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Inventory Planning and Operations Manager

Company Overview

Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate Website
Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco’s Mission District. We make chocolate from only two ingredients, cocoa beans and cane sugar, and travel to origins as often as we can to build good, trusting relationships with the producers who grow and ferment the beans we buy. The journey a bean takes to become a bar (or experience, gift, or hot chocolate) involves careful planning and tracking that is almost inevitably accompanied by surprises: containers get stuck on ships, bar paper arrives in the wrong color, a surprise monsoon delays a new machine from Japan, or ribbon set aside for the holidays was accidentally packed into one of four pallets headed to offsite storage. Our small but mighty team looks to our Inventory Planning and Ops Manager to forecast the sales of our items and ensure we have the right products in the right places at the right times in the right amount. Additionally, our IP and Ops Analyst will help answer various types of “what if” questions to determine the most profitable course of action across an array of choices.

Equal Opportunity Employer. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, gender non-conforming people, persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, veterans, and adults of all ages are strongly encouraged to apply. In accordance with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records for employment.

About the Role
You are a critical member of the go-to team at the hub of all business operations – production, receiving, retail, facilities, and our online store with oversight of finished goods – ensuring we don’t sell what we don’t have, we continuously sell what we do have, and we don’t say an item is out of stock when it is readily available. You work across multiple systems (SKULabs, Square, Shopify, ShipStation, remote warehouse inventory systems, lot tracking, etc.) to provide a snapshot of our daily ATP (available-to-promise) with reliable numbers that drive our financials. Additionally, you will partner closely with our Product, Creative, and Marketing teams to come up with accurate expectations for new item sales and profit based on historical sales from similar items, seasonality, and marketing efforts.

A Typical Day in the Life
You focus on two new product releases going out weekly. You check the SKU numbers with Finance, ask the Product Managers to provide dimensions so you can have a case of cartons ready for warehousing, and make sure you know the Inventory Balance on-hand counts and ensure that the team is proactively addressing any potential expiration dates. You’ll receive the new inventory systematically, so we have the inventory ready for a seamless launch. You’re keeping an eye on the bi-weekly marketing newsletter and double-checking the Shopify system to catch any mistaken out-of-stock items. In the afternoon, you are due to send six-month forecasts to a collaborator, so you review all their sales forecasts and update inventory needs then email the co-manufacturer the revised data. You wrap up the day meeting with the Fulfillment team to make sure their day went smoothly, reviewing sales expectations for the next two weeks to ensure alignment between inventory management and Fulfillment.

About You
You love systems, organization, and lean in to reconciling uncertainty (e.g. how much more can we sell if we increase production, when will the port open, why did our collaborator’s ingredient list change) what is working and what needs to be improved. When you don’t have the answers, you will pick up the phone, walk to the fulfillment center, or put together a spreadsheet to figure it out. You consistently work with your Product Manager partners, partnering on new item development with your part determining the financial opportunity a new item represents. Teamwork, camaraderie, and a little humor when something doesn’t go quite to plan will serve you well in an ever-changing environment like Dandelion.

Job Categories

  • Hours: Full-time
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  • Manger/Supervisor
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  • on-site/flexible
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Job Duties

- Analytics and reporting: Determine weekly item-level sales forecasts, set stock notifications, examine the previous season’s reports to guide inventory purchase decisions, strategize how much to have on hand based upon vendor minimum or quantity and case sizes so that teams maintain their individual SLAs and financial goals without worrying about supply chain or inventory concerns. Maintain and publish weekly and monthly sales and business intelligence reports to share with the team. As prudent, automate ordering and reports to allow time for proactive activities and to anticipate future scaling. Define and create ad hoc analyses to facilities business decisions, determining outcomes of different likely scenarios.
- Forecasting and planning: Work in collaboration with Production to set a strategy for having the volume and variety of chocolate products and components (bar paper, hot chocolate vials, candy pads, ribbon, etc) on hand to avoid being out-of-stock during our busiest season while also not having too much holiday-specific product in January. Understand demand for our products for each item and forecast in order to ensure we have the goods at the right place at the right time. Understand and manage the bill of materials for interrelatedness of raw materials and components. Monitor best-by dates to ensure that food items with expiration dates are being sold at an appropriate pace to avoid waste.
- SKU management: Create SKUs for new products, issue and manage purchase orders, and ensure that SKUs and purchase orders are accurate and match across all of our systems.
- Internal tools: Evaluate and implement new tools as necessary to automate ordering, counting, and reports so that our team's time is being used efficiently.
- Vendor management: We have an extensive network of vendors and collaborators, some relationships stretching back ten years. These relationships are one of our most valuable assets and when emergencies arise, we’ve relied upon partner goodwill and rapport for favors and prioritization (e.g. we need more paper bags for a pop-up location). No long-term vendor or relationship will ever operate perfectly so we work together to find mutually-beneficial solutions to preserve our relationships (e.g. giving a collaborator ample heads up when we believe there will be significant change to upcoming reorders).
- Other tasks as necessary

Job Requirements

- Planning expertise: You have experience in sales forecasting or item-level planning. Bonus points for planning experience within the food world.
- Team player: You’ll be working with multiple teams and personalities in a professional environment where you will prioritize projects on the fly and let teams know when their projects aren’t the highest priority. Previous experience in a friendly professional environment or in another team-oriented setting will serve you well.
- Proven Vendor Relationship Skills: Our business partners look forward to working with you again (and again and again). You’ve maintained strong, multi-year vendor relationships including suppliers, delivery services, and repair workers over many years while also negotiating rates and handling missed expectations.
- Tech Skills: Expertise with spreadsheets, reporting, and presentations including Google Suite. Previous technical know-how with the ability to research and pick up new tools like Shopify, PO and SKU systems, Square, and knowing how to research tools to look for new capabilities and functions that will help us scale. Working knowledge of data warehousing and advanced analytics systems.
- Authorized to work in the U.S.

Skills/Experience Preferred


depending on experience, $80-90k


The benefits and perks continue beyond a robust chocolate education. Dandelion Chocolate constantly invests in our people and culture. All team members receive heavily subsidized medical, vision, and dental benefits as well as the option to enroll in our 401k program. All team members receive paid vacation time, holiday pay, and paid sick time. In addition, our team members enjoy commuter benefits, FSAs, chocolate tasting opportunities, and a range of opportunities to grow and develop within the company.



Resume Required


Cover letter Required


Other Application Requirements

Dandelion is invested in team members who take ownership over their role and are interested in contributing in a bigger way with us. You will stand out from the crowd if your resume is accompanied by a cover letter with a few sentences about the best warehouse environment you’ve worked in and why it worked so well. We look forward to hearing from you!