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Forecast Analyst Lead - job post

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Iets voor jou?
Are you passionate about driving transformative change within a dynamic team, using your digital skills? Are you motivated to be part of a human-centric digital planning transformation at Mars’ Center of Excellence? If so, seize the opportunity to lead as a Forecast Analyst Lead. In this role, you’ll leading the forecasting analyst team and play a vital part in bridging the gap between statistics and standard business way of working. Read on to learn more about how to join in revolutionizing the future of supply chain operations at Mars in Veghel.

Wat ga je doen?
In this team the Forecasting Analyst Lead will manage the forecasting analyst team for the European sourcing circles (30+ countries and 15 factories). The team will be responsible for creating and maintaining the statistical driven forecast for the full portfolio, for the full horizon for all countries. The final forecast will be created in close alignment between this team and the demand planners in the different countries.

The teams goal is it to create a forecast that is trusted and used as a common starting point by the full business. In the end state 60-80% of the numbers that the forecasting team generates are not amended anymore as the business is convinced that they are about right. To achieve this the forecasting team will:
  • Collect all relevant and available datapoints;
  • Clean the data themselves or create a feedback loop with user to clean it;
  • Create a statistical forecast choosing the best fitting model per product;
  • Manual enhance the forecast to reflect factors that cannot be incorporated in the model;
  • Ensure the numbers recorded reflect the activities in a way the forecasting tools can interpret them;
  • Be involved in the discussion with the markets for continuous improvement of the models and the way how to explain/ apply it;
  • Train the end users of the forecast how to interact with the model and hence understand and trust the outcome.

Key to the role as Forecasting Analyst Lead is to ensure that the statistical forecast is communicated and explained to the markets / planning team in a non-technical way to ensure the forecast is accepted and not overwritten. This requires the ability to listen to market feedback, evaluate statistical findings / improvements, provide business insights on different level a aggregation and clearly communicate to stakeholders in their language. Furthermore:
  • Understand key stakeholders that are using the forecast and define valuable products to them. The list of stakeholders is quite wide e.g. market collaboration lead, network planner, sales and finance;
  • Manage the forecast analyst team who will own the statistical forecast using demand sensing activities and work closely with the markets to add structural manual amendments;
  • In collaboration with insight analyst, operational excellence lead and data excellence steward run continuous improvement to identify and prioritise key data items, make them accessible, clean them and create the process and way of working to ensure enduring high data quality;
  • Ensures statistical forecasts are created for the whole of the portfolio considering demand drivers at the agreed level of hierarchy;
  • Ensuring forecast outputs are coherent and communicated to markets in a business language;
  • Create feedback mechanisms form the markets to drive process and statistical improvement;
  • Evaluate improvement opportunities / new capabilities from software providers;
  • Ensures monitoring and reporting on specific KPIs (e.g., forecast accuracy, forecast BIAS, MAPE, forecast value add) at multiple levels and lags and provide insights on contributing factors and improvement opportunities.

Wat we graag in je zien.
As this is a complete new way of planning in Mars that is now live for just over 12month this approach will to evolve over time. The forecast analyst lead will need to amend his leadership and stakeholder management style to this. Especially in the beginning it will be crucial to be able to bridge the gap between statistics and standard business way of working and later drive the technical development of the tools to support the most effective business discussion.

You also possesses:
  • B.S. or BA in computer science, data science, machine learning, mathematics, statistics or related natural science or technical degree. Master or advanced degree (sciences or business) preferred;
  • 5+ years of experience in planning or forecasting or statistical modelling in industrial or CPG/FMCG company;
  • 2-3 years of experience in a people leader or team leader capacity;
  • Experience with statistical forecasting tools such as R, Python or SAAS;
  • Experience with demand sensing and machine learning algorithms;
  • Experience with ERP and Advanced Planning Systems (preferably E2Open or RapidResponse);
  • Understanding of demand drivers, building blocks, outliers and demand shaping characteristics within CPG (preferrable but not essential);
  • Understanding of Lean / Six Sigma / root cause analysis, e.g., 5 why’s;
  • Ability to present complex analysis in understandable forms to business stakeholders;
  • Experience with digital transformations in companies;
  • Attention to detail and a passion for data accuracy;
  • Ability to listen to others and link to others’ ideas;
  • Fluent in English.

Waarom zou je reageren?
For over 100 years, Mars has proudly been a family-owned company. They not only invest in the long-term future of the business, but also in their people and the planet. With this mindset, they contribute to improving the well-being of families worldwide. Working at Mars also means working with excellent terms of employment. They offer you:
An excellent salary; in case you want more information about this salary, you can contact me by phone or email;
  • 31 vacation days and 8% vacation money;
  • Bonus scheme based on performance;
  • A good pension plan;
  • The option to work hybridly;
  • Travel allowance;
  • Opportunities for personal development, including the in-house Mars University;
  • Working for an international and purpose driven company.

Waar kom je te werken?
Mars is a multinational that produces a wide range of consumer goods, including confectionery, pet food, and other food-related products. The company operates in over 80 countries and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, USA.

In Veghel, Mars has a large production facility for their brands such as Mars, Snickers, and Twix, as well as for their pet food division with brands like Pedigree and Whiskas. The facility is one of the larger factories in Europe and employs several hundred people. The company is committed to sustainability and has implemented various initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. At the office in Veghel, you will work with international colleagues and business partners. Your team consists of three direct colleagues and a manager. The overall work atmosphere is perceived as open en informal.

Hoe nu verder?
Does your tomorrow start at Mars Center of Excellence? Apply directly using the button below or via my contact details next to the job description. If you have any questions about the position or the organization, feel free to contact me by phone or send me an email.
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