Stock Planning Manager (Operations)

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom · Retail expand job description ↓


We created a category management structure in October 2018 to enable clear ownership and accountability for the P&L of those categories and capability within the team to source, range, price, sell and analysis performance to drive further growth and deliver a winning customer experience.

Alongside that we have created a new Retail Planning & Operations (RPO) function, working alongside the category teams. This function acts as the heartbeat across the business, joining together the product categories, finance, operations, understanding the relationships & trade-offs, having a balanced perspective.

In addition, a huge part of this team is responsible for driving our capability across the whole Retail division, across both short & long-term planning, trading, forecasting, assortment, pricing & stock management. We’re an ambitious bunch with serious focus on how we are continually delivering enhanced capability, with improved tools, technology, data, process & automation.

We are looking for a Stock Planning Manager to work within a small but focussed centralised stock management team of 4 within the RPO division, solely to focus on volume/operational planning, across all our product categories, that are serviced currently by 3 Fulfilment centres. This activity has always taken place as part responsibility within our other Stock Planning roles, but we’ve created a new role recognising the importance of this activity & the opportunities we believe we have to drive more value & benefit.

You may also have heard we are working on something pretty special in this space? We are moving to our new purpose-built fulfilment site, SkyGate in 2020, which will represent the latest cutting-edge technologies, giving us more opportunities to further improve the service to our customers, with this role playing a major part within the cross-functional project team.

You will take responsibility for the creation & management of the operating plan, working with the category teams across fashion, developing, home, and electrical, with the central category stock planning managers, and with the operations management team who are the key stakeholders.

As well as manging there here & now, as we’ve already mentioned you’ll play a key part in the execution and planning for the transition between our fulfilment sites, collaborating with stakeholders across the business.

In terms of some detail, additionally:

Create, manage and monitor the operating plan, translating the financial category plans into relevant Fulfilment centre volume plans

Develop longer-term plans, aligned to the 5 year plan from a volume perspective

Alignment & collaboration with other planning functions across the business (e.g. outbound parcel forecasts)

Develop understanding, reporting & insight around forecast accuracy; agree forecast tolerances & actions plans to address any forecast inaccuracy

Drive micro level understanding & cross-functional actions plans to address challenges e.g. slow-moving stock, fragmented stock, location fill, level of returns stock

Daily response & review of short-term forecasts across the sites (by day 6 week rolling)

Creation and management of inbound prioritisation process; ultimately automated against an agreed ruleset

Managing the inbound flow of stock, prioritisation process, pre-retail volume forecasting

Process review delivering any changes required as we transition from existing operations into new operations

Driving the thinking, planning & then execution of stock migration as we move Fulfilment centres in 2020

Collaborate, support and challenge to drive our capability across a range of stakeholders

Surfacing rich insight to support more detailed understanding, or supporting capability driving initiatives

Have the processes & disciplines in place to continually improve stock efficiency whilst delivering on availability, driven by data, process, thinking, automation

Drive the understanding of our stock health, defining the right KPI’s, metrics & the processes to manage & optimise

Definite best practice for ways of working, tools and technology


We know that our expectations are high, as are our ambitions as a business, but we can guarantee a really rewarding role for the right individual, so what are we looking for?

Highly numerate, with a strong focus on accuracy. There’s a lot of detailed planning & response work, so you’ll need to enjoy working the detail, as well as being able to ‘raise your gaze’ & look forward

A collaborative mindset & approach, essential as part of this role within RPO. Ability to connect across the organisation with multiple stakeholders

Passionate about both delivery in the immediate/short-term and constantly pushing forward capability, within both this team and across the Retail function

Credible & influential – often we must deliver through others and across multiple teams

A great communicator across a range of stakeholders, both internal and external

A high level of technical skills, Excel, PowerPoint, BI systems

A data and insight driven, analytical approach

Ideally a retail background, great track record, with skills gained from a Supply Chain Planning, Planning, Merchandising or Trading role.

Demonstrable experience of budget planning across a range of categories or lines

Energetic, driven, results focussed and passionate about constant improvement

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