Materiel, more commonly matériel in US English and also listed as the only spelling in some UK dictionaries (both pronounced //, from French matériel meaning equipment or hardware), refers to supplies, equipment, and weapons in military supply chain management, and typically supplies and equipment only in a commercial supply chain context.
In a military context, the term “materiel” refers either to the specific needs (less manpower) of a force to complete a specific mission, or the general sense of the needs (less manpower) of a functioning army.
Materiel management consists of continuing actions relating to planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, controlling, and evaluating the application of resources to ensure the effective and economical support of military forces. It includes provisioning, cataloging, requirements determination, acquisition, distribution, maintenance, and disposal. The terms "materiel management", "materiel control", "inventory control", "inventory management", and "supply management" are synonymous.
Military materiel is often shipped to and used in severe climates without controlled warehouses or fixed material handling equipment. Packaging and labeling often need to meet stringent technical specifications to help ensure proper delivery and final use.
Materiel in the commercial distribution context refers to the products of the business, as distinct from those involved in operating the business itself.
- Random House Dictionary
- Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
- [Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary]
- DoD Integrated Materiel Management (IMM) for Consumable Items, 4140.26-M, Volume 2, September 24, 2010, Glossary, p. 38.
- Maloney, J. C. (July 2003). "The History and Significance of Military Packaging" (PDF). Defence Packaging Policy Group. Defence Logistics Agency. Retrieved 30 Oct 2016.
- The dictionary definition of materiel at Wiktionary