Supply Chain Practitioner Apprenticeship – Reference Number: ST0201

Supply Chain is at the heart of every business – it is a system of organisations, people, activities, information and resources involved in moving products or services from supplier to customer. It may include the transformation of natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product.

Effective and dynamic supply chains are particularly important in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors, for example food & drink, retail or consumables, where products have one or more of the following characteristics: high volume, fast turnover and frequently purchased. FMCG have a short shelf life, either as a result of high consumer demand or because the product deteriorates rapidly. In contrast, durable goods or major appliances such as kitchen appliances are generally replaced over a period of several years. Supply chain functions include procurement, forecasting, planning manufacture, customer service and logistics.

Who is it for?

FMCG Supply Chain Practitioners will work in one or more supply chain functions. Typical duties could include forecasting customer demand as a Junior Demand Planner, liaising with the factories schedule production as a Junior Supply Planner, processing orders as a Customer Service Operative and working with hauliers and Distribution Centres as an Assistant Transport Planner.

They have a comprehensive understanding of the entire supply chain, are responsible for their impact on each function and strive to deliver the best value for their business and customer. Due to the high number of interactions both within and outside of the business, they need strong relationship building, influencing, stakeholder management and communication skills alongside sound analytical, information technology and numeracy skills, with an ability to work in a fast paced environment with frequently changing requirements.

FMCG Supply Chain Practitioners will be able to progress to management or specialist roles.

What will be covered?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, a Supply Chain Practitioner will have knowledge and an understanding of:

  • Characteristics and Processes of the FMCG Supply Chain in Different Contexts.

Supply Chain KPIs

  • Inventory, forecast accuracy, plan attainment, customer service, vehicle utilisation, on shelf availability and waste, quality and value in line with business requirements and expectations, commerciality; and their impact on other parts of the business.

Legislation, Processes and Procedures

  • Health and safety, environmental, sustainability and others relevant to the business context such as large goods vehicle (LGV) driver hours and food safety/safe manufacturing practices.

  • Characteristics and Needs of Different Customer Groups.

Problem Solving and Capacity Planning

  • The principles of developing and implementing a supply plan taking account of capacity, product life and the key drivers of success.

Forecasting and Principles of Buying

  • Strategic and operational decision making (influences, risk, cost); and legal and customer requirements (anti-bribery policies, ethical approaches and frameworks).

  • The levers and influences on customer and consumer demand (market trends, weather, competitor activity and seasonality); the impact of merchandising on supply chain decisions; and others relevant to the business context.

Forecasting and Principles of Buying

  • Strategic and operational decision making (influences, risk, cost); and legal and customer requirements (anti-bribery policies, ethical approaches and frameworks).

  • The levers and influences on customer and consumer demand (market trends, weather, competitor activity and seasonality); the impact of merchandising on supply chain decisions; and others relevant to the business context.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, a Supply Chain Practitioner will have and be able to exhibit skills in the following areas:

Prioritise the Flow of FMCG Products or Services Based on Evolving and Changing Information

  • Meeting critical deadlines to ensure the efficient running of the FMCG supply chain, including managing unexpected demand.

Lead and Participate in Everyday Problem Solving

  • Where small process improvements can have a significant improvement on the rest of the supply chain, using recognised techniques: 5 Whys and fishbone analysis.

Analysis and Improvement

  • To improve performance in the FMCG supply chain, such as forecast accuracy.

  • Analyse large amounts of data to identify key trends and themes that affect the FMCG supply chain; make recommendations to internal and external customers, the world of increasing data availability sources may include customer electronic point of sale (EPOS) data, historic forecast vs. dispatch data, historic customer shipping/delivery data

  • Use of IT Systems

Identify, manage and escalate risks to the business