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Operations - Production and Logistics Planner

 

AeroFarms is a change-the-world vertical farming company revolutionizing agriculture with our Global Headquarters in Newark, NJ.  

The past 12 months have been an exciting time for us. Our team has grown five-fold during this period and we now have unique opportunity for an experienced professional planner to make a significant contribution to our team. The position will be responsible for planning & scheduling all growing, harvesting, packing and shipping operations. The Production & Logistics Planner will play a pivotal role in ensuring that our customers receive high quality products in a timely and efficient manner. The ideal candidate has 3-5 years of prior planning & logistics experience in a regulated manufacturing industry overseeing high mix/high volume operations.

The Role:

The position will report directly to the COO and will work closely with all functions within Farm Operations as well as Marketing, R&D, and external logistics providers. The Planning and Logistics Manager role is a hybrid position which encompasses aspects of materials planning, capacity planning, supply planning, and logistics management. The position requires an ability to think systematically across cross-functional teams to manage the needs that stem from each of those distinct functions and apply them to short-term production planning, and mid- and long-term strategies.

 

Responsibilities include:

  • Development and Reporting of Key Performance Indicators
  • Develop relevant KPIs for the Board, Leadership, Operations Management and Farm Workers
  • Work with COO, CFO and systems engineering team to build out dashboards for various stakeholders
  • Ensure high level of data integrity for all reports and dashboards
  • Generate Monthly Board Report with Operational KPIs by the 10th of every month
  • Summarize KPIs weekly and provide written weekly updates to COO and Operations Executive Analyst for inclusion in Weekly Management Report
  • Capacity Planning and Supply Planning

Partner with sales and operations team to develop growing schedule that will balance:

  • Customer demand plan (ensuring the fulfillment of customer orders)
  • Operational efficiency
  • Operational capacity (across all inter-dependent functions)
  • Distribution strategy and requirements

Operational Process Development and Refinement

  • Partner with leaders of cross-functional teams including, but not limited to Sales Manager, V.P. of R&D, Senior Systems Engineer, and Plant Manager to review workflow and create alignment between task execution, operational efficiencies, as well as data collection and management
  • This function requires collaboration across multiple disciplines, a deep understanding of stakeholder needs, and the facilitation and creation of tools to systematize workflow across operational departments.
  • These processes and workflows will serve as a map for the eventual automation in data management, tracking, and production plan dissemination.

Logistics Management

  • Partner with Sales Manager and Plant Manager to continually refine and improve delivery processes and workflow
  • Manage the last-mile distribution strategy to balance the needs of an evolving customer base. This includes understanding and planning for the needs between distribution center/warehouse deliveries as well as direct-to-store deliveries.
  • Create internal processes for cross-docking and relevant training materials 
  • Management of external distribution partners when required

Data management

  • Serve as the primary liaison between the systems engineering team and farm operations to ensure that database design, development, and mapping of data automation within the farm aligns with operational workflow, planning requirements, and addresses key stakeholder needs.

 

We have:

An incredible ‘change-the-world’ company with the eyes of the world focused on our success
A team of motivated, intellectually curious individuals to support you
The backing of some seriously impressive firms including Goldman Sachs, Prudential and other leading venture funds.

 

You have:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience in a complex Planning & Logistics role.
  • BS in Business, Supply Chain Operations or a related field of study.
  • APICS CPIM certification preferred.
  • Cross-functional team management experience
    • Ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders from multiple disciplines across the organization to build and execute cohesive plans (Farm Operations, R&D / Engineering testing, translating changes in processes into system and platform requirements). 
    • Ability to balance and competing needs and departmental goals to create alignment in working towards a common company goal.
  • Strong communication skills
    • Very high EQ with the ability to assess needs of different teams, and the ability to understand the impact of planning on day-to-day farm operations
       
    • Experience developing communication structures for matrix organizations
    • Ability to present ideas, communicate needs, and facilitate cross-team collaboration
    • Experience communicating with and presenting to c-suite
    • Ability to balance communication needs across multiple stakeholders (e.g., operations, R&D, engineering, and sales) to guide prioritization
  • Extreme attention to detail
  • Go-getter/willingness to roll up their sleeves
    • Ability to identify gaps and bring them forward to COO.
    • Not afraid to communicate ideas or share feedback
    • Is a proficient problem solver with the ability to think on feet and provide real-time solutions
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team setting
  • Ability to work in ambiguous, dynamic environments
  • Has experience in a customer/consumer facing business and can translate how operations affects customer service 
  • Strong reliability/accountability – is proactive about self-prioritizing, communicating project status, and ensuring there is transparency and visibility on projects that impact other key stakeholders within the organization.
  • Extremely proficient in Excel
  • Experience working with digital platform design, database systems, is a plus
  • Proficient and comfortable with technology, with a willingness to learn about RFID systems, sensors, and data management
  • Technical Experience (ideal, but not 100% required if all above criteria are met)
    • Supply and capacity planning 
    • Project management experience
    • Logistics/last-mile distribution management
    • Food/fresh produce management experience

 

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