warehouse processes and recommend improvements to increase productivity and profits. Regular communications with marketing managers are necessary to forecast market trends, along with contract with enough vendors so that customer demands will be met without interruption. A fulfilment manager is also required to regularly prepare budgets for review and approval by upper management.
A fulfilment manager typically divides her time between her office and the warehouse. Her office time is usually devoted to vendor negotiations and tracking inventory movement via computer. In the warehouse, she motivates the workers and ensures the quality and timely shipment of the orders. She may be required to walk or stand to observe processing and packing procedures. Overtime occasionally may be required to resolve inventory or shipping issues. Professional business attire is expected for this position.
To be considered for a position as a fulfilment manager requires a bachelor’s degree, preferably with concentration in engineering, operations or another field related to inventory control and management. Some employers prefer that a fulfilment manager have a master’s degree in business administration. Knowledge gained from previous inventory or fulfilment management jobs is preferred.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
Large companies may offer chances to be promoted into more general management positions. Smaller firms’ advancement opportunities are normally limited. According to data provided at http://swz.salary.com, the median annual income in the United States in 2009 for a fulfilment manager was £49,953.