Public Lab Research note

Public Lab job posting: Inventory and Shipping Coordinator

by Shannon | July 27, 2015 12:22 27 Jul 12:22 | #12102 | #12102

Inventory and Shipping Coordinator

Start Date: Mid-Late August 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Terms: 20-25 hours/week

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community--supported by a 501(c)(3) non-profit--which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

Position Summary

We are looking for a half-time inventory, assembly, and shipping coordinator for our environmental science kit production and distribution program. The basic function of the job is a thrice-weekly fulfillment of orders and continuous inventory counts, sales tracking, and customer service email responses, as well as directing appropriate inquiries to our community mailing lists.

Major Position Responsibilities

Overall Objectives

1) A streamlined, reliable and efficient retail store that provides consistent and growing income from our popular kits to support the Public Lab non-profit.
2) Increased efficiency and predictability of kit re-ordering, stocking, production, assembly, and shipping, for better cash-flow management.
3) Reliable, transparent, and responsive reordering and restocking, and coordination with other parts of the organization.

Simplifying and optimizing assembly, tracking inventory

Tracking inventory is essential to good re-order planning and cashflow management. We're seeking a hyper-organized team member who can track supply levels of both completed kits and individual parts, and anticipate the need for re-orders while keeping our supply chain costs and storage space needs manageable.

Packaging, quality assurance and the customer experience

A key part of maintaining a clear and powerful brand and strong relationship with our community is making sure the kit unboxing experience is special -- it may represent many customers' first contact with our community. Kit packaging must look good inside and out, and customers should know how much we care about design, materials, and of course, our community.

Supplier relationships & pickup

We work with many suppliers locally, nationally and internationally, and coordinating manufacturing and pickup timelines is essential to ensuring that kits remain in stock. The Inventory and Shipping Coordinator will support the Kits Manager by maintaining the pickup timeline and facilitating pickups.


  • 1-2 years of purchasing experience in a retail or manufacturing environment
  • 2-3 years of customer service experience

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge and appreciation of Public Lab (community & nonprofit), its mission, its approach to R&D and kit development, its programs and services, and the ability to communicate them effectively.
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Excellent self-organizational and administrative skills.
  • Strong communication skills–in written, verbal and online formats.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both in-person and with remote co-workers, to envision and promote positive change, and to be supportive of others.
  • Ability to facilitate activities amongst a highly diverse community of people from many different fields and experience sets.
  • Technical proficiency (with full support from co-workers)--ability to learn, disseminate and teach about technology in the context of community development.
  • Ability to identify and solve problems as a team member, and to make decisions and involve others in the decision-making process where appropriate.
  • Ability to create a work environment that fosters shared goals and objectives, and to be part of a cohesive online and offline community.

Compensation based on experience and qualifications. Please send a cover letter and resume to by August 7th. No phone calls please.

Public Lab is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. We encourage people with different ability sets, people of color, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities to apply.


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