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A business planning analyst typically looks at commercial production processes. His or her goal is usually to streamline production methods in order to achieve greater productivity and reduce waste. Analyzing factors that drive costs using various financial analysis tools is usually considered a key part of the job for a business planning analyst. Another common responsibility for those working in this profession entails calculating a return on investment (ROI) through the use of quantitative analysis.
Analyzing productive processes is frequently a crucial function of someone working in this career field. As part of an overall business planning strategy aimed to reduce costs of production, he or she may review the various steps involved in making a product or providing a service. Usually, cost reductions are achieved as a result of the analyst's work in identifying existing processes that can be carried out more efficiently. A business planning analyst may sometimes recommend new procedures be instituted. At other times, he or she may be asked to assist in developing an entirely new workflow process.
In streamlining productive processes, a business planning analyst will likely break down each action, whether it be a service-oriented activity, or a manufacturing activity. The step-by-step analysis may be conducted at periodic intervals. Rollouts of new products often involve the expertise of a business planning analyst. At other times, this analysis may be done under pressure to retain a competitive edge, or to respond to an increase in the cost of raw materials or human capital.
For example, if a manufacturer is making a consumer electronic device, certain assembly procedures may be identified by the business planning analyst as unproductive procedures that waste time. The analyst likely will work with product engineers or other staff to seek ways to improve the process. If the item currently requires 10 separate procedures to manufacture, and the business analyst discovers two steps can be streamlined into one step, cost savings may result.
A key role for a business planning analyst typically involves searching out and fully understanding expense drivers, so inefficient processes can be improved. Calculating the ROI for a production process usually entails the business planning analyst factoring in many variables. He or she may conduct an extensive statistical review. Items he or she may analyze often include man-hours used in delivering a service or manufacturing a product, and the cost of staffing and how that may impact a company's profit margin.