Sr. Planning Analyst - Inventory Programs (Lake Forest, IL)

Company Overview

Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.2 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products such as safety gloves, ladders, motors and janitorial supplies, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with more than 1.6 million products stocked in Grainger’s distribution centers and branches worldwide.


Position Description

The Grainger Inventory team manages over 10 million stock keeping units and $1 billion in inventory across 14 DC’s and 250+ branches in the United States. The team balances the strategic need to have the right inventory in the right place when customers call, against the capital and OPEX investment of inventory dollars, labor and holding space required to receive and store it. The inventory team uses heuristics and probabilistic predictive modeling to make strategic inventory investments that will best serve our customer’s needs at the most efficient cost for the company.


Primary Function:


This position will primarily be responsible for the following functions as part of Grainger’s Inventory Management team:


  1. Leading large scale item transitions for the Inventory Management team in support of Merchandising or Supplier Management efforts and other product assortment changes.  An item transition is typically defined when a large set of items (>100 and $.5M COGS) are being discontinued and replaced by a new set of items, changing their source of supply, or changing their merchandising strategy.
    1. As leader of this process for Inventory Management, this position will be responsible for developing and executing a cross functional plan that enables us to deplete existing inventories and increase inventories on new items while maintaining appropriate levels of customer service and eliminating any risk of obsolescence.


  2. Support Inventory Programs work. Develop new or improve existing Inventory Programs needed to support product lifecycle strategies, item transitions, or other ad hoc needs of the business.
    1. As an example, Grainger continues to increase the number of ways items are allowed to move between a “stocked” vs. “non-stocked” status, this position would be responsible for scoping and developing new processes needed by Inventory to support the business strategy and customer experience. 


      To fulfill these primary functions, the Sr. Planning Analyst will complete actions including:

  • Utilize comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the application of mathematical principles, methods, procedures and techniques in the development of Grainger stocking strategies, standards and the identification of risks associated with supplier issues
  • Reviews and analyzes large amounts of planning data to prepare reports and recommendations for management review and decision making.
  • Responsible for working with our key supply chain stakeholders to develop strategies that allow the company to meet aggressive customer service and inventory performance targets.
  • Serves as a liaison to other Grainger departments
  • Back up of other PA/SPA to perform key planning process
  • Be an active member of Planning U – Inventory Management Team initiative to share and increase our knowledge of diverse Supply Chain subjects and processes

Position Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree in Engineering, Supply Chain, Business or related field.
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in analysis with an emphasis in inventory planning
  • Demonstrated supply chain experience working in partnership with transportation, warehousing, purchasing, supplier management and inventory management
  • Understanding of key financial and customer service metrics
  • Demonstrated ability to find creative solutions to problems and means of improvement and collaborate with partners to drive results
  • SAP experience preferred
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office functionality (Word, Excel, Access dB, PowerPoint) expected
  • SPSS proficiency is a plus
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Possess mature and professional demeanor appropriate for interaction with internal stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated capability to build relationships and work effectively across all business functional areas to attain goals and drive business results.
  • Demonstrated progression in level of responsibility throughout career
  • Candidate should demonstrate potential for Management positions

EEOC Statement

Grainger is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Full time
LAKE FOREST, IL 600455202, US