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What is a Supply Chain Analyst?

When building a career in the business world, it’s important to look for a job that allows you to showcase your strengths. If you are a person with great communication and critical thinking skills, you may be suitable for a career as a supply chain analyst. Supply chain analysts have a variety of responsibilities and are an essential part of any company’s team. If you’re interested in a job that allows you to find and solve problems, supply chain analysis may be the perfect field for you.

What is a Supply Chain Analyst?

Supply chain analysts gather and evaluate company data to improve upon the delivery of products or services to customers. They may also predict where issues may arise and design preemptive solutions to implement. Additionally, supply chain analysts oversee company supply chains, design an efficient delivery system, and adhere to the company’s budget.

Supply chain analysts are usually employed by large companies whose supply chains need regular assessment and adjustment. They work in a variety of industries, such as retail, manufacturing, government, e-commerce, and food. Their supervision is needed throughout a company’s logistics system, including order placement, transportation, and delivery. When issues present themselves, the supply chain analyst is expected to use their knowledge of logistics to offer solutions and design innovative solutions.

At its most basic, the supply chain analyst ensures the company’s supply meets the customer’s demand. They also make the company’s supply chain more efficient by reducing costs and delivery times of products to both the factory and the customer. This is an essential role in any company; the supply chain must run smoothly and efficiently to secure as much profit as possible. As a supply chain analyst, you will be considered one of the most valuable members of the company.

Supply Chain Analyst Responsibilities

Supply chain analysts assume a number of responsibilities; all geared toward strengthening the company supply chain. These duties can vary, though they usually involve collaboration with upper management and other departments. Some of the most prominent responsibilities you will assume as a supply chain analyst include:

  • Design materials to gather and manage supply chain data
  • Determine the most cost-effective shipping procedures and methods
  • Analyze collected data to locate weak spots in the current shipping model and develop methods of improvement
  • Negotiate best-price contracts with partner companies to decrease costs and increase revenue
  • Plan and implement efforts to optimize the company’s supply chain
  • Cultivate good relationships with vendors
  • Regularly review current processes to check for issues and offer improvements
  • Communicate with management and other departments to share the most efficient supply chain practices
  • Work with logistics, procurement, and IT departments to enhance delivery procedures

A supply chain analyst’s work is mainly conducted in an office, often meeting in person or virtually with members of the supply chain. There may also be instances where the supply chain analyst is required to travel to meet with members of the supply chain or prospective vendors or to negotiate new contracts. On top of this, supply chain analysts often meet with internal stakeholders to inform them of any proposed or implemented changes to the supply chain. 

While a supply chain analyst may take on more responsibilities, these are some of the most common expectations. The daily life of a supply chain analyst is challenging and full, but also rewarding and intellectually stimulating. If these responsibilities sound like ones you would enjoy assuming, then supply chain analysis may be the right career for you.

Supply Chain Analyst Skills and Qualifications

If the responsibilities of a supply chain analyst are intriguing to you, then it’s time to assess your skills and determine if you are qualified for the role. There are many skills required of a supply chain analyst; some of which you may already possess if you have held a similar position before. If not, then you may decide to look for the opportunity to add to your skillset. Some of the skills that are required to be a successful supply chain analyst include:

  • The ability to analyze supply chain data, information, and processes and to propose improvements based on analysis
  • Thorough understanding of all aspects of supply chain processes
  • Experience using and maintaining databases such as Microsoft Excel and other relevant programs
  • Strong and professional communication skills suitable for conversing and negotiating with vendors
  • The ability to conceptualize big-picture projects and foresee the challenges and needs to be addressed
  • The ability to research companies and determine which vendors will be best for various projects
  • Experience streamlining processes and locating the best prices for inventory to improve the supply chain in all aspects
  • In-depth knowledge of logical and mathematical reasoning
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong relationship-building abilities
  • Top-tier analytical skills and knowledge of how to evaluate a system or process

In addition to these skills, there are a few qualifications that you must possess in order to be considered a serious candidate. While some companies may have more or fewer criteria to be met, some of the most common requirements for supply chain analyst applicants are:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in logistics and supply management, or a related field
  • Two or more years of experience in a supply management role, or a similar occupation.
  • A supply management certification
  • Prior experience working with supply chain processes

Above all, supply chain analysts should be knowledgeable when it comes to supply chain logistics and management. They should also have proficient analytical and mathematical skills, as well as excellent communication and relationship development abilities. If you possess all or most of these skills, you are on your way to becoming a successful supply chain analyst.


A Supply Chain Analyst’s Salary

Supply chain analysts earn an average salary of $61,035 per year, with a base salary of about $47,000 annually. You can expect to reach the average salary sometime during your first four years of work as a supply chain analyst. Top earners have even reported earning up to $79,000 per year, which is a salary that you can expect to reach after ten years of work as a supply chain analyst.

A supply chain analyst’s salary is often impacted by factors outside the company. The nationwide economy, unemployment rate, and labor shortages can raise or lower the salary you are offered. Internal factors also affect the job’s pay scale. The size of the employer, the strength of the industry, and job requirements can affect both your base pay and subsequent raises.

Supply Chain Analyst Job Outlook

The employment of supply chain analysts is expected to grow 30% between 2020 and 2030, which is significantly faster than the average for all occupations. With this, about 24,500 job openings are projected each year on average, so those in the field are likely to find employment easily. 

As companies increasingly rely on supply chain analysts to identify areas of improvement, decrease costs, and increase efficiency, the employment rate is only expected to grow. Also contributing to this demand is the growing number of goods being purchased online. Quick delivery speed will continue to be a critical point of competition between companies, leading to an increase in demand for high-performing supply chain analysts who can ensure the shortest delivery times.

Opportunities for Growth

While supply chain analysis is a challenging and rewarding career choice, it is important to concern yourself with potential growth opportunities. As a supply chain analyst, you will have several options to choose from when moving up the corporate ladder. Whichever path you choose will lead to an increase in salary and new responsibilities that are just as rewarding as those of a supply chain analyst.

Some career pathways you may choose to pursue include:

  • Buyer
  • Senior Supply Chain Analyst
  • Supply Chain Manager

If you are interested in a career as a buyer, you can use your work as a supply chain analyst to demonstrate your knowledge of products and proficiency in negotiating deals. From there, you may decide to work toward a senior buyer position. Similarly, you can also look for work as a purchasing manager or procurement specialist.

If you wish to remain in analytics, you may be interested in a career as a senior supply chain analyst. After demonstrating your abilities as a supply chain analyst, your supervisors may recommend you for a senior position, with greater responsibilities and a higher salary. You may also decide that you would like to stay in analytics, but with an added management aspect. If this is the case, you can work toward a supply chain manager position. From here, senior management positions, as well as directorial management positions, may present themselves.

A career as a supply chain analyst is full of rewards and challenges that make every day interesting. If you are data-driven and have strong communication and analysis skills, then supply chain analysis may be the perfect job for you. 

For top-rate supply chain solutions and global logistics, visit Onsite Global Logistics and find the best supply chain process for your business.

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