Materials Scheduler

Materials Scheduler jobs

Any successful and profitable business must keep costs to a minimum whilst maximising customer satisfaction and quality. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways, but in production businesses, the costs associated with acquiring, storing and using materials cannot be ignored if maximum profitability is to be achieved.

The cost of a materials delivery does not end with the invoice being paid. Owning a surplus of materials that are waiting to be used has its own physical costs, in terms of floor space, security and such like. There is also the cash flow implication of over-ordering to consider. On the opposite side of the equation is under-ordering. Trying to acquire just enough material to meet current needs can be a poor strategy if there’s a sudden spike in demand. Somewhere in between these extremes is a happy medium, and the materials scheduler will be in charge of achieving it.

By taking the best information possible from analysts, forecasters, sales representatives and company records, the materials scheduler will build up a picture of future needs so that he or she is in a better position to keep the optimum amount ordered, which for most purposes is enough to meet all productivity needs plus a little in reserve. Needless to say, in real life it’s much more complicated than that, which is why a good materials scheduler is such an important member of any supply chain team.

The skills required

The materials scheduler will be part analyst, part forecaster, part procurer, part negotiator. The job will require a day to day grasp of stock levels, costs, availability and demand, and the scheduler will need to make sense of it all and turn it into concrete orders. The overriding considerations will be customer satisfaction and profitability, and these elements will need to be satisfied by blending all the available information. Therefore a good analytical and organisational brain will be a strong point.

Much of the scheduling, stock taking and ordering work will be carried out using various software products, some of which might be unique to the employer, others which might be common. A good grasp of a range of solutions will be a requisite in the materials scheduler.

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