Senior Planning and Forecasting Analyst

Haywards Heath, Home Office (Remote) or Manchester
£36,000 to £41,000 per year depending on experience
Customer & Operations
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We’re First Central Insurance & Technology Group (First Central for short), an innovative, market-leading insurance company. We protect the things customers love so they can get on with what matters to them in life. 

Data drives us. It fuels our outstanding distribution, finance, technology and legal services. Our underwriting skills are built on data expertise; it creates the insights we need to give the right cover to the right customers at the right price. But, it’s the people inside and outside our business that power us. They make us stand out, help us succeed. We’re ambitious. We’re growing. We’ve won awards.   

Strategic thinker with the ability to look at the bigger picture - sound like you? Happy to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in! Our Performance team need a result driven, agile and logical thinking Senior Planning & Forecasting Analyst.

Data Whizzes? Yep. We thrive on numbers. But great people like you power our success. Our Performance team produce accurate and timely forecasts ranging from short-term tactical to long-term strategic plans (including views for annual budgeting cycle), for specific areas to ensure all call volumes and sales plans are delivered as effectively as possible. After all we strive to provide the best service for our customers!

Working flexibly, you'll spend most of your time working from home, with a day a week in the office, either in Haywards Heath or Manchester.  But of course, it’s your choice - if you prefer to be in the office more - that's good with us too.

Want to know more, keep reading…

We’d love to have you on the team if:

  • You’re great at capacity planning for a multi-location, multi-skilled call centre environment
  • Have experience of capacity planning for back-office functions
  • You’re a dab hand at collating and extrapolating forecasting data from multiple sources

What’s involved:

  • Supporting all things ‘Performance’ from forecasting, reporting, analysis and making key decisions, our 5-year financial plan will thrive with your input.
  • You’ll be the subject matter expert and ‘go to’ point for the business about all planning and forecasting matters relating to allocated business lines. Providing forecasts on time with accurate information meeting the recipients’ expectations.
  • You’ll have the ability to talk confidently and credibly with managers and directors about all things forecasting, capacity and planning
  • You’ll support day-to-day decision making that has significant financial and reputational impacts e.g. Outsourcer billable hours
  • You’ll manage two real-time analysts and be responsible for their day-to-day management, development and motivation
  • Ownership and accountability for the accuracy and quality of all forecasting and resourcing plans for allocated business lines
  • You’ll provide key input into the annual budgeting process providing plans for the Operations management team
  • Prioritisation of work and meeting deadlines
  • Love data? It’s a match. You’ll ensure accurate manipulation of data from multiple data sources
  • You’ll build positive relationships based on mutual respect with customers and suppliers alike
  • You’ll ensure business-wide confidence in workforce management information
  • You’ll provide proactive analysis and recommendations made of required changes to support the evolving demand patterns
  • You’ll be producing and maintaining high quality and accurate forecasts to enable the optimisation and enhancement of customer service and sales delivery across all call centres
  • You’ll ensure all forecasts include short and medium term requirements and are adjusted/updated as and when required
  • You’ll complete monthly analysis of top line planned vs actual call volumes
  • Providing reporting on headcount and FTE levels including variance to budget
  • Ensuring contingency for role exists
  • You’ll deputise for Resource Management Lead in stakeholder meetings as and when required
  • Your eagle eye will look to identify opportunities for improvements in forecasting and make use of ‘what if’ scenario modelling and impact analysis
  • You’ll track recruitment and attrition and give resourcing advice to the operational management team
  • You’ll highlight adding opportunities through research into variance in call centre resource levels and identifying underlying patterns, trends and causes
  • You’ll maintain a change control process for both inbound and outbound capacity planning with internal stakeholders
  • Producing daily, weekly and monthly management information (MI)
  • Implementing consistent resource optimisation processes and methodologies
  • You’ll ensure that all relationships that impact call volumes are understood
  • Teamwork is key! You’ll be liaising with the Scheduling area to ensure the optimisation of accurate schedules
  • Timely Re-evaluation of resource demand based on changing inputs or trends and recommending appropriate action
  • You’ll have an in-depth understanding of Real Time with the ability to develop it into a world class function
  • Having a broad understanding of back office methodology

Knowledge and experience:

  • Experience of working in large multi-skilled call centre environments
  • Management experience essential
  • Use of WFM tools to produce call forecasting information
  • Flexible thinker who is able to quickly adapt to changes in arrival volumes and patterns
  • Load balancing and blending of call centre resource across product lines and call centres
  • Analytical and logical thinker with the ability to apply creative solutions to resource constraints
  • Experience of managing resources to a controlled and defined budget
  • Demonstrable commercial focus and business acumen in recommendations and decision making
  • Proactive and able to work on own initiative
  • MS office including Advanced excel and database skills
  • Capable of translating forecasting information into potential financial impacts
  • Stakeholder management

We thrive on data but we’re human.

What can we do for you?

People first. Always. We’re passionate about our colleagues and know the best people deserve an extraordinary working environment. We owe it to them so that’s what we offer. Our workplaces are energetic, inspirational, supportive. To get a taste of the advantages you’ll enjoy, take a look at all our perks in full here. 

Intrigued? Our Talent team can tell you everything you need to know about what we want and what we’re offering, so feel free to get in touch.

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86% of people would recommend a friend to work at First Central

Based on 164 Glassdoor reviews (March 2022)


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Simply Health Cash Plan

Simply Health Cash plan. Reclaim the cost of your eye tests, dental, physiotherapy and more

Flexible Bank Holidays

Eight flexible bank holidays; you can choose which festivals you observe


We’re passionate about it. Everyone gets a paid day off annually to volunteer

Electric Car Scheme

Plug into our Electric Car Scheme for a deal with insurance, road tax and servicing

Flexible Working

We’re flexible; most roles let you mix office and home working. We work fluidly around core hours

Your Time in Need

Your Time in Need: five days’ leave so you can deal with life stuff. We’ll support you