A supply chain analyst assists a company in making its shipping processes more efficient. Some analysts work as consultants, observing operations, reporting their findings, and making recommendations for improving shipping strategies. Others do more hands-on work like checking warehouse inventories, putting together orders, and directing logistics. All of these initiatives are aimed at improving logistics and ensuring that distributors and customers receive accurate and timely orders.
Large corporations’ warehouses and stock rooms can be chaotic and confusing. When an order is placed, a supply chain analyst is in charge of keeping everything organized and easy to find. He or she checks inventory on a regular basis and assists warehouse staff in developing the most efficient strategies for gathering and boxing products. In addition, the analyst looks into supply and demand statistics to ensure that the correct quantities of each product are available.
When transport trucks arrive, supply chain analysts work with shipping supervisors to ensure that orders are ready to ship. When shipments leave a facility, an analyst monitors their progress to ensure that they arrive at their destinations on time. If an order is incorrect or incomplete, the analyst corrects the error and investigates what went wrong with the shipment.
Analysts are also used businesses to see if their current logistics plans, computer systems, and shipping procedures can be improved. Analysts examine current techniques and consider alternative approaches to determine how to improve services. If a new system is implemented, an analyst might be in charge of training managers and shipping clerks.
Although many supply chain analysts have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in business administration, a degree is not always required for employment. Employers usually place a similar value on several years of practical experience as they do on education. A person who wants to work as a supply chain analyst can learn the necessary skills working in retail, merchandising, or as an inventory clerk. People with backgrounds in software engineering or data mining are at an advantage when applying for analyst positions because they have strong computer skills.
A supply chain analyst typically has many advancement opportunities as they gain experience. A professional could work as a supply chain manager, supervising other analysts and collaborating with managers from other divisions to increase business efficiency. With continued education and success in supply chain operations, some analysts progress to become logistics engineers or executives within their companies.