What is Materials Planning?
Materials planning controls ordering, purchasing, and stocking materials used in production. It involves identifying the needed materials, determining how and when to order them, and forecasting the future demand for materials. Materials planning aims to ensure that suitable materials are available at the right time and in the right quantities.
Significance of Materials Planning in Shipping and E-commerce
Materials planning helps to ensure the efficient use of resources, including labor, storage space, and materials. Let’s look at its other benefits.
- Reduces costs associated with inventory management and unnecessary ordering.
- Minimizes shipping costs by ensuring that suitable materials are available at the right time.
- Ensures that the customer receives their order quickly, thus improving customer satisfaction.
- Improves accuracy and reduces errors in order fulfillment.
- Lowers lead times and improves delivery times.
- Reduces waste, thereby improving efficiency.
- Improves customer service by providing accurate, up-to-date inventory information.
Prerequisites of Materials Planning and How it Works
Materials planning takes care of the following areas:
- The materials plan considers the availability of materials, inventory levels, pricing, supplier lead times, quality requirements, and production schedules.
- Materials planning sets forecasting and inventory targets to manage inventory levels and ensure that materials are delivered promptly.
- It includes tracking and controlling inventory costs to ensure they are within budget.
Use Cases of Materials Planning
A real-life example of materials planning is the automotive industry. When planning for materials, automotive manufacturers must consider the car’s demand, the materials’ availability and cost, and the lead times for obtaining the materials. By managing their materials, manufacturers ensure that suitable materials are available when needed and that costs are kept to a minimum.