Material Planner
Unilever 1,755 reviews - Chicago, IL

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Material Planner
Position Summary:

The Material Planner position is responsible for the weekly management & communication of the requirements planning (MRP) while ensuring customer service and maintaining the predetermined finished goods & non-finished goods inventories. It is essential that this position partners with the scheduling department in such a way to optimize the overall network capabilities to ensure network goals for customer service, inventories, and cost.

As the Material Planner the position will handle: initiation of MRP, maintenance of bills of materials, while also placing purchase orders for raw and packaging materials. The position communicates with procurement & vendors to coordinate in-plant arrivals of materials to fulfill production schedules, ensuring no outages while carefully managing the Raw/WIP/Pack inventories.

The material planner must also ensure OTIF delivery of new innovation activity and setups. The material planner is responsible for devising, tracking, and reporting of RWP inventory levels and targets.

Position works closely with suppliers, supply planners, supply management, finance, inventory control, and individual production departments within the Chicago factory.

Position Responsibilities:

1. Use SAP to execute the MRP cycle, requisitioning and releasing dependant demands for supply base. Create/release purchase orders for all packing & raw materials needed to support scheduled production. Communicate with vendors to ensure material delivery on a timely basis. Manage inventory counts and make decisions on necessary adjustments. Manage materials (NFG) inventory levels to insure achievement of the plant and category inventory targets.

2. Ensures vendors meet all packaging and raw material specifications, analyze total vendor performance, via procurement tools for managing supplier performance.

3. Lead/Facilitate scheduling and manufacturing meetings as needed. Manage relevant KPI’s and communicate to stakeholders.

4. Member of Run Strategy Team in development of the 13-week plan, line utilization options, overflow production plan. Works with Procurement in development of supplier inventory model requirements, inventory modeling plan, and supplier performance scorecards.

5. Work with supply chain team to coordinate new product introductions and material run-outs to minimize obsolete materials. Help to identify obsolete inventory and seek disposition. Responsible for maintenance of data in ERP systems (SAP, etc), including the proper set up of new raw and packaging components. Approve & maintain Interspec bill of materials.

6. Communicate with Suppliers, Supply Planning & Innovation, Supply Management, Manufacturing and Co Manufacturing teams on a timely basis and resolve issues as required.

7. Member of Category Work Team, communicating progress and results of activity and work plan, network KPI’s, and status/updates of new products and issue resolutions.


1. Must be able to multi-task and re-prioritize on a daily basis in order to accommodate changing business requirements.

2. Develop and execute TPM continuous improvement initiatives relative to methods and procedures for better inventory management, customer service, and cost.

3. Individual must be able to listen and to accurately communicate to a number of parties, many with conflicting goals, issues at hand with proposed resolution – facilitator skills a must. Essential to be focused with an overall network outlook.

4. Individual must remain focused on strategic thrusts of business – customer service, inventory management, and cost/waste and lead the team to maintain that focus during new product launches.

5. Manage supplier to ensure quality product & timely receipt of materials while maintaining partnership rapport.

IV. Knowledge & Skills:

Experience/Education: Minimum of one (1) year of relevant experience in logistics, planning, or manufacturing or relevant experience or recent graduate with an undergraduate degree in Logistics, Operations, Planning, Engineering or related field. Working knowledge of project management. SAP training and experience preferred. APICS Certification preferred.

Unilever offers a competitive compensation package which includes: Medical & Dental Plans, Life Insurance, including eligible spouses, domestic partners & children; Health Care Flexible Spending, Dependent Care, 401k Savings Plans, Tuition Reimbursement, Paid Vacation and Holidays.

Unilever is an equal opportunity employer. It prohibits discrimination based on age, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other legally protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Employment is subject to verification of pre-employment drug-screening results and background investigation.

Please note: as part of the job application, you will be asked to complete an online assessment. Completion of the assessment is mandatory in order to be considered. Please allow yourself plenty of time to complete both the application and assessment. If the assessment is filled out partially or not at all, it will adversely affect the progress of your application. Please be aware that you will have to complete the assessment at once as you will be unable to return to it later.

About this company
1,755 reviews
160 million times a day, some-one somewhere chooses a Unilever product. Our brands include Dove, Knorr, Hellmann’s, Becel/Flora,...