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What Does an MRP Controller Do?

MRP controllers work with inventory, supply and demand.
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  • Written By: Kendra Young
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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An MRP (materials resource planner) controller is responsible for creating balance between customer demands, product inventory, and production levels in various types of industry such as automotive, government projects, retail and many others. They forecast sales and production schedules in order to establish what requirements must be met in order to meet the needs of the business and its customers. In addition to balancing inventory and production parameters, MRP professionals are also involved with employee and interdepartmental relationships. The MRP controller is a member of management who typically reports to a senior management team.

Typical job duties for an MRP controller include auditing inventory levels and examining performance metrics. They work to advise senior management about work progress and potential problems with production. If existing guidelines do not successfully meet the production needs of the company, they may be tasked with creating new parameters and guidelines. They may also recommend that employees receive additional training to improve performance or productivity. Some specialized MRP professionals might also work with recently closed operations to allocate extra equipment and inventory.

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MRP controllers use a master production schedule to coordinate the purchase of materials, the hiring of additional labor, or the acquisition of new equipment. They may also be involved with quality assurance measurements, stock transfers, and shipping orders. An MRP controller must have the ability to foresee and correct any problems that might impact production requirements. This demands that they have a complete understanding of many parts of the company including shipping, receiving, production, and even employee relations. The MRP controller may also act as a liaison between different departments in order to reach the company's production goals.

The successful MRP controller usually possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills. Advanced mathematical abilities — especially in probability and statistics — is also necessary. Professional-level skills with spreadsheet and database software are also vitally important, as is the knowledge of ERP (enterprise resource planning) programs. ERP programs are designed to manage inventory assets, financial records, and human resources information across all lines and areas of a business.

Most companies require a bachelor's degree and five years experience for senior MRP Controller positions. Other companies prefer a master's degree and at least three years experience as an assistant MRP controller. Degree majors to consider include business, engineering, supply chain operations, or similar areas of study. Professional certifications, such as Six Sigma® training, are also important to many employers.

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Discuss this Article

David09
Post 3

@SkyWhisperer - I wonder if MRP software tries to do too much at all at once.

I understand that they bundle a whole bunch of modules into one package, to sell a one-size-fits all suite that can handle inventory, supply chain management, human resources – everything.

While I don’t use the software myself, I’ve used other software packages for business. I think it’s better that you be very selective in your purchase of this kind of software.

Know how your business operates, then buy only the modules you need and customize them, rather than buying the the whole suite.

SkyWhisperer
Post 2

@nony - You’re right about automation. I applied for a job once for someone with experience in manufacturing ERP software. This is industry specific software.

You have reports that show you production outputs and if there are any bottlenecks anywhere, and the system will also alert you to when it’s time to purchase materials based on incoming orders.

This is the kind of thing that only a computer can do very well and I can’t see how an MRP controller could survive without it. I can’t imagine how they performed these duties in the old days.

nony
Post 1

Just by reading this article it appears that the job of the MRP controller is similar to that of someone working in logistics who has to become familiar with production and customer demand.

I am sure that there are some differences, but I bet that there is some overlap as well. I haven’t heard much about this kind of a job, frankly, for two reasons.

First, it’s focused mainly on manufacturing (so it appears) and I believe that there is less of that nowadays in the United States than there used to be. Second, I believe that a lot of these functions have been automated.

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