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.
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.