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Consistent movements of materials enable a company to operate smoothly. An organization must procure materials efficiently to ensure they reach the customer on time. The process of procurement and supply involves planning, scheduling, and control. This prevents production shortages, shipping errors, and receiving errors, leading to unnecessary inventory adjustments. Material managers manage these processes to ensure organizations are running smoothly.
Material managers are essential to the operation and success of an organization. An organizations’ size determines the procurement and supply functions. There is increasing evidence that information technology benefits business strategies (Ajhvan, 2004). Material managers must integrate information technology into their operating systems to increase organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
Importance of material management
A single individual heads the material management department. The individual is accountable for the department’s operations. Centralization of authority increases responsibility in the department. Material management results in better accountability during production processes, as the movement of materials, is controlled and documented. This increases coordination between departments through official communication. (Chitale & Gupta, 2006).
A material manager must interact with the sales and marketing department to understand the market forecasts for the company’s products. With accurate data, material managers achieve all shipments and revenue targets. The material manager must procure quality materials for the organization through proper vetting of all suppliers. Quality products increase customer satisfaction leading to better organization performance (Chitale & Gupta, 2006).
Functions of material management
Materials management departments acquire materials necessary for their organizations. They control the material’s movement along the supply chain. The departments must accomplish this function through integrated management systems and planning. They must ascertain the materials required by the company. A material manager must communicate and liaise with other departments to complete this step.
The department prepares to purchase budgets for the company to facilitate material procurement. The material managers must identify suitable suppliers and negotiate for the best terms and conditions. The material departments place the required orders and manage them until delivery. The department coordinates with the quality assurance department for material inspection and quality analysis (Chitale & Gupta, 2006).
Material managers are responsible for the storage of company materials and assets. They ensure the materials are securely stored and indexed for efficient retrieval and assessment. All waste generated must be properly handled. This increases the safety and appearance of the company’s premises.
The material manager must maintain efficient and reliable purchasing systems and procedures. They must facilitate fair, legal, and proper relationships with all suppliers for sustainable development and growth. The manager must establish proper certification procedures to ensure timely payment of all materials delivered. He must authorize payment after certification and completion of all mandatory checks. The materials management department is responsible for stores and inventory control. Control of material movement, prevent losses from obsolescence and handling. The department must maintain accurate material records to enable the physical verification of stocks (Chitale and Gupta, 2006).
Material management is important in any organization as it improves efficiency. It saves the organization time and money. Material managers must adopt efficient systems to ensure efficiency. Without efficient systems, material management objectives are ineffective. Management information systems and feedback controls are very important. They enable material management processes and procedures to succeed. Information technology systems enable all employees to work efficiently as they simplify complicated functions.
Ajhvan, P., (2004) “Implementation Business Strategy by Information Technology”. Tomorrow Management (in Persian), Vol. 2, No. 7-8, p. 27
Chitale, K,. & Gupta, C,. (2006). Materials Management Text and Cases. Prentice hall of India Private Limited. New Delhi.