Supply and Demand Planner

If you pursue a career as a Supply and Demand Planner, in the Scotch Whisky industry, you will play an essential role in the supply chain of a company. You will ensure that production and inventory levels are optimised to meet customer demand whilst minimising costs and reducing wastage.

Role Description

A Supply & Demand Planning role requires strong analytical and critical thinking skills, monitoring and evaluating sales and marketing data to effectively estimate future product demands. Duties include planning inventory flow, analysing statistical data, and generating forecasting solutions.

Key Responsibilities:

As a Supply Demand Planner, you will work closely with production and distribution teams, supply planning analysts, demand planning, customer operations, warehousing and sales and marketing teams.

Decisions you take have the potential to impact the entire organisation, and errors may cause significant delays, inefficiencies, and expense. You’ll need to be a proactive, independent thinker with deep analytical skills, confident managing large sets of information, and have the resolve and creativity to find solutions to problems that may never have been tackled before.

Major Responsibilities / Accountabilities

  • Develop and maintain an accurate rolling 12-month supply and demand forecast by analysing historical sales data and market trends, considering external factors that have the potential to cause disruptions, such as seasonal changes, promotional activities, economic conditions, product changes, raw material and packaging updates, and regulatory requirements.
  • Analyse supply chain performance data to identify opportunities for improvement and cost savings. Work with other teams to implement process improvements that increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve the quality of the company's products.
  • Track inventory levels across the company's supply chain to ensure that there is enough stock to meet customer demand while minimizing waste and reducing costs. Working with procurement to ensure any significant disruptions in sub-contract product supply that can affect customer fulfilment are minimised through effective stock management and risk mitigation.
  • Coordinate regulatory requirement updates including proper label and shipping approvals, providing policy and procedure changes to production, warehousing and distribution personnel.
  • Measure, analyse, and report key process metrics and monitor adherence to key performance indicators. Monitor and report on important changes in sales forecasts, budgets, and business strategies. Propose and implement solutions to improve demand forecast accuracy.
  • Review and analyse sales history and existing orders to identify root causes behind current demand, and to provide directional guidance to the business.
  • Support management and the S&OP process, with risk assessments and mitigation activities.
  • Work closely with other departments within the organisation, such as production, sales, and marketing, to ensure that production plans are aligned with demand forecasts. Identify, communicate, and seek resolution to any issues that could impact the supply chain.
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations, such as excise duty and environmental regulations. Ensuring that the company's supply chain partners, such as suppliers and distributors, also comply.

Skills and experience

To succeed in this role, you should be professional, highly analytical, and possess excellent communication skills. The successful candidate should also have an in-depth knowledge of advanced mathematical and forecasting policies.

  • Previous experience in a Supply Chain role with an understanding of planning, forecasting, procurement, and their financial and operational impacts.
  • Exceptional analytical, data management and problem-solving skills, highly proficient in using Microsoft Excel with the ability to analyse and manipulate large amounts of data quickly to establish data-driven decisions.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal & influencing skills with ability to constructively challenge & build great relationships.
  • Proficiency in inventory management systems, such as SAP or Oracle.
  • Knowledge of regulations related to the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages.
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously.
  • A proactive and results-driven approach to work.
  • A passion for the Scotch Whisky industry and a desire to learn and grow within the field.
  • Ability to multitask, priorities and consistently achieve tight deadlines.
  • Proven ability to work cross-functionally and drive change.
  • Ability to work independently and remotely in a fast-paced environment.

Qualifications Required

  1. A bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business, or a related field.
  2. A minimum of three years’ experience within supply chain – specifically in a supply demand planning or a very closely related discipline.
  3. Understanding of Inventory management practice and procedures
  4. Demand Planning and S&OP experience
  5. Good understanding of commercial and manufacturing operations.
  6. Strong Office 365 skills including expert knowledge of Excel.
  7. Working knowledge of ERP and statistical forecasting tools
  8. Solid understanding of inventory management practices and procedures.
  9. Strong mathematical and statistical knowledge.
  10. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Did you know?
  1. The UK Scotch Whisky industry is a significant contributor to the country's economy, with exports worth over £4 billion in 2020.
  2. The role of a Supply and Demand Planner is critical to the industry's success, as it ensures that production and inventory levels are optimized to meet customer demand while minimising costs and reducing wastage.
  3. The demand for Scotch Whisky can vary widely, depending on factors such as the time of year, global economic conditions, and consumer preferences. A skilled Supply and Demand Planner must be able to analyse these factors and make accurate demand forecasts.
  4. The industry has a rich history, with some of the oldest and most respected whisky distilleries in the world located in Scotland. A Supply and Demand Planner working in this industry would have the opportunity to work with some of these iconic brands and contribute to their continued success.
  5. The role of a Supply and Demand Planner in the Scotch Whisky industry is not just about numbers and data. It requires a deep understanding of the industry, its history, and the unique characteristics of Scotch Whisky, such as its flavour profile, maturation process, and regulations governing its production.
  6. The job of a Supply and Demand Planner in the Scotch Whisky industry is challenging and dynamic, requiring a mix of analytical, strategic, and interpersonal skills. It is an exciting and rewarding career choice for those who are passionate about the industry and enjoy working in a fast-paced and constantly evolving environment.

If you're interested in starting a career as a Supply and Demand Planner in the Scotch Whisky industry, here are some resources that can help you get started:

  1. A bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business, or a related field is typically required for this role. Look for universities or colleges that offer relevant courses or degrees, such as the University of Warwick's MSc in Supply Chain and Logistics Management or the University of Leeds' BA in Business Management and Supply Chain Management.
  2. Joining a professional association, such as the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) or the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM), can provide access to industry news, networking opportunities, and professional development resources.
  3. Look for internships or apprenticeships in the Scotch Whisky industry or related industries. This will give you practical experience and help you develop your skills and knowledge.
  4. There are many job search websites that can help you find job opportunities in the UK Scotch Whisky industry. Some popular job search websites include LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster.
  5. Attending industry events and conferences can help you learn about the latest trends and developments in the Scotch Whisky industry and make connections with industry professionals. Some popular events include the World Whiskies Conference and the International Whisky Competition.
  6. Consider taking online courses or earning certifications in supply chain management, such as the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) or the International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Certified Logistics Professional (CLP) certification.
  7. Reading industry publications, such as Whisky Magazine or The Spirits Business, can help you stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments in the Scotch Whisky industry.
Related Case Studies

The Scotch Whisky Association

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