Demand Planner

at Empire

Melrose Park, IL

Posted on Nov. 17, 2016

Full Time

The Demand Planner creates and maintains forecast models at the SKU location level, incorporating business intelligence and forecast information gathered from Sales, Merchandising, Finance, Supply Chain, and other sources.
The Demand Planner will drive the S&OP process by working closely with Merchandising, Sales, Finance and Supply Chain to create a consensus forecast. This person will utilize both quantitative and qualitative information in establishing a forecast that supports the business. Basic forecast modeling is the responsibility of this position.
Basic Functions:
• Develop demand forecasts (operational forecasts) at multiple levels of aggregation for multiple time horizons as part of a demand planning function.
• Review historical sales trends, research demand drivers, prepare forecast data, develop statistical forecast models, and evaluate forecast results.
• Coordinate cross-functional research activities to reconcile significant variances and refine the forecast model to reflect updated sales and merchandising assumptions.
• Interact with sales, merchandising, and finance to understand demand forecast drivers.
• Utilize a collaborative and consensus approach by working with Sales, Merchandising, Supply Chain and Finance to obtain and ensure that current and accurate information is used for demand forecasts.
• Use and maintain the Demand Planning software as the primary forecasting tool.
• Provide input to the Supply Planning organization in developing inventory strategies on existing items, new products, and product phase-outs.
• Closely coordinate and communicate merchandising action plans with supply planning
Job Functions:
• Create statistical forecasts:
- Gather, analyze and validate data
- Execute statistical modeling software
- Review resulting statistical forecast model
- Apply error analysis techniques to improve forecasting
- Summarize/aggregate statistical forecasts
• Review sales plans, Finance Budget Updates and demand drivers:
- Present, solicit, and assess feedback on the various forecasts from Sales and Finance
- Recommend adjustments for operational forecasts
- Review promotional plans with Merchandising and Sales
• Achieve consensus for operational demand forecasts by facilitating a collaborative planning process with Sales, Merchandising and Finance personnel:
- Prepare relevant material to facilitate research and discussion
• Maintain demand planning system and software
- Enter and modify data and ensure the correctness of product hierarchy
- Monitor trends in forecast error
- Identify relevant market-related data and competitive intelligence
• Use software to create a purchase forecast that Analysts can provide to vendors
• Prepare and maintain relevant reports pertaining to demand planning process
Key Results:
• A demand forecast which incorporates current and accurate market information that allows the company to correctly predict demand and provide the Supply Chain with appropriate information to meet that demand.
• Improve relationships among Planners, Analysts, Sales, Merchandising and Finance, which will lead to effective knowledge sharing and an optimal consensus forecast to better guide the company.
• Refine systems and methods to continually improve forecasts so that the company can better anticipate material needs.
• Execute with excellence in the area of replenishment and feedback to the Supply Chain group the opportunities and risks regarding replenishment performance metrics.
Required Education / Experience / Specific Job-related Skills
• Two to Three years of experience in Demand Planning in an S&OP environment.
• BA/BS college degree or its equivalent.
• Demonstrated proficiency in statistics, forecasting and forecasting methods with an understanding of their financial and operational impacts. Knowledge of Optimiza, Logility, Manugistics, or other software related to demand planning is preferred.
• Experience with other software packages including Windows, and Microsoft Office.
• Firm understanding of the parameters and calculations that drive MRP.
This position requires strong analytical, organizational, decision making, and presentation skills. Strong interpersonal skills are also essential to effectively interact with all teams, areas and levels of business affecting the forecast process. Good presentation and facilitation skills are required.

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