What Does A Demand Planner Do?

A demand planner specializes in conducting research and analysis to develop forecast models that will help determine a supply chain's demands. They are also responsible for monitoring the inventory of products, maintaining knowledge and awareness on the latest trends, producing progress reports and presentations, establishing demand plans, and detecting any changes in the forecast, reporting them to management right away. Furthermore, as a demand planner, it is essential to coordinate with everyone in the team, all while adhering to the company's policies and standards.

Here are the duties and responsibilities that a Demand Planner is likely to perform in their role.

  • Lead store merchandising project to review promotional effectiveness, competitive pricing analysis & review of merchandising strategy.
  • Manage and prioritize order execution, inventory, and shipments base on customer specifications and parts availability using ERP/MRP applications.
  • Involve in rollout of Manugistics JDA forecasting system.
  • Provide ad hoc data to user community using Teradata SQL.
  • Cooperate with MRP planners to design better tools to improve to track production inventories.
  • Create inventory projection plans base on MRP and forecasts, and set up procedures to meet targets.
  • Monitor stock keeping unit (SKU) levels and recommend rationalization initiatives.
  • Analyze SKU rationalization strategies to determine validity and keeping SKU in assortment.
  • Help to coordinate logistics to deliver launch product and supporting marketing materials.
  • Generate statistical forecasts using historical data, seasonality, trends, and variability metrics.
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Demand Planner Traits
Analytical skills
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Math skills
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.
Critical-thinking skills
Critical-thinking skills shows that you're able to think through decisions clearly ending with a well-reasoned judgement.

Demand Planner Overview

When compared to other jobs, demand planner careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 5% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a demand planner by 2028 is 8,400.

Demand planners typically earn $86,399 annually, which breaks down to $41.54 an hour. However, demand planners can earn anywhere from upwards of $64,000 to $115,000 a year. This means that the top-earning demand planners make $51,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Let's say you're interested in learning about careers that are similar to demand planners just so you can understand the differences in skills, salaries and education. Well, you've come to the right place. We've compiled information regarding all of that for becoming a logistics associate, purchasing assistant, purchasing agent, and logistics specialist. The information on how these careers compare to a demand planner will come later.

Demand Planner Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Demand Planners are proficient in Supply Chain, Inventory Management, and Customer Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Math skills, and Critical-thinking skills.

We break down the percentage of Demand Planners that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Supply Chain, 12%

    Collaborated with Supply Chain on product availability timing, so were in alignment for successful promotional and new item volume execution.

  • Inventory Management, 7%

    Maximized overall inventory utilization and developed inventory management strategies.

  • Customer Service, 5%

    Developed fact based inventory model to determine proper inventory allocations and Oracle safety stock settings to achieve desired customer service levels.

  • OP, 5%

    Supported the initial project roll-out by facilitating the change management process within the sales and operations organizations through extensive field education.

  • Consensus, 5%

    Developed and executed consensus demand plan based on a statistical forecast model and sales input for the phosphorus derivative product business.

  • SKU, 4%

    Facilitated demand forecast and coordinated forecasting activities of assigned SKU's (approximately 800).

Supply chain, inventory management, and customer service aren't the only skills demand planners have. In fact, there's a whole list of personality traits that are commonly seen among them, including:

  • Another common skill for a demand planner to be able to utilize is customer service skills. Logisticians must know the needs of their customers in order to coordinate the movement of materials between suppliers and customers a demand planner demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "maximized inventory turn and fill rate, while minimizing service level failures in all channels at a sku level detail."
  • See the full list of demand planner skills.

    In order to accomplish your goal of becoming a demand planner, we've found that over half, 57.6% to be exact, of demand planners have a bachelor's degree. The good news is that it doesn't seem like more schooling than that is necessary with only 29.7% having master's degrees. While it's true that most demand planners have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine demand planners did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those demand planners who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a supply chain management degree. Less commonly earned degrees for demand planners include a marketing degree or a finance degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you're prepared to start applying to become a demand planner. We've found that typically demand planners are mostly employed at Randstad USA, Textron, and Wolverine World Wide. Of recent, Randstad USA had 5 positions open for demand planners. Meanwhile, there are 4 job openings at Textron and 3 at Wolverine World Wide.

    But if you want to earn the most bang for your buck, demand planners tend to earn the biggest salaries at Microsoft, Apple, and NetApp. Take Microsoft for example. The median demand planner salary is $115,808. At Apple, demand planners earn an average of $108,501, while the average at NetApp is $104,497. Now before you get too googly-eyed over those digits, take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies. While Microsoft has 0 job listings for demand planners, Apple and NetApp only have 2 and 0 job listings respectively.

    View more details on demand planner salaries across the United States.

    The most prestigious demand planners can be found working at Boeing, Unilever, and PepsiCo. We determine this by assessing the schools where demand planners have earned their degrees, and then looking at the companies that have hired a significant number of demand planners from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States.

    For the most part, demand planners make their living in the manufacturing and health care industries. Demand planners tend to make the most in the technology industry with an average salary of $109,938, while they generally only make $92,265 and $84,435 in the health care and retail industries respectively. Additionally, demand planners who work in the technology industry make 0.0% more than demand planners in the telecommunication Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious demand planners are:

      What Logistics Associates Do

      As a logistics associate, they assist with the timely distribution, storage, delivery, and inspection of products, both for incoming and outgoing. Logistics associates are needed to manage and maintain the inventory of products and materials. They process incoming and outgoing shipments, inspecting incoming shipments, entering and updating to the digital database for easier tracking. The job of logistics associates can vary based on the types of materials they handle and the environment where they work. They work independently and primarily report to a warehouse or retail manager.

      First up to compare is the job of a logistics associate. Let's start with salary. Generally speaking, logistics associates receive $52,011 lower pay than demand planners per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between demand planners and logistics associates are their skills. In both careers, employees bring forth skills such as inventory management, customer service, and erp.

      The overlapping skill sets may be the only thing these two roles have in common, as there are some key differences. For example, a demand planner is more likely to have skills in supply chain, op, consensus, and sku. Meanwhile a typical logistics associate has skills in areas such as company policies, inventory counts, external customers, and physical inventory. This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Logistics associates tend to make the most money in the health care industry by averaging a salary of $41,326. In contrast, demand planners make the biggest average salary of $109,938 in the technology industry. That's quite a difference.

      On average, logistics associates reach lower levels of education than demand planners. In fact, logistics associates are 24.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Purchasing Assistant?

      A purchasing assistant is responsible for obtaining raw materials and goods for a business or company. They primarily function to assist purchasing managers or supervisors by keeping records, maintaining inventory, reviewing purchase orders, and monitoring shipments and deliveries. Furthermore, a purchasing assistant may perform administrative support tasks ranging from arranging appointments and managing schedules, answering calls and inquiries, reaching out to vendors and suppliers, producing reports, and coordinating with various departments to ensure the smooth flow of products within the company.

      Next up to compare are purchasing assistants, which typically earn a lower pay of roughly $52,310 lower than demand planners per year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's the skills they need. Both demand planners and purchasing assistants are known to have skills such as inventory management, customer service, and erp.

      While some skills are similar, others aren't. For example, a demand planner requires skills like supply chain, op, consensus, and sku. But your average purchasing assistant will need skills, such as, vendor invoices, office supplies, data entry, and accounts payables. This is where the differences really kick in.

      While we already know that purchasing assistants earn lower, we took a step further to see what industry these workers typically make the most. Interestingly, purchasing assistants earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $35,667. Whereas, demand planners have higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $109,938.

      So you need to know how much education you're going to need. As it turns out purchasing assistants study at lower levels of education than demand planners. They're 22.2% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Purchasing Agent Compares

      A purchasing agent's general task is keeping purchase records and making sure that there won't be any discrepancies with the handling of orders. The purchasing agent should be responsible for the order processing and payment collection. Purchasing agents should also be proficient in interpreting and evaluating data, researching on best marketing sources and alternatives, issuing required documentation for suppliers, as well as managing customer queries as needed. Being a purchasing agent requires critical-thinking skills in assessing concerns and providing solutions should there be any possible negotiation conflicts.

      Let's now take a look at how purchasing agents compare. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower dough than demand planners with a lower pay of $37,196 per year.

      Both demand planners and purchasing agents utilize similar skills, such as inventory management, customer service, and erp, but beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For starters, demand planners are more likely to have skills like supply chain, op, consensus, and sku. But a purchasing agent will probably be skilled in vendor invoices, office supplies, procedures, and spare parts. This shows just how different these careers can be.

      Purchasing agents make a very good living in the technology industry, where they make the highest salary of roughly $51,207. Whereas demand planners are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $109,938.

      Is less better than more? Maybe in some cases, but when you're talking about purchasing agents they typically study at lower levels than demand planners. In fact, they're 20.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Logistics Specialist

      A logistics specialist is a member of the workforce that handles the logistics procedures in a warehouse or similar establishment. A logistics specialist primarily functions in processing orders, preparing goods, receiving shipments, and even shipping deliveries, ensuring that all transactions are within the allotted schedule. Furthermore, they are in charge of overseeing that all shipments are aligned with the expected quality and quantity, maintaining an accurate record of inventory, producing reports, and coordinating with other members of the team. All while adhering to the policies and standards of the company.

      Last, but not least, are the logistics specialists who typically earn lower pay than demand planners, with a difference of $42,246 per year.

      Both professions of demand planners and logistics specialists use skills such as inventory management, customer service, and erp within their day-to-day roles.

      This is where the similarities find their end though. Each job requires different skills like supply chain, op, consensus, and sku, which can be used by a demand planner. Then on the other side of things, logistics specialist uses skills like procedures, communication, clearance, and timely delivery. Based on these skills, you can truly appreciate the difference between the two careers.

      Logistics specialists tend to earn a higher salary in the retail industry with an average of $51,778.

      When it comes to education, these two careers couldn't be more different. For example, logistics specialists typically reach lower levels of education than demand planners. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 23.3% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by a whopping 0.0%.