Head of Planning

Innovative Service Group
to£65,000 plus package.

This is an outstanding opportunity to join and become an instrumental part of the future one of the country’s most innovative business and consumer services groups.

Almost 20 years after inception, they continue to lead their unique B2B/B2C/B2R market place, delivering an unparalleled and invaluable service whilst working with their clients on a path of continuous improvement.

Even in these unprecedented times, not only has their business activity continued as normal, they have utilised an already present technological infrastructure to enable every member of staff to work as normal and the business’s security to be ensured.

Differentiating themselves by remaining totally independent and providing bespoke solutions through numerous highly qualified and focussed teams to provide swift solutions and resolutions, whilst creating maximum value for their client & consumer basesunderpinned by highly principled humility and passion for what they do.

Replicating that human-focus internally, they have created an upbeat, friendly, innovative, and fast-paced environment with, crucially, market-leading opportunity for advancement. But they seek to continue the development of that culture and environment for the personal and professional benefit of all employees.

This is an energised and innovative culture, which every employee works diligently to foster and continually improve. They are an opportunistic growth company that seeks to deliver long-term prosperity to all employees. Career opportunities are as unlimited as any employees’ aspirations and hunger.

Their innovative service has won them huge recognition and an enviable client list within highly regulated environments as well as huge respect amongst the consumer base but all with an underlying reputation for objectivity.  Two decades of achievements and award wins set this ground-breaking business apart from their competitors, and with continued demand for their services and increased capability in their product and service portfolio, their future is as impressive as their history.

A critical element to continuing and increasing the growth and success, is the recruitment of a highly strategic Head of Planning; a motivated and experienced forecast/resource planning/analytical leader, bringing together astute strategic planning with class-leading external and internal engagement, along with team leadership qualities all within a truly ‘people-centric’ attitude to secure a bright and profitable future for the organisation as a whole, as well as themselves.

This appointee will take an influential role in strategic design and understanding of the operations team, as well as inputting and providing strategic insight to the wider business, and beyond. They will be supported by and work closely with a highly capable Director of Operations, as well as the broader Senior Leadership Team.

They will be responsible for and take an active part in all aspects of strategic planning, forecasting, data collation and analysis, workforce management systems as well as key performance metrics as would be expected for a business of this nature. They will also be a key voice with internal and external communication, liaising across the business and into the B2B clients base.

Leading the niche team of Resource Planning Analysts, via a department manager, they will be responsible for providing key strategic commentary as well as raw data to the Senior Leadership Team as the business continues on a continuous improvement journey.

Working with other members of the leadership team, the appointee will set the culture within their team, and across the business as a whole. They will be motivated to lead, train, coach and develop staff to raise capability, creativity, performance and confidence across the team, and the business.

As Head of Planning, you will be expected to set the tone of engagement, working practices, disciplines and routines, to lead by example, share your experience, approach and learnings and to help guide team members when they approach you for advice and support. Each team member has a learning and development plan, which you will be expected to set, review, monitor and implement. You will be instrumental in setting & driving the motivation and inspiration for the team.

The modern office environment, hot desk policy, canteen and break out areas are conducive to getting to know colleagues across departments, with opportunities to get involved in social, wellbeing, learning and personal development activities. In any given quarter there will be digital learning modules to complete, enabling you to take ownership of your own career and learning development as well as, crucially, leading that of your team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with the senior leadership team to shape the future structure of the planning function
  • Support the business through an ambitious and rapid operational model redesign
  • Lead a system review and make recommendations to the senior leadership team to support customer ease, efficiency and business growth
  • Strategically lead and develop the planning function in delivery of relevant, timely and robust planning provision
  • Support the business to achieve its key strategic objectives through a robust and efficient planning provision
  • Adopt a strategic vision across the organisation, focusing on the achievement of business outcomes
  • Adopt a business-partner approach in supporting key stakeholders across the business
  • Work collaboratively with key stakeholders to optimise performance and efficiency in order to achieve internal and external KPI performance
  • Strategically challenge the status quo where appropriate
  • Work as a strategic partner to the executive team, providing sound advice and recommendations regarding long term planning solutions and identifying opportunities and threats for the business to consider
  • Partner with Operations Managers / Heads of, to advise and support planning initiatives regarding medium-term opportunities, threats and issues
  • Support team managers/operational staff in realisation of short-term planning objectives
  • Ensure operational performance objectives are being achieved, whilst tactfully challenging underperformance or lack of adherence where appropriate
  • Adopt a commercial approach to planning, demonstrating a thorough financial understanding and ability to link operational performance back to P&L impact
  • Build and leverage a network of contacts that enable prompt visibility of future projects and ensure greater accuracy of forecasts.
  • Develop and manage reliable forecasting tools and processes that deliver high accuracy at monthly, weekly, daily and intraday level.
  • Apply thorough analytical skills, actively developing relevant planning models and completing advanced MS Excel analysis as appropriate
  • Foster a culture of knowledge sharing and best practice amongst the planning team, peers and stakeholders.
  • Models and reinforces the Company Values and behaviours.

Candidate profile and chemistry fit is critical for this pivotal role. Working within a fast-paced, innovative, entrepreneurial environment, attitude is as important as experience. The person is everything. The Head of Planning will be instrumental in adding to the tone, energy and culture for the business.….and in turn design its success. The gravity of success is all about having the right attitude, underpinned with demonstrable experience.

Suitable candidates will already be high achieving, experienced Resource Planning leaders with a track record of personal success AND success in leading teams. They will possess a strong ethos in supreme insight, data collation and understanding, the ability to interpret and succinctly relay the analytical output/findings, as well as a background in creating and managing a culture of success.

Team Leadership Qualifications

The appointee should be people, results and delivery oriented; hands-on and possess the ability to create a sense of mission and attentiveness to current and future requirements and challenges.

They should embrace, and be able to demonstrate the organisation’s Core Values:

  • Courage
  • Balance
  • Empathy
  • Openness

Specifics include

  • Leadership experience in a senior customer focused / B2B customer engagement role
  • Demonstrable people focused approach to your leadership
  • Strong commercial analytical and resource planning exposure with commitment to delivery and customer satisfaction
  • Commercial mind-set, comfort with ambiguity and love of change and opportunity. Strong ability to manage risk and balance opportunity
  • Have experience of working with and optimising workforce planning systems and processes, to grow and maintain intellectual property of the business
  • Strong communication, listening and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to effectively lead, motivate and inspire teams
  • Understand the complexities of such an organisation & its customer

Essential Experience and Technical Qualifications

  • Strategic planning experience at Head of Planning level or equivalent- Post holder must have a minimum of 3 years’ experience at strategic level
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse large quantities of data to extract business critical intelligence
  • Must have a clear understanding of forecasting methodologies including application of regression analysis and time series modelling.
  • Excellent understanding of all activities within the operation and assist in formulating policy as appropriate.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of leading teams through change
  • Experienced in procuring and successfully implementing a WFM system into an Operation to deliver business objectives
  • Planning & scheduling across multi-site operations

Desirable Experience

  • Experienced in multiple WFM systems including Injixo
  • VBA for Access & Excel
  • SQL Reporting
  • Experience of using relational databases, preferably using Access & SQL Server

Competencies and Behaviours 

  • Leadership Success Factors (Strategic thinking, learning agility, aspiration, resilience, EQ)
  • Translates Strategic Direction into impactful realistic operating plans and models – Develops deep and broad understanding of business and market and leverages to define compelling plans for future
  • Builds Organisational Alignment – aligns and mobilises resources to deliver results/is organisationally savvy and leverages enterprise relationships and capabilities to deliver on transformation
  • Influences with Impact
  • Broad Business and financial acumen
  • Manages operational initiatives and delivers error free quality processes
  • Manage through change and demonstrates sound judgment with speed
  • Optimises the Balance between Risk and Reward – Explicitly and visibly manages risk and reward tradeoffs. Delivers on best outcomes for consumers and businesses, clients and stakeholders protecting business reputation
  • Applies Critical Thinking
  • Applies Operational and Planning Expertise
  • Contracts with Leaders/Business Partners and builds partnerships to achieve swift adoption
  • Models and Reinforces our Company Values

The appointee will constantly strive for excellence and demonstrate personal drive and resilience, with a mature and experienced approach to both growth, and set-backs. They will be obviously self-motivated & able to work on own initiative whilst putting team and company needs before own and possess the ability to think flexibly and laterally.

They will be a model team player, as both leader and member, working with, and where necessary, challenging the others for the common good and future performance of the group. Crucially, they will have flexibility and a capacity to adapt to the changing demands of the job.

The successful candidate will have entrepreneurial ability and desire, and be hugely excited by a very high paced environment, thick with USPs – their operational leadership strength will be underpinned by a real “Just Do It” attitude, and a sense of humour.

To express an interest, please forward a full CV and details of current earnings to Gary Chaplin

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