What a Materials Manager's Job Looks Like

Logistics Tech Outlook | Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A materials manager must take care of specific responsibilities to ensure a smooth flow between demand and supply.

Fremont  CA: When it comes to enhancing efficiencies, materials managers can be invaluable strategic partners. Materials cannot be purchased in bulk and held indefinitely; they must flow in response to demand. That implies someone must analyse sales data and estimate demand in order to create a pipeline of suppliers capable of meeting demand at all times of the year. The materials manager makes smart cost-cutting and value-adding decisions.

Materials managers have a set of responsibilities to take care of, like:

Inventory and storage management

Inventory management entails much more than just maintaining a clean warehouse. Materials managers are also in charge of keeping proper records and maintaining facility control. Goods must be stored in a way that reduces the risk of spoilage, and the flow of goods must be managed to maintain the desired inventory turnover.

Sourcing and purchasing

While larger companies may have their own purchasing divisions, the materials manager is frequently the one in charge. A materials manager will look through their network of suppliers or seek to grow said network after being briefed by production managers on what direct and indirect supplies are required.

Demand and risk management

Forecasting demand is a skill in and of itself, needing reliable data and in-depth knowledge of the sector. In the meantime, each stage of the materials supply chain has some risk, especially when third parties are involved. A materials manager who can effectively forecast demand and develop risk-control methods (e.g., spoilage risk, supplier risk, and transportation risk) can free up an important breathing room, allowing the company to grow and shrink fast in response to changing conditions.

Arrival and inspection

When the products arrive, a materials manager will supervise the unloading and check that each item ordered has been inspected, uploaded to the company's data system, and arrived in good condition. Goods can be distributed or kept as needed from here.


After being purchased, products must be transported as quickly and efficiently as possible from their point of origin to an organisation’s storage facilities, where they will be examined before being used. This can be a significant expense area; logistics accounts for around 11% of a company's revenue, with transportation accounting for slightly over half of all logistical costs. As a result, this link in the chain must be closely monitored and optimised in order to identify crucial areas for improvement.

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