OCS Materials Management

Materials Management Overview

The Materials Management system includes the Catalog, Inventory, and Purchasing modules. These fully integrated components allow management to monitor inventory costs, stocking levels, and stock movements at the company, division, operation, or plant level. Inventory items can be grouped by users (department/area), plant structures, equipment classes, and equipment types to the component level, among others, to identify appropriate cost centers.

Powerful reporting and inquiry facilities provide prompt access to all cataloged and stocked item data. Results can be printed on a local or remote printer, or displayed on the user’s terminal. The report writer allows users to define additional reports to meet individual requirements.



The Catalog provides a fast and efficient on-line facility for recording, assessing, and reporting inventory information. Coding structures and descriptions maintained in the Catalog interact with all Materials Management modules and control field formats in those systems. For example, an item tagged obsolete in the Catalog cannot be automatically repurchased for inventory. Catalog details is comprehensive and can suit (though not limited to) the full Auslang/NATO coding convention. Cross references can be to pieces of a plant structure, component parts, assemblies, subassemblies, or alternative stock or part numbers. Items may be accessed by these categories through partial or generic keys. Economies can be realized in the Inventory and Purchasing functions by enforcing standards in the Catalog. The Inventory system uses the Catalog files as a method of access and for identifying and grouping inventory items. The Purchasing system can use the Catalog to validate inventory information for purchase orders.



The Inventory system structure is designed for a single site or multiple-site, multi-warehousing environment. The design allows system-managed consignment stock, transfers among warehouses that generate manifests, stock-in-transit tracking, and valuation.

Transaction records are generated for each stock record activity, including issues, receipt of goods, and stock adjustments. These transaction records are available for inquiries and reporting and provide an audit trail of system activity. All transactions are entered and updated on-line so that stock quantities always reflect the current status. Inventory records can be accessed through full or partial manufacturer number, stock numbers, aliases, and cross references. History may be retained for a user-defined period for accessing stock movements, stock details, and measuring actual performance against performance targets.



Items can be issued on-line without reference to a requisition form. The user can request an issue of stock with an optional authorized confirmation. The system prints a picking slip with instructions outlining the picking and distribution of the parts. The system updates inventory records with details of the issue. Costing entries are generated for updating of the financial subsystems. Issues can be made through the batching of requisitions that have been filled out manually. Both issue facilities update the inventory records to maintain actual performance data.



Stock received through the Inventory system is checked against the Inward Goods Advice which reflects the expected shipment based on purchase orders in the system. Inventory data is updated in detail, costing transactions are created, and delivery records are created in the Purchasing system. Details are also updated to reflect the status of the orders. Receipts for direct charge and stocked items are handled in this manner. The average current cost of stocked items is updated as well as their average lead time for delivery.



When items in the Inventory system are issued or reserved, the system checks to see whether the item has reached its predetermined reorder point. The reorder point is either a min/max quantity set by the inventory manager or an economic order quantity dynamically calculated using user-defined parameters. The system flags an item accordingly if it has reached this reorder point. The inventory manager can set items to be automatically confirmed as a result of the reorder point being reached or can confirm the reorder himself. The reorder quantity the system calculates for an item can be a quantity set by the inventory manager or can be calculated by the system. Once reorder requests are confirmed, the system transfers these requests to the Purchasing module which generates the purchase order. Details of the request are kept in Inventory and are updated as the order is received.



Users may reserve items for future use like scheduled preventive maintenance. The reason for the reservation quantity is stored along with user details. Reports are available showing items due for release from reservations. Reservations may be released through the Issues program. Reserving an item may trigger the reorder process. The user’s authority code and password are kept with the reservation details and are required before a reservation can be changed or released.



Controlled adjustment facilities are available in cases where increases or decreases to stocked item quantities or costs are required for reasons other than receipts or issues. The adjustment process updates relevant data for the item and generates costing entries. Reasons for adjustments include stock counts, return to suppliers, and the sale of obsolete items. Detailed reports for adjustments are produced by the system. The reordering process can be triggered as a result of a quantity adjustment.


Stock Count

The system allows stock counts to be undertaken by selected items or in predetermined cycles. When items are under count, the system will not accept any receipts, issues, or adjustments against them. Variance reports are produced for sign-off by the authorized person prior to the quantities being updated. Costing entries and audit reports are produced when the variances are accepted.



The Purchasing subsystem provides comprehensive, multi-currency management of stock procurement while monitoring supplier performance. The system functions include quotation management, supplier agreements, purchase orders, and requisitions.

Purchase orders may be generated from manual input or from requisitions originating in the Maintenance Management system or other modules of the Materials Management system. Purchase orders can be channeled to specific buyers based on their areas of responsibility or authorization. The system can have many different purchase order types including stocked, direct, repair, and standing order. Stocked items can also be ordered under supplier agreements.

Supplier performance functions within Purchasing assist in selecting the most cost efficient suppliers. Quotation and contract management functions exist to evaluate (confirm) suppliers against quotations line-by-line, monitoring both quantities and unit price.

The supplier agreement can be implemented to monitor details for each quote line number. Agreed unit prices, expiration dates, delivery instructions, lead times, and foreign currency rates are recorded and monitored. Agreements can be managed by inventory line item for the duration of the agreement.

Supplier performance is monitored by tracking price variances, late and early deliveries, under and over deliveries, returns, misused invoices, and number of orders. A listing is kept for the contract life to provide information for supplier evaluation in preparation for future negotiations.


Efficient Materials Management

The Materials Management systems helps reduce the amount of time doing day to day material activities (reordering, price requests etc.) and more time doing the activities that really save money such as managing supplier relationships and getting the best deal possible with suppliers.

  • Automated Reordering Cycle. The fully automated reordering cycle eliminates the time normally taken managing the routine reordering of stock and other parts. Manual intervention is only required for the exception.
  • Streamline Inwards Goods. The system streamlines the inwards goods process to eliminate the double handling of goods and other inefficient processes.
  • Simplify Quotations. Quotations are fully integrated into the OCS e-commerce capabilities, the purchasing office simply selects what supplier quotations are to go for and the system automatically sends the quotations, processes the responses and can even automatically award the quotation to the supplier and response matching certain criteria.
  • Automate Price & External Catalog Updates. The system allows for fully automated supplier price and external catalog price updates, further free personal for more important task


Control Material Costs

  • Track stock levels across all locations
  • Order material just in time
  • Improve material requirements planning
  • Analyze part prices for differing supplier agreements
  • Consignment stock management