Have you ever wondered how the supply chain mechanism works? How the products are manufactured in the factory, distributed to the warehouse, and sent to stores for customers to purchase? Who is the unsung hero of this massive process? They are, of course, the inventory controllers.
I was given the opportunity to work as an Inventory Controller for the PRAN-RFL Group, Bangladesh’s largest multinational corporation. The company’s manufacturing facilities house has a wide range of products. They manufacture agricultural, food, and beverage products under the PRAN banner. They also manufacture plastic-based products and home appliances under the RFL banner. The company has thousands of outlets and millions of dealers across the country. It currently exports its products to over 118 countries worldwide.
How did I get started on this work? That’s an interesting and traditional way to begin any job. So, I was browsing my social media one day when I came across an ad for inventory controller positions at a well-known company, and I applied for that. After a week, I was summoned to take an exam and I was called for an interview after passing the written test. I was asked about my skills and knowledge, and I thoroughly described them. I was hired as an inventory controller because I was skilled at data processing, pretty much exclusively using MS Excel. But, before I could get there, I needed some experience, so I was hired as a sales executive for the first few months.
My first and foremost task as part of my job was to integrate with the customer and understand their behaviour and satisfaction. Later, I led a company marketing campaign for various brands in the field, which was a success. I was quickly promoted to the position of inventory controller. As an inventory controller, I was responsible for three large retail outlets, which I had to visit twice a week to maintain inventory stocks and authenticate financial transactions. To put it simply, I had to go through two consecutive sales, cash, and logistics reports at a time to see if there were any issues. I was also in charge of conducting an inventory count of all products once a month with the assistance of outlet staff from each brand.
As an inventory controller, I have learned plenty of new things during my work time. Mostly the maintenance of system products stocks and physical products stocks, though it sounds easy but I had to spend time to learn this. Also, while analyzing the reports, I noticed most of the time the store managers make some mistakes that result in the miscalculation of sales, inventory and profit. I learned to gather all their data together and make annual reports for each outlet. In the meantime, as I was leading the marketing campaign, I learned how to reach out to the targeted customers with a planned marketing mix and how to take note of customers’ feedback for different products.
Working with PRAN-RFL Group was a rewarding experience because it always motivated me to work hard, learn more, and broaden my horizons. I hope to return to work there sometime in my life again.