Pros and Cons of Becoming an e-Sourcing Analyst
E-sourcing analysts are expected to supply accurate cost-analysis data and keep track of buying schedules. The following is a list of more pros and cons that can help you decide whether or not becoming an e-sourcing analyst is suitable for you:
|Pros of Becoming an e-Sourcing Analyst|
|No licensure or certification required*|
|Good earning potential (top 10% earned about $84,000 as of July 2015)**|
|Faster-than-average job growth for the field (22% projected from 2012-2022)***|
|Get to help businesses find cost-effective ways to purchase products and services*|
|Cons of Becoming an e-Sourcing Analyst|
|Dealing with the logistics of acquiring goods can be fast-paced***|
|Typically requires advanced skills in various software programs*|
|May spend significant time sitting at a computer to generate reports *|
|May travel frequently to meet with business owners to gather information*|
Sources: *Job postings for Dec 2012/Jan 2013, **PayScale.com, ***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Essential Career Info
E-sourcing is a type of outsourcing process wherein buyers obtain bids on goods and services from various suppliers through an online portal. This process is done through Web-based applications and involves using tools that allow companies to compare information from suppliers more efficiently. E-sourcing falls under the broader category of e-procurement, which is the use of the Internet to purchase business products and services. However, with e-sourcing, the primary focus is on cost and quality.
According to job postings, e-sourcing analysts are generally responsible for ensuring positive outcomes of structured online negotiations. These professionals typically work with several business owners and all departments within an organization to streamline the scheduling process of online bids and identify cost-effective e-sourcing opportunities. Some other essential aspects of this job include managing the development and implementation of e-sourcing events such as auctions, requests for information (RFIs) and requests for quotation (RFQs), creating spend analysis and post-auction reports, maintaining relationships with e-sourcing managers and providing maintenance support for e-sourcing systems.
Job Outlook and Salary
Specific information concerning the career outlook for e-sourcing analysts was not available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, statistical data was available for logisticians, which is the closest job match the BLS has that relates to e-sourcing analysts. Logisticians are supply chain management professionals who are responsible for analyzing and organizing the process of how businesses acquire goods from suppliers. Logisticians also use software programs to coordinate functions, such as procurement.
In the decade of 2012-2022, the BLS noted that these professionals were expected to have a 22% increase in employment. According to PayScale.com, procurement analysts (who are very similar to e-sourcing analysts) in the lowest 10th percentile earned about $39,000, and those in the highest 10th percentile earned approximately $82,000, as of December 2014.
What Are the Education Requirements?
You typically need a bachelor's degree in a business-related discipline to become an e-sourcing analyst. Some common majors for this occupation include accounting, business administration, economics and finance. You should also have strong working knowledge of e-procurement software tools and sourcing processes. This job also requires that you be highly detailed-oriented and have good organizational, communication and interpersonal skills.
Job Postings from Real Employers
Most job postings showed that 2-3 years of experience are typically required to work in this field. Since this job involves significant data analysis and report generation, most employers require that you have advanced skills in Microsoft applications such as Access, Excel and PowerPoint. Following is a list of job postings that can give you some insight into what employers were looking for during December of 2012 and January of 2013.
- A consumer products company in Illinois is seeking an e-sourcing analyst with a bachelor's degree and 2-3 years of experience in e-procurement. The candidate must also be skilled in using Microsoft Office software and performing spreadsheet analysis. Job duties include supporting the design and development of e-sourcing projects, managing e-sourcing events and performing spend analysis.
- A New York City staffing firm is seeking a candidate with at least two years of experience, strong skills in Excel and data analysis and a bachelor's degree in economics, finance or another related field. Job responsibilities include assisting managers with project plans, assessing the benefits of e-sourcing and identifying sourcing opportunities.
- A major retailer in Illinois is looking for a candidate to deliver successful online negotiations. The candidate will review items for auctions, assist with auction scheduling, organize data from suppliers and create post-auction reports. Job requirements include a bachelor's degree in accounting, business administration or another related field, 1-2 years of experience and advanced skills in Access, Excel and PowerPoint.
- A construction materials company in Atlanta, GA, is seeking a sourcing/procurement analyst to perform data management and analysis to help the business source and procure goods and services. The employer is looking for someone with a business-related bachelor's degree, but prefers to hire someone with a master's degree. Other requirements include 3-5 years of related experience and time spent working with data warehouse applications. Job duties include improving the availability and quality of procurement data, managing the company's supplier qualification and performance management systems and providing analytical support to strategic sourcing projects.
How to Stand Out in the Field
You can gain a competitive advantage as an e-sourcing analyst by obtaining a professional certification. The International Institute for Procurement and Market Research (IIPMR) offers a Certified Procurement Professional (CPP) online training and certification program. This certification is geared towards those who have a junior- or senior-level leadership role and at least three years of experience in the procurement field. The CPP program also emphasizes training in strategic sourcing and supplier risk management. The IIPMR describes the CPP certification as a preferred credential among employers looking to fill management positions for this career field. You can also stand out by completing a graduate certificate or master's degree program in a related discipline. Some programs you might consider include a graduate certificate in procurement and contracts management and a Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisitions Management.
Other Careers to Consider
For a position that also involves analyzing and collecting data to determine the cost-effectiveness of producing and acquiring goods and services, you may consider becoming a cost estimator. According to the BLS, cost estimators primarily work in the construction and manufacturing industries. Those who work in construction typically deal with architects, engineers and contractors to estimate the cost of raw materials and labor involved in completing a project.
As a manufacturing cost estimator, you may perform cost analysis to determine whether or not developing a product would be profitable. To work in this field, you usually need to have a bachelor's degree in a major such as construction management, engineering or physical science. As of May 2011, cost estimators earned a median wage of about $58,000, according to the BLS. The BLS also noted that employment for these professionals was projected to increase by 36% from 2010-2020.
You can also use your analytical skills to help companies save money by working as a budget analyst. In this role, you can work for government agencies, private companies and not-for-profit organizations, such as a university. Some of your job duties may include forecasting a company's future financial needs, monitoring organizational spending, preparing budget reports and reviewing budget proposals to verify that information is in compliance with regulations. Typically, you would need at least a baccalaureate degree for this position. According to the BLS, these professionals were only expected to have a 10% growth in employment from 2010-2020. However, as of May 2011, the BLS also found that budget analysts earned a median wage of approximately $69,000.