How to Become a Supply Chain Analyst in Australia
A supply chain analyst ensures that all segments of the supply chain run smoothly. A supply chain is basically the entire process of shipping and delivering goods to the end consumer. The job of a supply chain analyst consists of managing the supply chain, conducting analysis and making decisions on how to keep costs down. The main task is to improve the productivity, efficiency of operations and overall quality of the process. Done right, supply chain management keeps a company at its best. The efficiency of a supply chain analyst often hinges on their creativity and problem-solving abilities, as they need to think outside the box to organise different aspects of the supply chain.
One of the most important tasks supply chain analysts have is coordinating procedures and processes, so that distributors and customers get what they paid for in an acceptable time-frame. This usually means they must develop a strategy for the business, as well as know how to prioritise well. Another thing a supply chain analyst needs to be good at is collecting and analysing information, noticing bottlenecks and coming up with solutions. There is no retailer or manufacturer who isn't aware of how much easier their life is thanks to supply chain analysts.
Are you solution-oriented and creative? Do you have excellent organisational skills? Is your eye proficient at seeking out flaws and mind predisposed to find alternatives? If so, a supply chain analyst position just might be the job for you! To help get you started, here's a step-by-step guide on becoming one.
Step 1: Study Supply Chain Management (SCM) or in a Related Field
The best way to start building your knowledge on everything that comes into analysing the supply chain is by acquiring a formal education. To understand the different aspects of the supply chain studying SCM, operations engineering or logistics is a pretty good start. The set of skills you will need to become a supply chain analyst is broad enough for you to study things besides SCM, like business or economics. In any case, a Bachelor's or a Certificate is a great way to lay the necessary foundation down.
Step 2: Get a Master's Degree in a Related Field
As the job of a supply chain analyst is extremely responsible, it is not uncommon for employers to look for candidates who have acquired a Master's degree in addition to a Bachelor. Companies usually look for employees who have a graduate degree in management, logistics, analysis, business, economics or a related field. Again, it's not a must, but obtaining the formal certifications will give you an edge over the competition and provide you will all the necessary knowledge you will need to manage an entire supply chain.
Step 3: Level Up Your Computer Skills
If there is something a supply chain analyst needs to be good at, it is analysing data using specialised computer software. For the average user, this software usually feels closer to Greek than anything else, but learning to navigate it is a great way to stand out. There are online and offline courses you can take in order to learn how to use the software. While it isn't strictly a requirement, it makes a big difference to employers to know you went the extra mile.
Step 4: Get Middle Management Experience
Employers want to hire somebody with first hand experience into how processes work. Most often, companies will look for candidates with a minimum of three years of experience in middle management positions. Experience in fields of logistics, business and operations has a slight advantage. This basically means that there are no shortcuts when it comes to becoming a supply chain analyst. Employers know the requirements of the job and are looking for well-rounded candidates, who have formal education, experience working in a similar environment and excellent computer skills.
What Does a Supply Chain Analyst Do?
The main task of a supply chain analyst is to gather and analyse the supply chain process. They need to be good with numbers, excellent at noticing patterns and exceptional at improving efficiency. The job further includes identifying problem areas and bottlenecks, as well as coming up with solutions for them. It is also vital to be able to effectively communicate with different parts of the supply chain in order to maximise on performance and efficiency. If a supply chain is a machine, the supply chain analyst makes sure it is a well-oiled one. Their main task is to cut down on costs for the company and raise efficiency to the highest possible level.
- Generating a strategy to gather supply chain data
- Analysing supply chain data
- Identifying issues and proposing improvements to the process
- Developing, planning and implementation of the supply chain optimisation strategies
- Working on developing standards necessary for better supply chain function
- Ensuring maximum cost-effective shipping procedures
- Prioritising and managing time-efficiency of deliveries
- Overseeing all inventory and storage proceedings
- Collaboration with all segments of the supply chain in order to implement productive systems
- Tracking performance and reporting on it
Skills for Success
In order to become a good supply chain analyst, you need to have a very specific skill set. First of all, you need to be extremely well-organised and comfortable with taking responsibility on. It would be very beneficial for your communication skills to be good, as you will need to work with all parts of the supply chain. Management and active listening would help you make better decisions, while strong analytical skills will aid you in identifying problem areas. In the end, the most important thing is for you to have a solution-oriented approach and to be creative in coming up with ways of increasing productivity and profitability.
Skills & Attributes
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- Flexibility and creativity
- Strategic approach
- Organisation and communication skills
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Strong IT knowledge
- Familiarity with management systems
- Critical thinking and planning