Production Planner
Salaries from: £30,000 to £50,000

Production Planners in the Scotch Whisky industry are professionals that are responsible for scheduling daily or weekly production schedules for the usage of production materials and goods required for production and the planning of inventory strategies to ensure deadlines are met. This involves monitoring material supply flow, to ensure production deadlines are met, and identifying any shortages or bottlenecks in usage that may arise.

Role Description

As a Production Scheduler you will focus on meeting customer demand whilst optimising resources, minimising costs, and maintaining quality. The role requires high levels of communication skills as you work closely with production managers, logistics personnel, suppliers, and other stakeholders. You will determine material, equipment, and labour requirements, prepare status and performance reports, and resolve production issues.

Main duties and responsibilities

Ultimately responsible for improves a company's production and distribution processes and ensuring the smooth running of production and distribution of products your responsibilities include.

  1. The development and implementation of production plans and schedules based upon sales and customer demand, considering resource availability, capacity, and constraints.
  2. Monitoring production processes and adjusting plans as necessary to optimise efficiency, minimise downtime, reduce waste and to ensure that production deadlines are met and to ensure they will finish on time and within budget.
  3. Collaborating with production managers, quality control and with logistics to coordinate the procurement and delivery of materials, equipment, and supplies needed for production and the timely delivery of finished products to customers.
  4. Analyse production data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement and develop strategies to address issues or son opportunities. Troubleshoots problems that occur during production, including staff shortages and machinery malfunctions.
  5. Monitor compliance with quality standards, cost objectives and regulatory requirements, whilst developing strategies that ensure continuous improvement. Coordinating with regulatory bodies as required.
  6. Manage and maintain accurate production records, including production schedules, inventory levels, and quality assurance data.
  7. Supporting the development and implementation of new production processes and technologies and providing training and guidance to production personnel as needed.
  8. Coordinating production operations based upon material, labour, and equipment availability and estimating the amount of material, equipment, and labour required for production. Scheduling shifts accordingly.
  9. Evaluating purchase orders to create suitable production schedules. Liaising with customers, suppliers, human resources, and maintenance to ensure all workers, materials, and machinery will be available when required.
  10. Administering project paperwork, purchase orders and production records. Compiling status and performance reports for senior managers. Recommending solutions to reduce production costs as well as improve production processes and product quality.

Salary: The salary range for a Production Planner varies depending on the size of the company and location but typically ranges from £30,000 to £50,000 per year.

Skills and experience

A successful Production Planner will have excellent planning and problem-solving skills, knowledge of production processes and logistics, and the ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders across the organisation. The role requires a deep knowledge about material requirements planning and the ability to manage production deadlines.

You should also possess a combination of technical skills, industry knowledge, and interpersonal skills to effectively plan, manage, and coordinate production processes while ensuring compliance with quality standards, meeting customer demands, and optimising resources.

Typical skills and experience include:

  1. A minimum of 3 years proven experience in production planning, preferably in the food and beverage industry. With the ability to demonstrate a track record of successful production planning, scheduling, and inventory management.
  1. A good understanding of supply chain management concepts and principles, including procurement, logistics, and inventory management.
  2. Strong analytical, numerical, and problem-solving skills, with the ability to analyse production data, identify trends and opportunities for improvement, and develop strategies to address issues or capitalise on opportunities. Experienced in the use of production planning software and other relevant computer applications, such as Microsoft Excel and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
  3. Excellent communication, organisation, and interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate with production managers, logistics personnel, and other stakeholders across the organisation.
  4. A good understanding of quality control processes and standards, including ISO and HACCP, to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and maintain high-quality standards.
  5. Strong project management skills, including the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  6. Flexibility and the ability to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, adapting to changing production schedules, customer demands, and supply chain disruptions.
  7. A good working knowledge of the Scotch Whisky industry regulations and standards would be an advantage.

Qualifications Required

  1. Bachelor's degree in business, engineering, or related field.
  2. At least 3 years of experience in production planning, preferably in the food and beverage industry.
  3. Knowledge of production processes, logistics, and supply chain management.
  4. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  5. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  6. Proficient in the use of production planning software and other relevant computer applications.
  7. Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  8. Flexibility to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
  9. Knowledge of Scotch Whisky industry regulations and standards is desirable.
Did you know?
  1. Production planners in the whisky industry are responsible for ensuring that there is a constant supply of whisky to meet customer demand while minimising waste and maximising efficiency.
  2. They work closely with distillery managers, blenders, and other production staff to coordinate production schedules, raw material procurement, and quality control measures.
  3. Production planners must be knowledgeable about the different types of whisky produced in the UK and the specific requirements for each variety, including aging time, cask type, and blending techniques.
  4. They use advanced software and forecasting tools to predict future demand and adjust production schedules, ensuring that there is always enough whisky available to meet customer needs.
  5. Production planners also play a critical role in ensuring that the UK whisky industry adheres to strict environmental regulations and sustainability practices, such as reducing water usage and minimising waste.
  6. Many production planners in the UK whisky industry have extensive training in distilling, brewing, and chemistry, as well as business and management skills.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Production Planner in the Scotch Whisky industry, there are several resources that you can use to develop the necessary skills and knowledge for the role. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Pursuing a degree in business, engineering, supply chain management, or a related field can provide a strong foundation for a career in production planning. Consider researching universities or colleges that offer relevant courses or degree programs.
  2. Consider obtaining professional certifications in production planning, such as APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) or the Institute of Operations Management (IOM) Production Planning and Control qualification.
  3. Networking with professionals in the Scotch Whisky industry can help you gain insights into the industry and make connections that may lead to job opportunities. Consider attending industry events, joining professional associations, and connecting with industry professionals on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
  4. Consider seeking out internships or apprenticeships in the Scotch Whisky industry to gain practical experience and develop your skills. Many companies offer internship or apprenticeship programs that provide hands-on experience and can lead to full-time job opportunities.
  5. There are many online courses and resources available that can help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in production planning. Consider exploring online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning for relevant courses.
  6. Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments by reading industry publications like Whisky Magazine, The Spirits Business, or The Drinks Business.
Related Case Studies

The Scotch Whisky Association

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