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Inventory analysts serve important functions within a corporation, ensuring that companies implement and maintain proper controls of inventory, as well as identify weaknesses in inventory procedures. These analysts also analyze inventory and purchasing data to spot trends and ensure that companies maximize their resources to have sufficient supplies for all business needs. Becoming an inventory analyst requires the right combination of education, analytical and technical abilities, and business experience that includes knowledge of the industry in which a firm operates.
Complete a bachelor's degree in business, management science, operations management, business analysis, mathematics or statistics. A degree in one of these fields will help a prospective inventory professional acquire the knowledge base needed for effective inventory analysis and management.
Develop your technical and data analysis skills. Inventory analysts must be familiar with popular business software applications, such as Microsoft Office. Inventory analysts must have strong written communication and spreadsheet skills. Depending on specific job requirements, certain inventory analyst jobs require proficiency with more complex analytical and database tools, such as relational database programs.
Build your number-crunching capacity. Quantitative analysis using statistical software is a necessary part of an inventory analyst's job. Statistical analyses often help analysts to spot problems in inventory management and to assess the extent of the problem. Take college courses in statistics and mathematics, and become familiar with the data analysis capabilities of Microsoft Excel and statistical software such as SAS and SPSS.
Search online for inventory analyst jobs. Websites, such as InventoryAnalystJobs.com, provide listings for jobs in inventory management and related positions. Study the job requirements closely. Tailor your resume, if necessary, to reflect these requirements.
Interview for and obtain your first job in inventory analysis. The first job may be an entry-level position as an inventory clerk. Think of your first job as similar to a fifth year of college, providing an opportunity to gain hands-on business and inventory management experience in a real-world setting.
Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.