Supply Analyst

Supply Analyst jobs

At one end of the supply chain, demand analysts will be examining sales opportunities and underlying trends, trying to calculate the level of productivity a manufacturer will have to reach in order to satisfy customers. They will be feeding that information to the production management, who in turn will look to the procurement and staffing personnel to ensure the demand can be met.

The supply analyst will be called upon to help with this task, finding sources of raw materials and components, examining the marketplace for availability and costs, and ultimately helping to keep the machines running.

The supply analyst will need to be able to keep in touch with all relevant stock levels in order to determine when replenishment is required, but of course this will need to be done in anticipation of need, rather than in response to it. There will need to be an understanding of seasonality in the industry, too. Everyone knows that items such as chocolates have peaks around Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter, whereas sun block will be in greater demand in summer. But as industries get more specialised, such knowledge can be a little more esoteric, which is where the study of past trends can come into play.

The skills required

The job of supply analysis is best suited to people with an organisational and logical bent. Much of the work will involve keeping abreast of the current situation in the store rooms, but the ultimate aim is to help keep them stocked at their optimum level. With certain products such as foodstuffs, a just in time approach will be needed, but with more permanent products, the best solution with regard to price, shipping costs and storage expenditure will be chosen.

While supply chain experience will be desirable, being in a spending position in a company will also be good experience. Depending on the position and the structure of the supply team, however, supply analysts can sometimes be taken straight from graduation.

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