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Demand Planning Manager


Chicago, IL, US, 60606

Job Type:  Supply Chain

Aspire Bakeries is a North American baking company with a leadership position in specialty frozen baked goods. Formed from leading bakery companies, its innovative food portfolio includes breads, artisan breads, buns, cookies, donuts, muffins and pastries from beloved brands like La Brea Bakery®, Otis Spunkmeyer®, and Oakrun Farm Bakery®. With 15 bakeries in North America, we are committed to driving innovation, predicting upcoming consumer trends and flavors, and exceeding our customers’ expectations. Aspire Bakeries champions the values of Integrity, Ownership, Customer Focus, Creativity and Care to help us deliver on People Safety, Food Safety, Quality and Collaboration.

The Demand Planner will be charged with developing a shipment demand plan utilizing consumption input, sales input, statistical models, historical sales data, trade inventory assumptions and channel inputs. Objective is to deliver the most accurate unbiased, unconstrained Demand Plan based on all cross functional inputs. 

Collaborates with Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance in resolving any discrepancies in volume/revenue assumptions vs. the operational demand plan. Analyzes assumptions received from commercial teams and other supply chain peers to determine its relevance and value to the total Category Demand Plan.



  • Develop demand forecasts (operational forecasts) at multiple levels of aggregation for multiple time horizons as part of a demand planning function
  • Use and maintain current demand planning systems to create the best statistical baseline possible using established processes
  • Collect past/future demand inputs (distribution gains/losses, price changes, new/discontinued products, promotion plans, etc.) from Sales and Marketing and forecast/model their impacts on demand
  • Work closely with Sales to ensure that key Customer  Plans are incorporated into the Demand Plan
  • Coordinate cross-functional research activities to reconcile significant variances and refine the forecast model to reflect updated Sales and Marketing assumptions
  • Provide input to the Supply Planning organization in developing inventory strategies on existing items, new products, and product phase-outs
  • Closely coordinate and communicate customer plans with Supply Planning
  • Collaborate on abnormal and unconsumed demand ensuring short term changes to the Demand Plan are agreed to and executed
  • Perform both product and customer segmentation analysis to determine appropriate focus areas
  • Utilize continuous improvement tools to focus on root cause along with analytical reporting and tools to identify areas of opportunity and process improvement
  • Review forecast metrics, understand root cause when variability exceeds the norm and determine best methods to improve forecast accuracy
  • Understand the impact of in-sourcing and out-sourcing of products and its impact on the demand cycle.  
  • Continuously improving forecasting techniques, method, and approach
  • Evolving and maintaining documentation and standard operating procedures for demand planning processes and systems
  • Make recommended adjustments to forecast based on changes in demand and market trends
  • Monitor SKU level sales and recommend SKU rationalization initiatives in the future
  • Prepare, report, and communicate forecast measurements to management (forecast accuracy, stability, etc.)



Competencies & Qualitifications:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.



  • Knowledge of Customer and Consumer behavior and how these behaviors impact the Demand Plan
  • Knowledge of the methodologies of Statistical Forecasting and how this forms the basis of a demand signal
  • Knowledge of how to develop an assumptions based Demand Plan and the various inputs that are used
  • Able to navigate the organization across functions in order to influence members of other departments
  • Abe to demonstrate a drive for results within demand planning and understand how this links with the organizational goals
  • Able to effectively communicate at various levels of the organization



  • Bachelor Degree - preferably in supply chain, operations, engineering or related discipline.
  • 3+ years of experience in Demand or related field required
  • SAP, BI, JDA, SAP IBP experience a plus
  • Strong analytical experience in MS Office, Business Intelligence, Access, etc.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Certification – APICS, IBP, IBF, LEAN 6 SIGMA a significant plus
  • Extensive spreadsheet analysis and strong mathematical abilities. Strong analytical skills and the ability to interpret large amounts of data is required


Note: This Position Description indicates the critical features of the role as they are presently envisioned.  They are subject to change at any time due to business conditions or other reasons.  The incumbent may be asked to perform other duties as required.


Aspire Bakeries is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.