CPFR Manager jobs
Collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishing (CPFR) has proved to be one of the most important breakthroughs in the supply chain field, particularly in high-volume retail outlets such as supermarkets but also with large home wares stores. With the suppliers being privy to selected sales information in real-time or at some other regular interval, in its simplest form they can either continually replenish stocks (which can be inefficient) or use forecasting and analysis to calculate the optimum time to send a bulk delivery. It can slash admin costs and keep shelves stocked, but it can also be used to gauge the effect of promotions and such like.
The CPFR manager will be in charge of the operation, overseeing the team running the system and liaising with suppliers to negotiate deals and set up new lines. He or she will be in charge of the accounting system and will need to ensure suppliers are paid in the manner agreed, an area which can cause problems if badly administered.
Moreover, the task of the CPFR manager will be to get the best out of the system, decide when its use is inappropriate so that the traditional ordering system can be reverted to, reduce waste and ensure that predicted needs will be available when required.
The skills required
A clear and concise manner of communication will be an essential quality for this job. That might be face to face, over the phone or electronically, and will be with senior management, suppliers and the team he or she is overseeing.
A keen ability to monitor the system and be alert to issues before they arise will be key. The danger that buyers can go into autopilot is ever-present and can lead to overstocking of seasonal products or under-stocking of products that are about to be heavily promoted.
Sales and negotiation skills will be advantageous, too. Using CPFR can put specific challenges on the negotiation process as the costs involved to the supplier can easily be overlooked. Preparation is key when meeting existing or potential suppliers with a view to initiating or modifying a CPFR programme.
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