Material Controller Job Description
Coordinating and expediting the flow of work and materials between various departments are the main responsibilities of a Material Controller. Within their position, Material Controllers review and distribute production and shipping schedules and check with department managers to gauge progress, inventory levels and production issues. In addition, they must examine materials for compliance with purchasing and storage issues and document any exceptions.
Responsible for communicating with different departments and helping meet production schedules, Material Controllers must be knowledgeable about the inventory and materials they handle. Material Controllers can find work in warehouses and manufacturing plants. Demand for Material Controllers is expected to increase 3 percent through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Material Controller Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their main functions of keeping materials organized and accounted for, Material Controllers perform various tasks. We examined multiple job listings to identify these primary Material Controller duties and responsibilities.
Material Controllers coordinate and expedite movement of materials between departments according to each department’s production and shipping requirements. They also create and maintain computerized records of these movements.
Computation of the amounts of material or items required to complete specific job orders is a responsibility of Material Controllers. They must have knowledge of product manufacturing and related processes to successfully estimate how much each department or job requires.
Knowing how to create, compile and maintain manual or computerized records is an essential job duty of Material Controllers. They need these records to be able to verify inventory numbers and locations and to have available in the instance of an audit. Various software programs can be utilized to help with inventory control.
Material Controllers often have to move or transport materials between departments in response to production needs. Knowledge of equipment such as forklifts or pallet jacks is helpful. In addition, knowing how to move items safely without bodily injury to themselves or others is essential.
Examining and Verifying Materials
Upon receiving new inventory, Material Controllers are tasked with examining the materials to verify that they conform to production specifications. They must be familiar with these specifications or have the ability to look in the reference manuals for the information. They must document any exceptions and arrange for the return or exchange of any materials that fail to meet specifications.
Material Controller Skills
Successful Material Controllers must possess a knack for organization and an ability to work well in a fast-paced environment. They have good communication and leadership skills as they are called upon to communicate with department managers and warehouse and manufacturing employees on a daily basis. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are looking for Material Controller candidates who have the following skills:
- Creating a storage system for inventory that’s orderly and accessible and includes identifying information
- Managing inventory control using various industry software programs and running daily shipping and receiving reports
- Reviewing vendor pricing on a consistent basis to ensure the company is receiving the best available pricing for each item
- Creating and maintaining inventory, product cost and logistics data records that are easily accessible
- Ensuring that delivered items match purchase order documentation
- Preparing detailed lists of items or goods that need purchasing or repairing
- Weighing and measuring products that enter the storage environment
Tools of the trade: Material Controllers use a variety of tools in their daily work. If your goal is to become a Material Controller, you should be skilled in using the following:
- Office Equipment and Software– Material Controllers use computers, scanners, printers and software to help create and maintain important inventory, purchasing and shipping records.
- Weighing and Measuring Equipment– Material Controllers often find the need to weigh and measure inventory and need to be familiar with measurement tools and scales.
- Forklift–Being a certified forklift operator is helpful in a warehouse environment where heavy items must be moved between departments and to storage locations.
- Telephone and Email – Throughout the day, Material Controllers must communicate with others by phone and email, which entails leaving and retrieving messages and reading and sending emails.
Material Controller Education and Training
According to our analysis of online job postings, most employers are seeking Material Controller candidates who have at least a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. A few employers want specialized Material Controller candidates to have a degree or certificate in a civil, mechanical or electrical discipline. For all employers, at least one year of previous experience in a manufacturing or warehouse environment is valued, as is forklift certification.
Material Controllers Salary
The median annual salary for Material Controllers, categorized by the BLS as Material Recording Clerks, is almost $27,000. Material Controllers in the 10th percentile earn less than $20,000 annually, while the highest paid make in excess of $48,000 per year. Material Controllers in Wyoming, District of Columbia and New Mexico earn the highest mean salary rate in the U.S. – $63,850, $60,510 and $59,880, respectively.
Material Controller Resources
We checked the Web to find the top industry resources to aid you in your exploration of a career as a Material Controller. From relevant books to industry groups, this list offers opportunities to learn and connect.
International Warehouse Logistics Association – With roots stemming from the 19th century, IWLA offers in-person educational events, webinar series and much more for its members.
Warehousing Safety – This pocket guide, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, details hazards, safety standards and solutions for those in the warehousing industry.
The American Society of Safety Engineers – Founded in 1911, the ASSE is the oldest safety society. It offers networking, professional development, industry publications and more for its members.
Warehouse Management and Inventory Control by P.M. Price and N.J. Harrison – This book serves as a useful reference to those who are employed in warehouse management or inventory control environments. It includes case studies, exercises and worksheets.
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