• Demand Planner

    Job Locations US-WI-MIDDLETON
    Requisition ID
    # of Positions
  • Description

    Job Purpose

    The Demand Planner position works on a team responsible for all forecasting activities of the business and is assigned to support specific customer and product groups. The Demand Planner creates and maintains statistical forecast models and collaborates with sales, product, marketing, purchasing, production planning, and other sources (i.e. retailer counterparts) to incorporate intelligence, assumptions, and forecast information from these areas into the demand plan used by the business to make decisions, develop organizational strategy and alignment, and project business performance over the next 24 months. The Demand Planner is the integration point for all activities and strategic initiatives of the business, playing a central role in the monthly S&OP cycle to produce a demand plan that drives product availability in the right place, at the right time, in the right amount. This position develops, maintains, communicates, and distributes all forecast related information used in the S&OP process and leads monthly S&OP meetings with key counterparts in sales, product, and purchasing for assigned customer and product groups. Additionally, the Demand Planner plays an integral part in strategic initiatives to improve forecast accuracy and bias, to drive cost savings, to provide a best experience to customers, and to prevent lost sales / profits through ongoing analysis and evaluation of actual performance to plan.


    Job Duties

    Forecasting & Demand Planning (40%)

    • Develop and maintain an accurate statistical forecast at multiple levels of aggregation over a rolling 24 month time horizon for both custom made-to-order and stock products by analyzing historical trends, secondary data (i.e. POS), and input from business partners
    • Identify and correct statistical modeling issues driven by system parameter and variable settings within the forecasting software related to history, trending, seasonality, etc.
    • Perform ongoing analysis and monitoring of actual performance to forecasted plan, identify significant variances, take corrective actions, and document key assumptions
    • Achieve a consensus demand plan by facilitating a collaborative planning process with sales, product, marketing, purchasing, production planning, and other sources to: - Adjust for significant new or lost account distribution - Incorporate known and assumed promotional activity with the proper sales lift and timing - Properly reflect and maintain product life cycles for new product rollouts, refreshes, and phase-outs while considering store counts, planograms, and cannibalization - Analyze, interpret, and incorporate key demand drivers and market intelligence - As requested, provide input to purchasing and production planning to develop inventory strategies on existing, new, and phase-out items
    • Support strategic forecast initiatives designed to improve the quality of the forecast and close the identified gaps
    • Seek out, develop, share, and implement Demand Planning best practices


    System & Data Management (20%)

    • Use and maintain the Demand Planning software (SAP) as the primary forecasting system / tool
    • Manage history used for forecasting and ensure it is identified with the proper attributes, correctly dated, and adjusted for known events with outliers removed
    • Maintain accurate average selling prices and adjust for expected future changes
    • Update data tables in Access and SharePoint to establish relationships and hierarchies in the data structure for customer, product, and brand


    S&OP Process (Monthly) (20%)

    • Support the S&OP cycle by completing critical forecasting duties (detailed above) and distributing relevant forecast information (i.e. reporting, charts, etc.) to sales, product, and purchasing for review and discussion in consensus meetings
    • Organize and lead consensus meetings for assigned account and product groups to identify required changes in the demand plan to achieve consensus driven by discussion of key initiatives, significant business events, changes in product / marketing plans, and forecasting performance
    • Properly reflect discussed changes in the demand plan, follow up on action items, and confirm consensus of sales and product with the new plan
    • Publish the consensus demand plan along with a clear and concise explanation of forecast changes between cycles, key business event drivers, action plans, and assumptions (or change in assumptions) to be used in the main S&OP meeting (Demand Review)
    • Report out monthly on MAPE and bias performance
    • Attend the Demand Review meeting and if requested, provide commentary on current information and identified gaps reflected in the plan to Senior Leadership in attendance


    Analysis & Reporting (20%)

    • Provide timely and accurate response to demand and forecast related inquiries from all areas of the organization, including day-to-day resolution of critical issues affecting the Supply Chain
    • Identify the impact of promotional activity, marketing, and industry dynamics to provide recommendations or make revisions to the demand plan
    • Develop critical planning tools, key reports, and provide analytical support to Senior Leadership to make decisions, develop and execute key initiatives, and project short term and long term performance
    • Understand, evaluate, and comment on projected revenue driven by the demand plan
    • May assist in offering insight and analysis into demand volume and mix changes
    • May assist in annual development of the sales budget and related documentation
    • May perform other administrative and reporting functions related to the demand planning process
    • Complete special projects and ad-hoc requests as assigned


    Education and Experience

    • Bachelors Degree in Business, Accounting, Finance, or Economics
    • 2+ years related experience in Planning / Forecasting
    • Preference given to candidates with: an undergraduate degree in business, accounting, finance or economics with a concentration in supply chain management, sales, or statistics
    • 2-3 years of experience in any analytical role within a large retailer and / or manufacturing environment (forecasting, supply chain, retail planning, accounting, finance, or other relevant analytical role)
    • A Masters of Business Administration degree is a plus

    • CPF, ACPF, CPF-C, APICS, or other forecasting / supply chain / analytical Certification is a plus

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

    • Working knowledge of SAP software (APO / SCM module) or other forecasting software
    • High Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel (Pivot tables, Vlook ups, etc.)
    • Excel skills related to Microsoft BI (i.e. PowerPivot, PowerQuery, PowerView, etc.) and macro writing Certification
    • Any experience in the window coverings industry is a plus


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