Organization of Materials Management Functions


The overall objectives of an organisation tend to be achieved most efficiently when the organisation is structured by grouping similar activities together.

The process begins by dividing the total operation into its basic functional components. Each component , in turn, is divided into a number of sub-functions.

The process is continued until each individual job encompasses a reasonable number of related tasks. The basic aim is to have a system that is functionalised , has proper control over the activities and

is well co-ordinated. Materials Management provides an integrated systems approach to the co-ordination of the materials activities and the control of total material costs. Obviously, the MM organisation is derived from its fundamental objectives. Since Materials management function ranges from receiving the material requisition to placement of purchase orders and then on the other hand to receiving the material and making it available to the users , a commonly seen organisation of materials management is divided into an integrated sections as :

  • Purchasing
  • Stores
  • Inspection
  • Traffic
Once the whole Materials Management function has been divided into its different sub-functions as above, the sub-functions too are divided into their functions which are usually seen to be as :


  • Administrative : Purchasing administration involves all the tasks associated with the management process, with emphasis on the development of policies , procedures, controls and the mechanics for coordinating purchasing operations with those of other departments.


  • Buying : It addresses to a wide gamut of activities such as reviewing requisitions , analyzing specifications, investigating vendors, interviewing sales people studying costs and prices and negotiating.


  • Expediting : This is basically the order follow up activity involving various types of vendor relationship work.

    Reviewing Order status, providing clarifications on transportation, writing and emailing vendors etc.


  • Special projects (Non routine) : In order to facilitate smooth purchasing in a highly competitive business environment , purchasing authorities have to keep building the capacity to do better by taking up as special projects activities such as vendor development, vendor registration, value analysis, market studies, system studies etc


  • Routine : Purchasing process or procedure involving routine or every day activities such as dealing specific purchase file , placing orders, maintaining records of commodities, vendors etc.  



  • Receiving Bay

  • Custody

  • Inventory control

  • Disposal