Career Development

What Does a Material Coordinator Do?

Find out what a Material Coordinator does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Material Coordinator.

The Material Coordinator role is centered around ensuring the smooth and efficient flow of materials required for projects and operations. This position involves meticulous planning and coordination to manage inventory levels, oversee procurement processes, and liaise with suppliers to guarantee timely delivery of materials. By maintaining a comprehensive understanding of supply chain logistics and inventory management, the Material Coordinator plays an instrumental role in minimizing disruptions to production schedules and contributing to the overall operational success of the organization. Their efforts ensure that the right materials are available at the right time and place, supporting the seamless execution of projects and the maintenance of productivity standards.

Material Coordinator Job Duties

  • Coordinate the receipt, storage, and distribution of materials, ensuring timely supply to various departments.
  • Maintain accurate inventory records and perform regular audits to ensure data integrity and compliance with company policies.
  • Develop and implement efficient inventory management systems to minimize waste and optimize material usage.
  • Liaise with suppliers to negotiate contracts, secure favorable terms, and manage delivery schedules to meet production timelines.
  • Prepare and process purchase orders and requisition forms, verifying specifications and price, obtaining recommendations from suppliers for substitute items.
  • Organize and oversee the transportation of materials between locations, ensuring safe and cost-effective logistics arrangements.
  • Train and supervise junior staff in material handling and inventory control procedures, promoting a culture of safety and efficiency.
  • Analyze material flow processes and recommend improvements to reduce costs and increase productivity, including the implementation of automation tools.

Material Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Salary for a Material Coordinator can significantly vary based on industry (e.g., manufacturing vs. healthcare), company size, years of experience, and specific job responsibilities such as inventory management complexity, procurement duties, and the scale of project coordination involved. Specialization in high-demand sectors may also influence earnings.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,350 ($23.73/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)

The employment of material coordinators is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing demand in manufacturing and construction sectors for efficient supply chain and inventory management, requiring skilled Material Coordinators to oversee material flow, coordinate supplier activities, and ensure timely availability of resources for production processes.

Material Coordinator Job Requirements

Education: Material Coordinators typically possess a diverse educational background, with many holding a High School Diploma, while others have advanced to Bachelor’s Degrees, Post-Secondary Certificates, Associate’s Degrees, or have completed some college courses. Relevant fields of study include supply chain management, logistics, business administration, or a related discipline. Coursework often encompasses inventory management, procurement, operations management, and logistics planning, providing a foundational understanding necessary for effectively managing materials and coordinating supply chain activities.

Experience: Material Coordinators typically come from backgrounds with substantial hands-on experience in inventory management, logistics, or supply chain operations. Many have progressed through on-the-job training, enhancing their skills in organizing, tracking, and distributing materials efficiently. Exposure to industry-specific software and systems is common, as is experience in coordinating with various departments to ensure smooth material flow. Training programs focused on inventory control, procurement processes, and logistical coordination are often part of their professional development journey, equipping them with the necessary expertise to manage materials effectively in diverse settings.

Certifications & Licenses: Material Coordinator positions typically do not require specific certifications or licenses.

Material Coordinator Skills

Inventory Management: Tracking and allocating resources with precision ensures production timelines are met without creating surplus or deficits. Material Coordinators must balance the interplay between procurement, storage, and distribution to maintain cost-effectiveness while ensuring materials are readily available.

Supply Chain Coordination: Managing the flow of materials from suppliers through to production lines and ultimately customers demands anticipation of needs, negotiation skills, and the coordination of timely deliveries. This capability ensures adherence to production schedules without accumulating excess inventory, optimizing both costs and warehouse space.

Procurement Processes: The acquisition of materials and services is streamlined to guarantee timely delivery and cost efficiency, impacting production schedules and budget compliance. It involves strategic negotiations with suppliers, insight into market trends, and the application of strategic sourcing methods to maintain optimal inventory levels and reduce expenses.

Logistics Planning: Orchestrating the movement and storage of materials requires forecasting demand, managing inventory, and liaising with various departments to ensure resources are available when needed. Adaptability in adjusting strategies based on supply chain dynamics is crucial for meeting production schedules without incurring unnecessary costs or waste.

Quality Control Procedures: Conducting thorough inspections to ensure materials meet required standards before their use in production is a critical task. It involves coordinating with suppliers to resolve quality issues and maintaining detailed records of quality control processes to facilitate a smooth supply chain operation.

Vendor Negotiation: Securing favorable prices and terms from suppliers impacts the financial health and project timelines of a company. A deep understanding of market trends and effective communication skills are necessary to achieve agreements that benefit both parties.

Material Coordinator Work Environment

Material Coordinators often find themselves in a dynamic environment where the physical setting can range from office spaces to warehouses, depending on the task at hand. Their workspace is typically equipped with computers and specialized software for inventory management, alongside traditional tools for handling materials. The nature of their work dictates a blend of standard office hours with the possibility of shifts or overtime to align with project timelines or delivery schedules.

Dress code is largely influenced by their daily tasks, oscillating between office attire and safety gear when on the warehouse floor. This role is nestled within a culture that values teamwork and communication, given the constant interaction with suppliers, team members, and other departments to ensure material availability and project continuity.

Health and safety are paramount, especially in environments where handling and moving goods are routine. Material Coordinators are expected to adhere to safety protocols to minimize risks. The pace can be fast, requiring adaptability and efficient decision-making. While travel isn’t a core aspect, occasional visits to suppliers or other company sites might be necessary. Technology plays a crucial role in their daily operations, from tracking inventories to forecasting needs. This position offers a unique blend of physical and administrative tasks, demanding a versatile skill set and the ability to maintain a balance between various demands.

Advancement Prospects

Material Coordinators, pivotal in supply chain and logistics, can advance to roles such as Supply Chain Manager or Procurement Manager by demonstrating exceptional organizational and negotiation skills. Mastery in inventory management software and a deep understanding of the industry’s supply chain dynamics are crucial.

Gaining experience in various sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, or healthcare, broadens one’s perspective and enhances adaptability, making a candidate more attractive for senior positions. Specializing in areas like lean management or just-in-time inventory can also set a Material Coordinator apart, offering pathways to roles focused on efficiency and cost reduction.

Leadership skills are essential for advancement. Material Coordinators should seek opportunities to lead projects or small teams, showcasing their ability to manage resources effectively and drive results. This experience paves the way for higher-level management roles within the organization.


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