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materials managementthe administration and control of the materials used by a firm in the PRODUCTION process. This has two main aspects:
- the ordering and maintaining of STOCKS of materials so as to ensure that adequate amounts of materials are available at all times, thus enabling production to go ahead without interruption while at the same time attempting to minimize stockholding costs (see PURCHASING, MATERIALS REQUIREMENTS PLANNING, STOCK CONTROL, STOCKHOLDING MODEL);
- materials handling, the physical movement of materials from place to place, their packaging (in pallets and containers) and their storage (see INTERSTAGE STORE) as they proceed through various production processes. Materials handling seeks to minimize internal transport costs and damage to, and wastage of, materials. See MATERIALS FLOW MANAGEMENT.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson