Tracking tabular data is an important part of any supply chain job, and supply chain management jobs in particular. This makes Excel skills particularly valuable if you want to succeed in the industry.
Without further ado, let’s get into the Excel skills you need for supply chain success in 2023.
How to Track Supplier Orders
One of the most important tasks for a supply chain manager is tracking orders from suppliers. An Excel spreadsheet is an invaluable tool for handling this responsibility. An order-tracking spreadsheet should have columns for: supplier name, address, e-mail address, contact phone number, product ordered, quantity, cost, date ordered, date expected and date delivered. Having this information in tabular lets you quickly see the status of orders past and present.
How to Use Filters to Organize Your Data
In addition to helping you track orders, this simple spreadsheet can help you compare prices and performance among various suppliers, as well as track them over the long term using filters.
Available from the Data tab in the ribbon, filters give you flexibility in terms of organizing your supply chain data. For instance, you could filter out all the late deliveries. Or, you could compare the lengths of time between the dates ordered and the dates delivered.
How to Track Stock Levels
Supply chain personnel are also responsible for tracking stock levels to make sure their organization has enough of various products to meet demand. An Excel spreadsheet for stock control should include columns for product, quality, price, date, and in/out, with the final column marked ‘I’ or ‘O’ depending on whether stock was received or issued respectively. You can use filters to reveal which products are in stock and which stock levels are low.
How to Create a Forecast
Because supply chain data is time-based, it can be used to create a forecast. In Excel, Forecast functions generate predictions based on historical data, and the Forecast Sheet returns both these predictions and the historical data on which it was based. In order for this function to work, excel requires consistent intervals between data points. If you are trying to create a prediction based on purchase orders, you will have to summarize these orders in weekly or monthly intervals.
How to Use Graphs and Charts
Charts and graphs not only help you visualize supply chain data, but they also help you present information to people outside the industry, such as those in upper management. Choosing the right format is the key to creating a good chart and graph. Line, bar and pie charts are best in different situations, and you should know when to use which one.
Having keyboard shortcuts committed to memory isn’t the most intensive skill, but it is one that can help you be more productive. Saving three seconds here and five seconds there adds up over the course of a day, a week and a year. In addition to the standard shortcuts for cut, copy and paste, you should know:
- Ctrl + Space – Select an entire column
- Shift + Space – Select the entire row
- Alt + I, R– Insert row
- F2 – edit selected cell
- Ctrl + – (minus) – Delete selected row
- Alt + H, M, M – Merge cells
- Crtl + D – Copy formula down
Have Success in Your Supply Chain Job This Year!
At ZDA, one of our big New Year’s resolutions is to help job seekers take advantage of the current labor market. Contact us today to find out what opportunities are currently available.