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Graduate Demand Planner (Forecasting Analyst)

My client is a quickly expanding food business. They are a market leader in several types of own label foods and supply a half dozen major supermarket chains in the UK & Ireland. They offer quite a variety of food, with over three hundred quality products. Some food products are manufactured themselves; others are made by partner businesses in Europe. Although they work across several areas or "categories" of food, one of the areas they are best known for in the industry is their continental European food lines. As you may realise, continental European foods have grown significantly in popularity since the year 2000 and this business has really capitalised on this growth. In addition to their main client base of major supermarkets they also supply directly restaurants, cafes and sometimes even other food producers. Fifteen years ago they were a business of fifty people; in 2018 they have just over five hundred and they are continuing to grow.

I am now recruiting for a demand planner to join the supply chain division in Surrey. Supply chain are effectively responsible for the physical process as well as systems for getting food to the supermarket; in a wider sense supply chain could be called the whole process of getting food from the farm to the shelf. The key driver for moving stock through the supply chain is the sales forecast. The demand planning team are within supply chain and own this forecast. Based on the forecast, harvests are planned, trucks collect and move product though continents, factories plan their labour, raw materials and packaging are procured, and finished products are packed off.  As a demand planner, you will be responsible for creating and maintaining demand forecasts for your products and customers using all available intelligence, mainly from the supermarkets but also from other market data available. This includes EPOS, Customer Fcs and Availability.

You would be expected to deliver accurate forecasting. This involves a lot of work analysing data and interpreting. The business mainly uses a planning software system called Futurmaster but they use a variety of other tools, in particular Microsoft Excel, to crunch the data. As a demand planner one area in particular, Exceptional Lines, need to be considered carefully. Emphasis needs to be given to Exceptional Lines. Exceptional lines are products particularly affected by some type of activity. New lines, delisting lines, promotions victim lines, weather sensitive lines and range changes.  Your work is fundamental to enable optimal stock position, ensure a high service level & reduce levels of wastage.

You would be working closely with the demand planning team and be expected to provide cover for other members when necessary. You need to be a strong communicator so you can successfully build strong relationships with colleagues and stakeholders.

We do need to see some working experience, but we are flexible on how that looks. FMCG and food experience is great, but we will consider anyone with the right characteristics and drive. This role is considered part of our graduate programme. Full on the job training is provided as part of a structured two year programme including some formal classroom style work.

Essential Requirements:

  • Bachelor's or master's degree with 2.1 in either a business subject or a subject with significant numerate content.
  • High level of numeracy
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Excellent organisational ability
  • Experience working with and analysing large datasets, perhaps as part of university or work projects.
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines
  • A strong team player who works with integrity and honesty and constantly strives to make the team better
  • Adaptable to change and embrace opportunities to move the business forward with your own suggestions and the support of management led initiatives

 Helpful but not essential requirements:

  • Experience within the food industry.
  • Experience working as an analyst working with quantitative data.
  • Forecasting experience.
  • Advanced ability in Excel, SPSS, Stata and Visual Basic.

Interested? Please send me a CV and cover letter explaining your motivation for this role and why you might be our best

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