For decades the materials sector of an enterprise has been relatively un- important, compared with the production and sales side, but it has gained in importance during the last 25-30 years. This is clearly indicated by the increas- ing attachment of this sector to the commercial side of an enterprise, the delegation of materials-oriented tasks to highly qualified people, and -closely correlated -the integration of the materials sector with the key positions of a company's organizational hierarchy. The materials management area has become an interesting part of business life. Stimulating this development was the realization that an important part of company rationalization had been overlooked, namely, provision of ade- quate supervision of the materials flow.
This area was given particular atten- tion, firstly, because the relatively high percentage of materials l:osts (the value of materials and cost of supervision) in the total production costs off- ered the possibility of considerable cost reductions and liquidity improvem- ents; and secondly, because effective supervision permits faster reactions to changes and reliable delivery times -essential considerations for a compe- titive company. An important contribution to the realization of these possi- bilities is found in an efficient organizational structure in combination with an integrated information system. Together, they provide coordinated super- vision of the various control functions associated with the materials flow and a concentration of expertise.
1 Introduction to Materials Management.- 1.1 Historical Development: A Brief Review.- 1.2 The Company Process and its Organization.- 1.3 The Company as a System.- 1.4 Application of the System Model to Materials Management.- 2 What is Materials Management?.- 2.1 Definition.- 2.2 Contents.- 2.3 Tasks.- 2.4 Variations in the Organizational Structure.- 2.5 Interfaces with Other Company Functions.- 2.6 Interfaces with the External Environment.- 2.7 Technological Influences.- 3 Why Materials Management?.- 3.1 Objectives.- 3.2 Aspects of Integration.- 3.3 Summary of Advantages.- 4 How to Introduce Materials Management?.- 4.1 What has to change?.- 4.2 Resistance to Organizational Change.- 4.3 How to Overcome Resistance.- 4.4 The Reorganization Process.- 5 Materials Management and Electronic Data Processing.- 5.1 An Integrated Information System.- 5.2 System Realization.- Postscript.- Appendix 1: Organizational Auditing Checklist.- Appendix 2: A User Oriented Checklist for the Development of a Materials Management Information System.- References.