Director of Inventory Planning

General Position Summary:

Responsible for leading the inventory planning team and driving the financial and merchandise planning process that supports company strategic initiatives in an omni-channel retail environment. The Director will guide the Planning team executing inventory strategies and regular analysis of sales, margin, inventory levels and open-to-buy management. Director will partner with Senior Management, Merchandising, Planning, and Allocation teams to identify business opportunities and risks to sales, margin, and inventory and provide regular business analysis.

Essential Functions:

Strategic Financial and Merchandise Plans

  • Lead inventory team to develop and execute financial plans supporting merchandise strategies that drive sales and margin growth, inventory productivity, and support an exceptional customer experience.
  • Drive top-down and bottom-up inventory plans with the planning team resulting in the development, communication, and execution of inventory plans that achieve financial goals at product categorical levels.
  • Responsible for leading and driving the open-to-buy process providing regular visibility to inventory levels to achieve season ending targets to maximize sales and margin as well as plan purchases and product flow in alignment with the financial plan.
  • Communicate monthly inventory position to management and re-forecast in-season open-to-buy plans based on monthly and seasonal performance and provide recommendations that improve inventory productivity.
  • Partner with the retail allocation team to position retail store inventory levels that support seasonal inventory strategies, maintain in-stock levels, and optimize inventory between the direct and retail channels.
  • Work closely with the sourcing team to finalize seasonal item forecasts in line with our production calendar to ensure product is ordered and produced to support product launches and maintain in-stock levels
  • Partner closely with the VP of Inventory Planning and VP of Merchandising on financial decisions and inventory management and serve as the gatekeeper for inventory productivity

Business Management and Analysis

  • Identify business opportunities and implement appropriate actions to maximize financial objectives and provide business analysis to support decision making
  • Guide the inventory planning and merchandising teams to capitalize on opportunities and identify risks based on historical data and business trends
  • Collaborate with merchandising and marketing teams in the development and implementation of all promotional activities and pricing actions and provide analysis on sales and margin implications
  • Provide regular analysis of business trends and recommendations that support effective inventory management to senior management, the inventory team, and business partners.
  • Optimize inventory management between channels to ensure sales are maximized and customer experience is

System and Process Development

  • Lead the team developing refining existing processes and defining new processes leading to more effective business management and work efficiencies
  • Lead the development of the TXT planning system to create a more robust planning processes
  • Support recent ERP implementation by leading the inventory planning team in process definition
  • Serve as a key stake holder in the development and implementation of all process and technology improvements that relate to merchandising planning and inventory management

Team Development

  • Responsible for training and developing the planning team on thought processes and business analysis
  • Active leader in recruiting, hiring, and development of staff to maximize retention.
  • Provide regular feedback and regular coaching
  • Manage performance, handle issues, and revolve conflict in and objective and fact-based manner

Interpersonal Contacts:

Contacts are normally made with others both inside and outside the company. Contacts include Merchants, Production & Sourcing Managers, Logistics, Customer Service, and Distribution Center and outside suppliers. Many contacts are made face to face with regular contact made over the phone or via email. Significant interaction with VP, Inventory, SVP Merchandising, CFO/COO, and CEO.


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelors degree in Business, Finance, Supply Chain or equivalent experience in related discipline.
  • 10+ years experience in a forecasting, inventory management or planning role ideally in an omni-channel retail environment
  • 5+ years experience leading and developing inventory planning teams
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel skills.
  • Prior experience working with and developing with inventory planning systems
  • Strong financial and business acumen with the proven ability to build financial plans/forecasts, and communicate and explain complex financial data
  • Strong analytical and communication skills.
  • Great strategic thinker, strong communicator, and confident decision-maker that is able to partner and influence
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and juggle multiple projects
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships with cross-functional teams.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • Inventory Planning team

Mental and Physical Requirements:

Mental activities required include continuous interpersonal interactions such as negotiating and making group presentations, problem solving for self and others in the organization, analyzing/evaluating complex information, and task handling. Mental activities used frequently include teamwork, math skills, and decision making within company policy constraints.

Physical activities required include continuously sitting, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions using hands/wrists.

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