With appropriate software, the processes can be unified, standardized and made more efficient. If companies rely on ERP systems, materials management can even be integrated into the general, cross-departmental IT infrastructure. This has the advantage that, for example, the sales department can directly retrieve information from production. Thus, delivery dates can be roughly estimated in the first sales pitch.
Further advantages of ERP software in the field of materials management:
ERP solutions can provide clear and transparent data structures as well as inventory procedures. The standardized modules of the ERP software vendors can usually be tailored individually to the requirements of the company. For example, companies can decide whether the software should use permanent inventory, key date inventory, or sample inventory.
Inventory changes are automatically recorded by the software. As soon as delivery notes are sent or production quantities are confirmed, the system records the corresponding information. This allows all parties involved - such as purchasing, sales and production - to access the inventories without any additional communication effort.
Of course, the software also provides important information that is relevant to the company's employees. Which stocks are currently in the warehouse? How are these rated? Is there material that is no longer needed? What influence does a customized prefabrication have? Is there a purchase risk?
Companies can thus not only support materials management with ERP software, but also make it much more efficient. Thanks to the software, information is available for all departments company-wide, eliminating the need for a lot of communication.
Why is materials management so important?
Efficient and structured materials management offers companies competitive advantages in many ways. For example, companies can dramatically reduce their capital commitment by purchasing on a just-in-time basis. In that way, raw materials, consumables and supplies are only stored in the company for a very short period of time and are directly used for production. At the same time, storage costs are reduced as less storage space is required for the primary products. Ideally, they are not even stored, but delivered directly to the respective machines and used immediately.
In addition, customer satisfaction can be noticeably increased. Because only a well-functioning material planning ultimately leads to the fact that the required material is available at the right time in the right place and in the required quantity and quality. This in turn is the basis for high adherence to deadlines and the lowest possible throughput times. When procurement, sales and production work perfectly together, the material planning determines the need. Subsequently, production and order proposals are generated automatically. Then the material planning checks to what extent these suggestions are adhered to and, in the case of an emergency, intervenes in the deviations at an early stage.
Materials management is also important with regard to warehouse management. Companies know how many raw materials, finished products, spare parts etc. are in the warehouse at all times. Automated, additional key figures such as the current rating can be calculated.
On the basis of this data basis, the following processes and tasks can be handled much easier and faster:
- - Picking
- - Shipping planning
- - Inventory
- - Container management
If companies use modern software solutions for materials management, these tasks can also be carried out across several warehouses and locations.