Forecasting Business Ops Manager

Forecasting Business Operations Manager

Background and Purpose:

Customer Development, or CD, is what we call our Sales organization at Unilever. Customer Development works closely with our customers to pioneer new products, build categories and deploy best-in-class retail and shopper capabilities.

The Forecasting Business Operations Manager (FBOM) is responsible for delivering an unbiased Category topline forecast. The FBOM is the business partner to Category Leadership team, as well as, a proactive contributor to the cross functional S&OP category teams. The FBOM analyzes information received from cross functional business partners, along with trends and business drivers he/she has identified to deliver the monthly forecast. The FBOMs require strong communication skills as they will be sharing information in detail (to cross functional business partners) and at an executive level when meeting with USLT members.

Who You Are & What You’ll Do:

The FBOM owns the category volume call, in addition to ensuring there is a balanced risk and opportunities profile. The BOM team is well regarded by USLT and asked to meet with them regularly to discuss the state of the business, concerns on the forecast and/or ways to improve the S&OP processes. Highly visible role as we have full responsibility to the topline forecast.

  • You’re a born leader: FBOM’s need to be strong in their position, understand the facts/trends they are seeing and influence across the business to ensure 50/50 call is provided.
  • You’re a story teller: You use data to drive actionable insights to illustrate problem-solving and land compelling messages. You craft meaningful stories that resonate with a broad and diverse audience. Strong communication skills are imperative to the success of an FBOM. The FBOM has to be able to translate the details into a business story when discussing with Senior Leaders, but they also need to be able to work through the details in cross functional team meetings to ensure all parties are understanding impacts of trends.
  • You love to win, and have fun doing it: The S&OP processes are fairly routine and require great attention to detail, but the FBOM has an opportunity to bring life to the process by challenging the cross functional teams on how we can work smarter to deliver more efficiently. To be successful, the FBOM needs to build strong working relationships with the cross functional team – this will require dedication/integrity at work but also should include team building activities to generate strong support across the team.

What You’ll Need To Succeed:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required. Consumer Goods Forecasting or Finance Planning Experience required. Proven ability to lead and influence (up, down and across) through a matrix structure. Highly numerate and analytical. Prior team management experience is preferred. Capable of building objective, well-structured rationales to underpin forecast assumption.

Unilever’s Take on Leadership

Growth Mindset: This is competitive leadership. Taking the lead in the market place versus following. It’s a positive attitude about the company’s future — glass half-full —but it’s realistic. It’s passion for winning. Winning defined as gaining market share. It’s placing a fresh emphasis on innovation — challenging the status quo.

Consumer and Customer Focus: This is purpose-driven leadership. It’s externally focused — on consumers, on customers. First take care of consumers and customers; financial performance will follow. It’s a heightened passion for the consumer: “I firmly believe in improving the lives of consumers.” It’s bringing the voice of the consumer and the customer into everything we do. It’s seeing our brands through their eyes.

Bias for action: This is action-driven leadership: “This is what I will do.” It’s speed and sense of urgency in making decisions. But it needs to be thoughtful action, intelligent risk-taking. Also it’s not wasting time on bureaucracy — it’s output that counts. And it’s simplifying my agenda, carefully choosing priorities — and not taking on too much.

Accountability and Responsibility: This is performance-driven leadership. “I will deliver against KPIs, holding myself to the highest standards.” I will also hold other people accountable — first by setting clear expectations and then by telling them if they are on the right path. It’s staring reality in the eye — doing it with numbers. It’s taking responsibility for Unilever’s overall performance, not just by delivering my results but by helping other people deliver their results. Finally, it’s personally driving change and using operational discipline to deliver on the promise.

Building Talent and Teams: This is people-driven leadership. It’s passion for people. It’s having the best people in the right positions, whatever the person’s gender or background. It’s giving people plenty of room to do their part, and recognizing them for their contributions. It’s investing in people’s development — giving them feedback and challenging work. It’s also constantly challenging myself to grow and improve. And it’s building aligned, cohesive teams that pull together to win.


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