Want to make your career as a Demand Planner

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Demand Planning is a business-planning process that enables sales teams (and customers) to develop demand forecasts as input to service-planning processes, production and inventory planning, and revenue planning. Demand planning is a vital aspect of managing value chains. The job opportunities for such kind of profession are always persistent as companies are always in need of such people. Demand Planning jobs are expected to grow over a period of time and hence making a career in such stream can prove to be a good option.

Usually, the first step of is to forecast product demand. The Demand Planner will liable for updating and maintaining sales forecasts for assigned customers and/or product classes. Research and analyze customer fill rates through proactive means and find ways that will avoid future shortages without increasing inventory. Maintain ongoing communication with Sales, Product Management, Supply Planning, Warehouse, and other internal departments to ensure that the in-stock levels at customer accounts and meet customer expectations. The demand planner should actively work as an individual and should also be able to adjust in a team environment.

Basic Responsibilities of a demand planner:

  • Work closely with the Customers replenishment team to reduce channel inventory risks and develop plans to increase velocity of any identified as risks.
  • Analyze factors that impact demand for consumer products (i.e. category trends, promotions and events, competitive products, and seasonality).
  • Scrutinize customer's response to new products and use this to develop forecasts for new items.
  • Should be able to compare the financial budgets with forecasts, and should be able to determine the differences, identify and explain channel inventory and forecast risks
  • Evaluate buying patterns of key customers and predict how they will react to promotions and events.
  • In partnership with the Sales team, use promotion event post-audit data to analyze the effectiveness of promotions and advise.
  • Managing work with Sales, Regional Product Management and Supply Planning to identify opportunities for meeting the demand in the event of capacity constraints.
  • Understand and follow company rules and regulations, prepare reports as requested, perform all other duties as assigned or required.
  • Should develop statistical forecast and forward it to the team which is responsible for consensus forecasting.
  • Responsible to communicate with Supply planning when there is a vast difference between the order and forecast.
  • Should also lead or participate monthly consensus meeting or group briefing for areas of responsibility
  • Skills required being a demand planner:
  • The demand planner should be service and customer oriented
  • Should posses strong problem solving and analytical skills
  • Should possess great knowledge about computer and internet
  • Should be well versed with Microsoft Word, Power Point and other applications
  • Should possess effective communication skills
  • Should also possess great problem solving skills
  • Education and other requirements
The demand planner should have a minimum of Bachelors degree. Masters in the field of marketing, business management can prove to be of additional importance as it will help you to avail a good position and pay in a reputed company. A degree in Supply chain management or statistics can also be advantageous. Experience of one or two year in marketing management, campaign management etc can prove to be very advantageous. Experience as a demand planner preferably in retail or consumer product industry can be a plus. A fresher can start working under seniors where he/she can learn the aspects of demand planning and gain experience. Training is provided by the company itself and the training involves a briefing about the working of organization and it needs and requirements from the demand planner.

The consumer and retail industry is going to increase day by day with the increase in the needs and demand of the consumers. The consumer and retail industry are two such industries where the need of demand planner will always be there and it is expected that the job opportunities will increase over a period of time. Career prospects globally for such kind of job is also great, so making career as a demand planner is not a bad career option.

The salary of the demand planner varies from company to company and also because of the experience and skills of the person. A fresher can make up to forty thousand to fifty thousand dollar annually. A senior demand planner takes home around $80,000 to $90,000 annually. The salary is expected to increase over a period of time with the increase in experience. Intelligent Demand Planners are always in demand so there is no dearth of jobs for the right candidate.
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