How Do I Become a Supply Chain Analyst?

If you enjoy working with numbers, possess excellent computer skills, and like the challenge of coordinating procedures and processes, you might be wondering how to become a supply chain analyst. Supply chain refers to the process of shipping and delivering merchandise. A supply chain analyst works to improve the efficiency of businesses’ processes for transporting products and goods from headquarters or warehouses to the doorsteps of end users. Supply chain analysts are concerned with making sure that customers and distributors get exactly the items they ordered in an acceptable time frame.

As the job title implies, supply chain analysts quantitatively evaluate the efficiency of shipping procedures, or supply chain processes, currently in place. A supply chain analyst collects information on cost and productivity, prepares reports, organizes schedules, supervises logistics workers and solves problems. Through their analyses, supply chain analysts predict and evaluate performance, pinpoint problems that could lead to botched orders or delays in processing and shipping. Based on these issues, analysts devise and suggest solutions to improve efficiency. A supply chain analyst may also be responsible for preparing orders, taking inventory and assisting with other hands-on tasks.

Supply chain analysts find work with manufacturing companies, retail businesses, and logistics service providers, though some supply chain analysts operate in a consulting role. Some supply chain analysts, also called logistics analysts, enjoy a variety of responsibilities, while other types of supply chain analysts choose a specific focus, like transportation analysts that focus on delivery carriers.

If you are considering a career in supply chain analysis, you should possess solid analysis skills and a thorough understanding of numbers and mathematics. You should have an interest in planning and the leadership abilities to spearhead projects and formulate solutions. You will also need the computer skills to manage databases, logistics software, and organizational spreadsheets. Formal education can increase your employment prospects. By studying business administration, you can learn the skills you need to succeed as a supply chain analyst. Past experience in retail and inventory positions can help you cultivate practical hands-on skills. Aspiring supply chain analysts may also pursue a degree in software engineering.

One benefit of a career as a supply chain analyst is earning potential. reports the average annual salary for supply chain analysts as $82,000, which is 20 percent higher than the average salary of all jobs. Additionally, the salaries for related careers are $43,000 for junior supply chain analysts, $53,000 for supply chain planning analysts, $65,000 for supply chain data analysts and $75,000 for senior supply chain analysts. Another perk of this profession is the possibility for career advancement. Gaining experience as a supply chain manager can qualify workers to advance into supply chain management positions, including logistics engineers, operations managers and logistics managers.

If you have organizational and problem solving skills, a knack for using computers and an appreciation for working with numbers, knowing how to become a supply chain analyst can help you start a fulfilling new career.

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