The main purpose of the role is to improve the accuracy and reliability of the Demand Plan through projection of the most realistic estimate of customer demand, collaboration with other functions (Sales, Marketing, Finance,eg.) and manage exceptions to enhance the responsiveness of the organisation’s Supply Chain in fulfilling customer demand.
A day in the life of…
A Demand Planner:
Maintain Data and Systems:
Create and maintain the appropriate master data in the planning systems in use, minimising errors, and avoiding duplication and obsolescence.
Maintain system hygiene and health to ensure demand signals are not polluted, in close collaboration with Customer Services.
Collate Information and Assumptions:
Ensure commitment from all functions, build and maintain good communication and collaboration both within Supply Chain and with Sales and Marketing, Manufacturing and Finance, according to the Monthly Business Planning (MBP) best practices.
Manage Portfolio and Lifecycle:
Effectively use all Demand Planning system functionality to enable an exception based management approach, inspired by the “Animal Farm” methodology.
Maintain the systems to reflect the lifecycle of products (predecessors, successors, temporary promotional variants, …).
Collaborate with Marketing and Sales by providing input on a regular basis regarding product launches, portfolio optimization, rationale of commercial decisions, promotions and customer behavior.
Develop and Maintain the Forecast:
Use appropriate statistical models and parameters, and enrich statistical forecasts to generate accurate base demand forecasts per Customer.
Generate and maintain a demand plan for a given portfolio of products, locations and/or customers, at the levels (product hierarchy and time) at which business decisions are taken.
Focus on and deliver a stable demand plan, but taking into account appropriately recent events, along with achievement of Demand Plan Accuracy (DPA), controlled variability of accuracy and no systematic bias.
Ensure that business planning is operated at the correct level of aggregation (product hierarchy and time).
Reach Consensus through Alignment:
Contribute to cross functional planning activities such as MBP and the Dynamic Planning Framework (DPF) according to Best Practice.
Contribute to Customer Facing activities such as Collaborative Planning, Promotional Forecasting, ad hoc joint Supply Chain improvement projects as appropriate.
Share and Publish the Forecast:
Through systematic reporting, provision of links or ad-hoc reports and communications, ensure that Demand Plan information is available to internal business partners as required.
Track and Manage Demand:
Actively follow-up actual sales to customers and sell-out (POS) data to identify exceptional or unforecasted activities.
Drive fast, appropriate actions to minimize the impact of deviations from the Demand Plan. Communicate these actions to stakeholders.
Measure and Track Performance:
Consistently improve Demand Plan Accuracy (DPA accuracy level and variability) and drive systematic forecast bias through detailed analyses of past performance. Track errors using DP Reason Codes and maintain an efficient Learning Log.
Implement improvements to Demand and Supply Planning processes and tools to deliver tangible benefits (e.g. time savings, increased efficiencies).
What will make you successful
Two or more years of relevant operational experience at market / business level, in at least one of the following areas:
Sales, Key Account Management
Category Channel Sales Development
Finance: Business Planning / Dynamic Forecasting
If not held a commercial role before joining Demand Planning, a mission to a Sales related function is recommended.