In simple terms, a Supply Chain Analyst is a hybrid of a Supply Chain Consultant and a Data Analyst.
A Supply Chain Analyst combines expertise in identifying both supply chain inefficiencies and opportunities (much like a Supply Chain Consultant). What differentiates a Supply Chain Analyst is that data analysis-led recommendations make up a key part of their output.
Along with a strong understanding of business requirements, a Supply Chain Analyst will set out the scale of opportunities for various scenarios to help drive decision-making.
How can supply chain analysts benefit a business?
Typically, a Supply Chain Analyst will most usefully contribute to strategic or tactical business decisions, rather than operational.
The types of business problems where they can provide valuable insight include…
- Translating the impact of your growth forecast on supply chain operations
- Assessing the impact of expanding your product range
- Establishing how to best fulfill your service delivery requirements while meeting customer expectations
- Supporting investment decisions
- Inventory levels analysis, the optimal stock holding that delivers the company’s requirements between stock holding costs and product availability.
As well as highlighting potential for change to the supply chain to drive greater efficiencies, an analyst will develop data models to test solutions prior to any cost outlays. These models will provide the basis for decision making by delivering an understanding of the relationships between activities and costs. It is the combination of the data modelling ability with a background of supply chain that ensures the model best reflects influences by the real-world.
The best of both worlds
It is the combination of these skills that distinguishes a Supply Chain Analyst from a Supply Chain Consultant (able to provide only a high-level perspective to the ongoing operations) and a Data Analyst (providing only detailed data trends without an understanding of the bigger picture). The mixture of both high-level and detailed insight allows the business to explore the underlying detail of the mechanics and drivers of costs throughout the supply chain to make informed improvements.
Overall a Supply Chain Analyst will provide end-to-end decision support, taking the data-led recommendation to action, monitor, and report on performance, delivering continuous improvement (CI) accordingly.
About the author
Ashleigh’s work focuses on the performance of data analysis and production of statistical models to derive insights.
Ash has worked with start-ups, defence contractors, retailers and the NHS to derive value from data and solve big problems.