Supply Chain Excellence – Demand 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 Demand Planner is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the Role

Demand Planners play an essential role in the Supply Chain of a company. They use the analytical, marketing, and sales data of a company to effectively and accurately forecast future product demands. Effective performance can have a significant impact on the bottom line and overall performance levels of effective Supply Chain management and customer delivery. 

Key Skills Required

Analytical capability and data modelling – the ability to work with large datasets and develop diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics models is a critical prerequisite. At a minimum, a Demand Planner must have a clear understanding of the analytics ecosystem and a foundational understanding of statistics and probability. 

Business acumen – it goes without saying that the ability to understand the commercial and operational dynamics of the business remain crucial to success. Beyond the data crunch, understanding the “why” and the business impact of commercial forecast drivers is a pivotal skill. 

Relationship management and ability to influence – as the unbiased arbiter, the Demand Planner should have the ability to influence decisions and translate business impact to stakeholders across different organisational functions well beyond the Supply Chain. 

Career Prospects

Demand Planners operate at the intersection of the sales team, business leaders, and other key stakeholders across areas such as NPD (New Product Development), Finance and Manufacturing. For this reason, Demand Planners work in a high visibility role and hold relationships in key elements of the company. If an individual proves capable as a collaborator and influencer among key stakeholders and business leaders, then they will likely be sought after for management roles in S&OP, Integrated Business Planning (IBP), Senior Planning or broader Supply Chain management roles. 

Recruitment Forecast

As Supply Chain evolution increases in complexity, businesses continue to see the skill gap widen as Demand Planner positions become harder to fill. In recent times we have seen an increased demand for specialists who offer sound decision-making, are able to mitigate risk, are able to improve performance and use big sets of data to accurately forecast and plan current and future demand. 

Companies are increasingly turning to new technology and analytics software in order to maintain efficient demand planning processes needed to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. 

Salary guide

Intermediate: $90,000 – $105,000 

Advanced: $105,000 – $120,000 

Leadership: $120,000 – $130,000 

An experienced, accomplished Demand Planner capable of operating autonomously and who is able to influence and effectively manage accurate planning and forecasting can expect a salary in the region of $90,000 – $105,000. Those individuals who take on increased responsibility in S&OP/IBP, optimisation, wider commercial and operational decision-making, or across more complex Supply Chains, command a salary in the region of $105,000 – $120,000. Management and leadership roles attract a salary upwards of $120,000. 

Salaries for leadership roles vary considerably depending on the size of the team, scope of the role, number of SKU’s as well as the complexity of the Supply Chain, focus (i.e. more operational or more tactical/strategic or focused on optimisation).

If you would like to find out more about the role of Demand 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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