What is a Strategic Sourcing Analyst?

Strategic Sourcing AnalystA strategic sourcing analyst is a supply chain management professional that collects and evaluates logistical data related to a company’s products or services used in operations. Keep reading to learn more about this exceptional supply chain position and how to become one.

Strategic Sourcing Analysis

Large companies can only maintain their profitability and competitiveness through proper supply chain management. In fact, poor supply chain management will result in lost revenue, unsatisfied customers and frustrated employees. Therefore, the goal of strategic source analysis is to collect, analyze and report supply chain trends and data to management. As a result, management is able to increase quality, efficiency and timeliness of products and services.

What are the Main Responsibilities of a Strategic Sourcing Analyst?

Strategic sourcing analysts must continually evaluate risks, prepare forecasts and analyze worst cast scenarios related to market changes and supply chain problems. They prepare analytical reports and industry outlooks for upper management. This involves evaluating trade publications, market reports and competitive intelligence. They must track and trend the company’s costs, market fluctuations and supplier performance. Their goal is to find new suppliers, reduce lead time and increase consistency. In order to accomplish this, they must rely on certain supply chain tools and technologies.

Supply Chain Technology

Strategic sourcing analysts rely on different kinds of software systems to collect, analyze and share information. This includes procurement, database and supply chain software. They may also rely on project management and enterprise resource planning programs. Because the world of logistics never sleeps, strategic sourcing analysts will heavily rely on their mobile phone, email, IM software and cutting edge apps to respond to supply chain issues day and night. Because being a strategic sourcing analysts is so challenging, the individual must have the right skills, attributes and knowledge.

The Ideal Candidate

Strategic sourcing analysts must have excellent communication skills, including exceptional active listening and reading comprehension skills. They must be able to critically think and analyze complex information in short periods of time. Consequently, they must have great decision making and problem solving skills. Strategic sourcing analysts must develop and maintain positive professional relationships with clients, vendors, suppliers and shipping companies. As a result, strong interpersonal skills and a service orientated attitude are needed. They must be masters of multitasking with competing priorities, deadlines and parties.

What Education is Required?

A strategic sourcing analyst must have a post-secondary education, such as a bachelor’s degree in operations or supply chain management. Students take courses about logistics, warehouse and organizational management. Supply chain professionals must also be familiar with state and federal shipping, import and export regulations. However, strategic sourcing analysts also may have a degree in economics, business administration and even industrial engineering. Many strategic sourcing analysts go on to obtain certification through the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) or the International Society of Logistics (SOLE). The ASTL offers certification programs, such as their Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. This is sometimes sought by strategic sourcing analysts because it proves their inventory, activity synchronization, performance measurement and risk management skills.

Related Resource: Enterprise Systems Analyst

On the whole, strategic sourcing analysts are professionals that apply their logistics and management skills to oversee and improve supply chain performance. Being a strategic sourcing analyst is a worthwhile career that can translate into other jobs, such as supply chain manager or director of logistics.