Supply Chain Excellence – Supply Planner

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Excellence Series profiles roles within the Supply Chain job family including jobs in demand, salaries, and employment prospects.

In this article, the role of Supply Planner is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the Role

Supply Planners play a crucial role in ensuring that a company’s products or services are available to customers in a timely and efficient manner, while also minimizing costs and mitigating risk. The Supply Planner is responsible for taking the demand forecast from the Demand Planner, reviewing it, and then working with suppliers that the procurement team have established to create the supply plan to enable accurate and timely purchasing. 

The Supply Planner is a key liaison between the company and its suppliers. By working closely with suppliers, the Supply Planner can anticipate purchasing requirements and help suppliers prepare their supply chain to supply their products on time. This benefits the company by achieving high levels of serviceability to customers’ demands and higher levels of DIFOT (Delivered In Full, On Time). 

In a larger organisation, the Supply Planner’s responsibilities are more defined.  

Typically, the Supply Planner works with established suppliers to make purchasing plans. Smaller companies may incorporate additional responsibilities within a Supply Planner’s role, such as basic forecasting, purchase order raising and tracking and tracing the movement of goods. Some medium-sized businesses may integrate the role of Demand Planner and Supply Planner.  


Gain work experience within a supply chain: starting from an entry-level role and working your way up. Do your best to get experience in working with suppliers even if it is from transactional purchase order raising. Find opportunities where you can develop your technical skills. Supply Planners must be proficient in using software and tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, inventory management systems and Excel. Hone in on analytical skills. 

Those already working often opt to study and upskill themselves through NZPICS, an organisation who pride themselves on learning and development opportunities that bring out the best in supply chain professionals in New Zealand. 

Gaining a qualification demonstrates a commitment to higher learning that is acknowledged by many employers and will give candidates an additional edge as they have more knowledge and an academic understanding of the supply chain. 

Key Skills Required

To be a successful Supply Planner, you need to be solutions-orientated, quick to troubleshoot and a good team player as there are many stakeholders to liaise with around the movements of goods. 

Career Prospects

Supply Planners typically come from a background in Purchasing or Supply Chain Coordinator roles. Future career opportunities after working as a Supply Planner can lead to roles such as a Demand Planner, which could then lead to Planning Manager roles, Sales and Operations Planning roles (S&OP), Integrated Business Planning roles (IBP), or a different route could be in Procurement where you would be doing strategic sourcing and supplier relationship management. 

Salary guide 

This information is anecdotal and based on roles Hunter Campbell is currently recruiting or has previously recruited and relate to base salaries. They do not include any additional bonuses or benefits. 

Junior: $85,000 – $90,000 

Intermediate: $90,000 – $100,000 

Advanced: $100,000 – $120,000 

Salaries of Supply Planners vary depending on the level of experience and the responsibilities within a role. A Supply Planner who is moving from the likes of a purchasing office role could expect up to $85,000. A Supply Planner with experience seeking a step up and more ownership of the supply planning function or category could expect a salary from $90,000 – $100,000. Supply Planners with direct reports and wider responsibilities that go beyond creating purchasing plans with suppliers can expect between $100,000 – $120,000. 

These salaries will vary depending on the industry, company size and levels of responsibility.

If you would like to find out more about the role of Supply Planner, please contact Senior Consultant Kat Biggelaar. Kat specialises in Supply Chain, Planning and Contracting. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

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