What’s a procurement analyst?
You might be asking yourself about what the role of a procurement analyst is. Procurement analysts are responsible for developing approaches to procuring and contracting external support from the marketplace and ensuring that such support is in-line with current industry standards and regulations.
An aspect of the role of a procurement analyst, supported by effective purchasing software, entails researching suppliers and collecting information from diverse sources, which could encompass vendor databases. They also undertake the task of evaluating potential candidates and making decisions regarding contract awards. After the contract has been granted, the procurement analyst assumes the responsibility of overseeing the contract's performance throughout its agreed-upon duration. This role is sometimes referred to as a purchasing analyst or purchasing agent.
Businesses that require the purchase of products or services from other companies can reap vast benefits from having procurement analysts on their payroll. Even smaller businesses often have a procurement analyst, although they might not hold that particular title.
Some of the duties that might be included in a procurement analyst’s job are:
- Managing the material requirements planning (MRP) and data maintenance best practices for buyers
- Managing work breakdown structure (WBS) and the work authorization set-up
- Managing the inventory replenishment processes at a SKU level, while also addressing changes and issues that might arise
- Manage the key performance indicators (KPIs) of suppliers to ensure that targets are reached in the categories of cost, service, and quality levels across all of a businesses operating centres (if applicable)
- Staying on top of the market, identifying trends, and remaining proactive in their duties
- Collaborating with other senior management individuals on requests for proposals (RFP) and requests for quotations (RFQ), while also providing detailed reports on vendor responses
- Being the point of contact for receiving, reviewing, and revising bid and RFP documents and purchase orders to maintain policy and ensure regulatory compliance
- Reviewing contracts and subcontracts, while also placing said contracts and subcontracts where necessary/needed.
Procurement analysts require a certain level of experience and education, particularly for a senior procurement analyst. They must have experience with both word processing software and information management systems – given that they are a key aspect of their job. This is a hard requirement for them to be able to request, develop, approve, and track all contracts and other procurement related documents as a part of their day-to-day activities and responsibilities.
Now, a successful procurement analyst requires analytical skills, strong communication skills, and a certain level of interpersonal skills. All of these are necessary for building – and the subsequent maintenance of – supplier relationships, which is a key aspect of their job description. Additionally, such skills are required for further streamlining the procurement process while also giving them the skills needed to analyze data to locate potential cost saving opportunities.
It’s critical that a procurement analyst be able to interpret a wide range of information and data sources to be able to craft detailed and nuanced contract proposals. Analysts must be able to communicate in a clear and concise manner, both orally and in writing.
Although it is possible to get into the field of procurement analysis with only a high school diploma or GED, if you are looking at a senior procurement analyst position, then a bachelor’s degree is a requirement. For that, you are looking to complete a degree in one of the following fields: business management, logistics, or supply chain management.
There might be on-the-job training available for those who are only just entering the profession, but at the senior level you must have several years of experience in the field of procurement. There is not, though, a set career path when it comes to becoming a procurement analyst. There are options for progressing into the position over time – or simply being in the right place at the right time with the right qualifications.
When it comes to senior versus junior level procurement analyst positions, the junior level is an entry-level position. These are ideal for those who have little or no experience in the field. Contrast that with a senior procurement analyst position, where you will need at least five years of experience in the field.
When it comes to the career path of a procurement analyst, there are options. You may be able to move from the position into a senior buyer, a procurement specialist, or even a procurement manager with enough time and experience. And there are plenty more options that branch out from those possible positions.