Demand Planner - Operations
Icelandic Provisions is looking for a supply chain professional to manage the company’s demand planning and S&OP process.
Icelandic Provisions is a manufacturer and distributor of traditional Icelandic Skyr, a yogurt-category product that is significantly expanding their product line, manufacturing footprint, and distribution capabilities. To support the growth, the company is hiring a Demand Planner to oversee the execution of the S&OP process and to ensure correct inputs are maintained at all levels of the demand plan.
The ideal candidate will possess:
- Hands-on experience in demand planning and operations for growing brands in the food industry.
- Soft skills: great listener, great communication skills, calm, patient, and positive with a sense of urgency and excellent attention to detail.
- Demonstrated success building and implementing modern and scalable supply chain processes in a high-growth environment.
- The desire and supply chain entrepreneurial spirit necessary to help establish and scale up a new brand.
- A 24hr/365 day operations start up mind set.
The Demand Planner will report to the Operations Manager. The role is based in New York City (Manhattan) and could travel up to 10% of the time. This position has no direct reports. This role serves as a backup to the other planners on the team.
S&OP Process Management
The Demand Planner is primarily responsible for ensuring that the cross-functional S&OP process is maintained, resulting in a highly accurate demand plan by product / inbound DC / outbound DC by week. Icelandic Provisions’ forecast is a critical input in our go-to-market execution efforts. Ensuring the forecast is accurate is vital to ensure our retail customers’ shelves are full and product does not expire.
In the S&OP Process, the Demand Planner validates Sales Planning’s inputs into our bottom-up plan and owns the process of cross-functional meetings and input refinements. Materials and metrics that the Demand Planner would bring to bear in these meetings include, customer sales variances in the prior period, customers with long-term forecast bias, and a year-to-date, year-to-go view of the forecast.
Once the Sales Planning inputs are validated, the Demand Planner would be responsible for the disaggregation of the retailer forecast to the component distribution centers. Additionally, the Demand Planner is responsible for officially “locking” the forecast post-S&OP Consensus to ensure that the S&OP forecast is harmonized cross-functionally.
The Demand Planner will take an active role with Sales Planning, Marketing, and Innovation in planning innovation products.
System Optimization, Refinement, and Maintenance
The Demand Planner will own the Operations feature-set for the bottom-up demand planning system used by Icelandic Provisions. This includes working with a third party to determine areas of refinement of the model and user-experience to continue to optimize processes as Icelandic Provisions expands its product portfolio and distribution footprint.
The Demand Planner will work with Customer Service and Logistics to ensure that a process is created to manage the variables that create a stock-requirement forecast used in production and deployment planning.
The Demand Planner will own all order and scan-data “actuals” input into the system from various sources to ensure that the platform has the most up-to-date, high-integrity data.
Customer Demand Insights & Reporting
Be able to share key business insights regarding elements such as, open sales orders, customer sales velocities, customer inventory levels, order fulfillment metrics. Persistently track the weekly and monthly forecast error, accuracy, and bias at all levels of the supply chain across multiple time-frame aggregations. Track customer inventory projections vs. actuals to understand customer DC-level trends.
- Substantially improve all facets of the demand planning process.
- Accurately forecast company’s sales for the next two months and perform in-depth variance analysis of actual sales vs. forecasted sales each month.
- Set the agenda and run monthly S&OP reviews with a focus on performance-to-date and validation of sales planning YtG inputs.
- Ensure customer distribution forecast splits are maintained appropriately from feedback from Customer Service.
- Coordinate with Sales and Marketing, to challenge assumptions in the plan.
- Persistently track forecast performance, including error, accuracy, and bias at various lag-cycles and levels of granularity.
- Work hand-in-hand with Sales Planning, Marketing, and Innovation to vet new item launch assumptions based on prior launch patterns.
- Actively participate in the annual sales forecasting process.
- Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree in supply chain management or equivalent experience.
- Strong decision making, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
- At least 3 years of professional experience, preferably within supply chain planning.
- High proficiency in Excel with an understanding of ERP and demand modelling systems.
- Ability to be successful in a start-up environment and build systems and processes from the “ground up”.
- Ability to coordinate across various internal and external cross functional teams
- Strong people skills, process understanding and learning from experience. Ability to manage complex & time sensitive supply chain processes.
- Individuals should be highly motivated and be prepared to invest the necessary energy required to support a fast-paced start-up environment.
- Outstanding communication skills AND attention to detail.
- Ability to know when to cooperate or avoid conflict and when to meet it head on.
- Desired: experience with fast-moving consumer goods in a growing brand.
- In the startup environment, a “bias for action” is an absolute necessity. The ideal candidate will not shy away from complexity or cross-functional work but recognize it as a growth and learning opportunity.