Job Location: Hershey, PA Summary:
The Sr Demand Planner is accountable for the management and integration of data from Marketing, Sales, Customers, and Finance which are used to develop accurate and timely forecasts supporting Operations, Sales and Financial Planning. The planner is responsible for providing guidance, analysis, and oversight for their assigned demand group to ensure alignment with business direction and consistency with market trends. Responsibilities include communicating demand forecasts and the assumptions behind them through the supply chain and via the IBM Demand process.
This position is accountable for establishing and managing item level statistical forecasts for their specific areas of accountability. The planner will actively research and incorporate all sources of market intelligence pertaining to this customer base to produce the best possible operational forecast by combining statistical forecasting with customer insights and independent analysis of relevant data streams. The Demand Planner should act as a functional expert for Hershey demand planning and is responsible for continuously improving the forecast using process KPIs and diagnostics to ensure continuous improvement efforts.
The Demand Planner will facilitate a collaborative and consensus approach by working closely with Marketing, Sales, and Supply Planning. If the Demand Planner is assigned the accountability of a specific customer account, he / she will focus only on that Customer base, developing customer level forecasts, incorporating insights of that customer's unique trends, inventory strategy and service level requirements via regular interactions with the appropriate Sales Teams. If assigned to a season, he/she will focus only on the seasons assigned and forecast for all customers that have demand for that season's items.
In addition to forecasting responsibilities, this position will assume the responsibility of buyer by writing all turn, seasonal, and/or promotion orders for designated customers with whom we have an inventory replenishment partnership established. Orders must be written in a manner which effectively balances internal and customer objectives such order case fill, shipment weight, customer inventory, service level to retail, Hershey DC shipping capacity, customer DC receiving capacity and slotting constraints, seasonal wave timing, and promotion on-shelf timing.
This role must identify and communicate short-term forecast discrepancies working with the customer, Collaborative Planner, and/or Demand Planner as appropriate. This position is also accountable for coordinating the resolution of order fulfillment issues by working with the Hershey Order Management Representatives. Success requires consistent and disciplined maintenance of replenishment system settings such as minimum order quantity and order increment. Major Duties/Responsibilities:
Minimum knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform major duties/responsibilities:
- Develop accurate demand forecasts of all line items for their accountable segment of the business by using a combination of statistical forecasting integrated with insights gained via partnering with Sales, Marketing, Operations and Finance departments. Ensure consistent integration into the forecast of customer insights, base business trends, merchandising promotional plans, new item volumes, plan-o-gram changes and seasonal volume with the goal of reducing working capital and minimizing forecast error. Work cross functionally toward continuous improvement of forecast accuracy and improve the error rate below targeted levels of Weighted Mean Absolute Percentage Error (WMAPE) and Bias.
- Write all orders shipping to the customer (turn, seasonal, and/or promotion) to maximize performance against internal and customer-driven goals.
- Analyze, maintain, and modify key item-level system replenishment settings such as minimum ship quantity and shipment increment.
- Develop/maintain statistical safety stock strategy utilizing inventory optimization tools
- Maintain forecasting system models, history, alerts, and system data integrity to ensure the publication of a 104 week operational forecast by item by distribution center in SAP APO DP / JDA Manugistics systems. Manage timely new item and version change setups. Manage customer specific systems and tools integration with the forecasting system.
- As the Commercial / Supply Interface, individual will provide Sales and Operations teams with timely analysis, guidance, and decision-making to ensure that the supply chain is in the best position to execute the demand plan generated from the total operational forecast. This includes generating and publishing to key stakeholders, monthly and weekly demand forecasts, including clear identification of assumptions highlighting significant changes since release of previous report.
- Planners with Key Account responsibility will maintain accountability for specific Customer focused metrics, including Customer Case Fill, Customer Service Levels, Planned Arrival Accuracy, Customer Inventory Levels, Customer Inventory Turns, and provide packtype / brand analysis for customer level forecasts to validate alignment with CSE expectations and customer retail performance.
- Provide input to support monthly IBM Demand meetings and incorporate IBM feedback to improve forecasting process. Provide documented insights into forecast changes, growth rates, promotions, distribution changes, and customer insights as well as supporting points for the current brand/packtype forecasts. Perform ad hoc analyses, as required, in support of contingency planning.
- Proactively develop others within the planning organization through the sharing of best demonstrated processes and knowledge transference. Provide cross functional leadership across departments to solve for demand related issues caused by forecast error, demand constraints, unplanned promotional opportunities, etc.
- In addition to position-specific work, as outlined above, the Demand Planner will act as a lead on special projects, providing leadership as a functional expert to represent Demand Planning needs. The teams will include (but not be limited to): seasonal teams, new product launch teams, and continuous improvement initiatives.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:
- Capacity to work within multiple internal and external information systems including, but not limited to, SAP, Manugistics, and customer-specific systems
- Proficient in understanding of fundamental business management and supply chain principles and concepts
- Thorough understanding of key internal and external order fulfillment processes
- Proficient in all Microsoft Office applications, particularly Access and Excel
- Ability to communicate effectively with internal and external partners at all levels
- Ability to implement and execute forecasts and sales plans
- Capacity to analyze customer-specific data and reporting vehicles
- Strong mathematical skills
- Strong interpersonal communication skills, relationship management
- Ability to make effective cost vs. service decisions when ordering
- Takes initiative on resolving VMI issues proactively
- Adaptive to fast and continuous change
- Proficient ability to identify and evaluate opportunities (increase service levels/turns, enhance logistic efficiencies) and recommend solutions internally
- Education: Bachelor's Degree in Business, Supply Chain, Mathematics, Information Systems or equivalent experience.
- Experience: Minimum of 3-5 years experience, prior business experience preferred.
The Hershey Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The policy of The Hershey Company is to extend opportunities to qualified applicants and employees on an equal basis regardless of an individual's race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, citizenship status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other categories protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.
The Hershey Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer - Minority/Female/Disabled/Protected Veterans