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Resource Planning Scheduling and Forecasting Specialist

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

Summary:

Accountable for creating accurate operational forecasts for volumes, average handle time, and shrinkage based on historical patterns and predictive analytics utilizing multiple forecasting techniques. Responsible to collect, validate and complete analysis on operational data to identify trends impacting operational performance and then develop shift plans to accomplish enterprise goals.  Use statistical analysis to optimize staff levels at the interval level with the goal of balancing service levels and productivity.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Develop and maintain a statistical forecast model for workload and staffing requirements, including forecast vs actual trends, and forecasting for trend changes due to seasonal variations and other operational variables
  • Utilize performance analytics tools to identify agent and volume behaviors for future forecast and schedule scenarios and recommend action items to drive efficiencies and improve workflow
  • Ensure governance and compliance for best in class standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to forecasting, scheduling, and performance analytics for front and back office business lines
  • Lead and manages processes for shift bids, vacation shift bids, time-off requests, and requests for overtime
  • Administer and maintain our Resource Planning software as it relates to forecasting and staffing
  • Create scenarios and presents comprehensive recommendations for strategic staffing solutions to ensure the operation has workforce in the right place and the right time.
  • Identify and communicate areas for continual improvement of service levels across the operation, recommending and initiating improvements necessary to attain expected targets
  • Review and analyze results and report on deviations from forecasts for data validation and root cause analysis.
  • Reviews and identifies trends or patterns of practices/activities that impact operational service level results.
  • Measure and provide hindsight analysis for forecast accuracy and scheduling efficiency used for operational planning.
  • Establish a regular cadence with business leaders to share insights/recommendations regarding volumes, average handle time, shrinkage, and shift plans.
  • Consults with business leaders to provide analysis and recommendations for exceptions, vacation requests, shifts and other activities that impact staffing plans.
  • Participate in assigned projects where intermediate level staffing analysis is required.  Develops project deliverables for various enterprise scopes and provides project management support within Resource Planning.
  • Identifies, recommends and may lead process improvement initiatives.
  • Additional duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, accounting, finance, statistics or economics, or an equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years Workforce Management experience in forecasting, scheduling, and/or real-time command center.
  • Understanding of forecasting and value-maximization techniques
  • Advanced experience with WFM Software(s)
  • Strong understanding of Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) and/or Back-Office Work Routing platforms
  • Advanced Excel skills and experience in formulas, arrays, table formatting, conditional formatting, graphs, and pivot table reporting.
  • Must have a high degree of personal initiative and self-motivation.
  • Ability to be responsive to changing business needs, manage and prioritize concurrent assignments, and handle ambiguity.
  • Strong verbal and written skills with demonstrated ability to communicate complex and technical concepts in general terms to broad audiences.
  • Strong analytical abilities in decision making and problem solving.
  • Reporting, SQL, Database, etc. preferred.
  • Advanced in Scheduling techniques preferred.
  • Knowledge of Machine Learning Technology such as R &/or Python preferred.

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This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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