Career Development

What Does a Materials Coordinator Do?

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

The Materials Coordinator plays an essential role in managing the flow of materials within an organization, ensuring that the right quantity of materials is available at the right time and at the right place to meet production and delivery schedules. This position involves coordinating with various departments, including procurement, logistics, and production, to monitor inventory levels and forecast needs. By efficiently handling material requisitions, tracking shipments, and maintaining accurate records, the Materials Coordinator supports the smooth operation of supply chain processes. This role requires a keen attention to detail and strong organizational skills to balance the demands of multiple tasks and ensure that materials are procured, stored, and distributed effectively to meet the organization’s objectives.

Materials Coordinator Job Duties

  • Oversee the receipt, storage, and issuance of materials to ensure inventory accuracy and availability for production.
  • Coordinate with suppliers to schedule deliveries, manage purchase orders, and resolve discrepancies in shipments or invoices.
  • Implement and maintain inventory management systems to track materials usage, reorder points, and lead times to minimize stockouts and overstock situations.
  • Collaborate with production teams to forecast material needs, plan for future production schedules, and adjust inventory levels accordingly.
  • Conduct regular physical inventory counts and reconciliations to maintain inventory accuracy and integrity.
  • Manage the disposal of surplus, obsolete, or scrap materials in accordance with company policies and environmental regulations.
  • Train and supervise materials handling staff on proper storage methods, handling techniques, and safety procedures to ensure compliance and prevent injuries.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with recycling and waste management vendors to ensure sustainable and cost-effective disposal of materials.

Materials Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Factors influencing a Materials Coordinator’s salary include industry experience, company size, and sector (e.g., manufacturing, healthcare). Specialization in supply chain management or logistics can elevate earnings. Proficiency in inventory management software and understanding of regulatory compliance in material handling also significantly impact compensation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,350 ($23.73/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $79,500 ($38.22/hour)

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

This growth is driven by increasing demand for efficient supply chain management in manufacturing and construction sectors, where Materials Coordinators play a crucial role in ensuring timely availability of materials, optimizing inventory levels, and reducing production downtime, thereby enhancing operational efficiency and productivity.

Materials Coordinator Job Requirements

Education: Materials 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 covers inventory management, procurement, operations management, and logistics planning, equipping candidates with the necessary knowledge to efficiently manage materials and coordinate supply chain activities.

Experience: Materials Coordinators typically come from backgrounds with hands-on experience in inventory management, logistics, or supply chain operations. They often have progressed through roles that involve organizing, tracking, and managing resources. On-the-job training is common, allowing individuals to gain practical skills in procurement processes, database management, and coordination between departments. Training programs focusing on inventory software, communication, and project management further equip them for the complexities of coordinating materials efficiently in diverse working environments.

Certifications & Licenses: Materials Coordinator positions typically do not require specific certifications or licenses. However, certifications in supply chain management, such as the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) from APICS or a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), can be beneficial.

Materials Coordinator Skills

Inventory Management: A Materials Coordinator plays a pivotal role in ensuring that inventory levels are optimally maintained to meet project deadlines efficiently, without resulting in surplus. Coordination between procurement and usage is critical, aiming to minimize waste while guaranteeing the availability of necessary materials.

Supply Chain Coordination: The seamless management of material flow from suppliers to production is vital to avoid delays or shortages in manufacturing processes. It involves detailed planning and collaboration with various stakeholders to sustain optimal inventory levels and adhere to production schedules.

Procurement Processes: The acquisition of materials and services is managed with a focus on keeping projects on schedule and within budget. Skills in supplier negotiations, contract management, and inventory control are essential. Attention to detail is crucial for evaluating supplier performance, ensuring quality compliance, and addressing risks related to supply chain disruptions.

Quality Control: A Materials Coordinator is responsible for verifying that materials meet required standards and specifications before their distribution or use in production. This includes conducting detailed inspections, collaborating with suppliers on quality issues, and keeping accurate records of quality assessments to maintain a smooth supply chain operation.

Logistics Planning: The strategic movement and storage of materials from suppliers to production lines are critical for minimizing costs and ensuring materials are available when needed. This skill involves careful scheduling, forecasting, and resource allocation to optimize inventory levels and support production efficiency and project timelines.

Vendor Negotiation: Negotiating with suppliers to obtain materials at the best prices and terms is crucial for managing costs and keeping projects on track. A deep understanding of market trends, supplier capabilities, and inventory requirements is necessary to forge beneficial agreements that align with organizational objectives.

Materials Coordinator Work Environment

Materials Coordinators often find themselves in a dynamic work environment where the physical setting can vary significantly depending on the industry. Typically, they may split their time between office settings, where planning and coordination occur, and warehouses or storage facilities where inventory is managed. This dual setting requires them to be adaptable, moving from the quiet of the office to the bustling activity of the warehouse.

The work involves regular use of inventory management software and communication tools, making technology an integral part of their daily routine. Work hours might extend beyond the typical nine-to-five, especially in industries where materials are in constant flow, necessitating a degree of flexibility.

The dress code is usually practical, leaning towards safety gear in the warehouse to casual or business casual in the office. Interaction with suppliers, team members, and other departments is frequent, fostering a collaborative culture. Health and safety are paramount, especially in the physical aspects of the job, where adherence to protocols can prevent workplace accidents.

Materials Coordinators must navigate these varied environments, balancing the need for precision in inventory management with the interpersonal skills required to communicate effectively across different levels of the organization.

Advancement Prospects

A Materials Coordinator can advance to roles such as Supply Chain Manager, Procurement Manager, or Operations Manager by demonstrating exceptional organizational skills and a deep understanding of inventory management systems. Mastery in optimizing supply chain processes and reducing costs is crucial.

Gaining experience in project management and developing strategic supplier relationships are key steps toward these senior positions. Understanding industry-specific software and technologies can also set a candidate apart for advancement.

Leadership skills are essential for moving into managerial roles. A Materials Coordinator should focus on leading teams effectively, improving communication skills, and demonstrating the ability to manage complex projects successfully. This progression often requires taking on more responsibility within the current role to showcase readiness for the next step.


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