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How to Become a Supply Chain Analyst

Do you have an eye for numbers and details, solving problems, and helping things run smoothly? Then a job as a supply chain analyst may be an excellent fit for you.

Supply chain analysts review all aspects of how goods are moved from manufacturing and storage stages through each channel to their end consumers. Optimizing this flow of products and materials — the organization’s supply chain — is critical, making this position crucial.

Supply chain analysts keep a close eye on everything from delivery times and routes, warehouse space use, stocking limitations, and even weather patterns. They make recommendations and adjustments to save the organization from wasting money or resources while also storing, moving, and delivering goods efficiently.

Supply chain analysts typically work in a fast-paced, ever-evolving environment that’s as challenging as it is rewarding. They perform jobs that can have a substantial positive effect on their organizations.

Sample job description

We are hiring for an entry-level supply chain analyst in the supply chain department of our company. Responsibilities include coordination and reporting on supply and demand for all products, sourcing costs of new materials/products, and frequently interacting with employees from across the organization to keep everyone informed on current requirements. Your daily tasks will include analyzing daily data to identify any upcoming issues in supply or demand for products, sourcing materials/products, communicating with vendors to ensure they can provide what is needed, maintaining relationships with employees across the company in order to stay up-to-date on production needs and requirements, and preparing regular reports on findings and updates to management.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Analyze and direct the allocation of materials, supplies, and products
  • Evaluate market dynamics and insights to improve and forecast operational performance
  • Develop business relationships with suppliers and clients
  • Design strategies to minimize the cost or time required to store and transport goods
  • Review logistical systems, and identify and recommend areas for improvement

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, systems engineering, or supply chain management.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Robust data and information analysis abilities
  • Aptitude for counting and inventory management
  • Managerial and business management skills
  • Organizational, communications, and problem-solving skills
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, operations management, or a related field
  • At least one year of experience in a supply chain role or relevant position
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with others in a team environment
  • Experience with computers and software, including Microsoft Excel and Outlook

Typical work environment

The supply chain analyst works in an office environment. The job may require some travel to visit vendors or other company locations.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a supply chain analyst are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in a warehouse setting. With materials often shipping around the clock, overtime or weekend hours may be necessary.

Available certifications

Though not strictly necessary, certifications can help you excel in the position of supply chain analyst. A popular certification that is very beneficial includes:

  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). This certification will demonstrate knowledge of the essential technology, concepts, and strategies of supply chain management and enterprise resource planning.

Career path

The path to becoming a supply chain analyst typically begins with a bachelor’s degree in business, systems engineering, or supply chain management. Earning certification from The International Society of Logistics or The American Production and Inventory Control Society can help boost advancement opportunities.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1081

2020 Employment191,000
Projected Employment in 2030247,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 30% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift56,400 increase

Employment growth in the logistics field should be driven in part by the need for logistics in the transportation of goods across a global economy. The increased use of technology, including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, is expected to allow fewer warehouse and logistics workers to do the same amount of work.