Share this Job

Fruit Optimization Inventory Manager

Date: 23-Mar-2023

Location: Zeebrugge, West Flanders, BE

Company: Zespri Group Limited

About Zespri


Zespri is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit with over 800  people in New Zealand and throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.

We  help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We sit at the heart of an interconnected industry working with 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers in Italy, France, Greece, South Korea and Japan. We supply the world’s healthiest little superfruits to people in more than 50 countries. We are fruit on a mission.

Our values are at the heart of everything we do. We commit to guardianship; putting people, the community, and the environment first. We are results-driven, challenging ourselves to grow and deliver better value. We cultivate personal connections, listening and acting with empathy and humility – and treating each other better for it.

We are growing quickly, driven by our success in engaging more and more consumers and by offering the world’s best kiwifruit 12 months of the year. We have bold ambitions and aim to grow sales from approximately $3 billion in 2018 to $4.5 billion by 2025.

To achieve our goals, we’re empowering our people to achieve their goals, designing our work for wellbeing, through flexible work practices and self-leadership.

We have bold ambitions for the future and we want all of our people to live and perform at their best.


About The Role


The Fruit Optimization Inventory Manager as a member of the management team is responsible for managing fruit inventory in Europe (Zeebrugge, Tarragona, Vado), making sure the 3PLs handles inventory in line with Zespri’s requirements to secure the logistics flow from supply to outbound. 




  • Manages and oversees an inventory control process including fulfillment, replenishment, inventory transfer activity, aged inventory reduction, slotting, high and low velocity SKU’s, and inventory turns
  • Leads efforts to identify and prioritize root causes of excess inventory and drives corrective actions and control mechanisms across cross-functional teams
  • Builds and maintains partnerships with various departments to align inventory system controls with business objectives
  • Collaborates and strengthens relationships with vendors and 3PL’s to improve inbound performance
  • Initiates data analyses and translates complex data sets into executive-level presentations that support fruit optimization and performance initiatives to include KPI’s, SLA’s and quality metrics on loss mitigation
  • Manages strategic inventory control functions to meet financial, planning and market objectives
  • Supports integrated planning and execution to improve fill rate, forecasts, lead times, on-time deliveries, and customer service levels
  • Work in cooperation with our 3PL and supply them with required information and documentation to ensure they can perform the agreed activities
  • Take care of vessel & container operational discharge planning for logistics Hubs to ensure unloading of the fruit is done by our 3PL in line with Zespri’s demand and Zespri’s operational guide (Coolstore manual)
  • Set configuration & inventory parameters to keep the inventory information up to date for operational handling
  • Manage the processing of pallet selection for sales order transfers including overseeing the pick pallet selection to ensure customer satisfaction and the prevention of quality claims
  • Support production work order management for in-market packing
  • Audit and analyze supplier accountability data to ensure proper reporting and required actions are performed 
  • Maintain oversight of regional fruit quality including condition checking systems 
  • Fruit Quality Reporting and Analysis of Fruit Loss/Quality Claims. Reconciliation liaison with supplier and accounting on validation of claims in addition to facilitation of approval 
  • Oversight of Quality & Technical Compliance scope for EU process of claims. Monitors fruit loss provision based on key performance indicators as reported from distribution partners, internal audits, and contractual terms relative to the claims process.
  • Support and cooperate with the Operations & logistics manager and support colleagues. Act as a back-up for colleagues in the team during absence. 

Qualifications & Experience


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field of study, Operations, Logistics, or Supply Chain Management
  • At least five years’ experience in inventory management,  operations management, and/or supply planning, or an operational function related to planning, procurement, importing and/or warehouse
  • You have a good knowledge English and preferably dutch. Knowledge of another European language (Spanish, Italian, French,...) is a plus
  • First steps or experienced level on warehouse & planning activities.
  • Strong understanding how good operational inventory handling & planning has a positively impacts the entire supply chain
  • Good collaboration skills for liaising with different team members, 3PL partners & other internal stakeholders
  • Ability to conduct analysis based on information available with a comprehensive outcome.
  • Experience with end-to-end supply chain systems and technical solutions is an added value.

What's In It For You

  • Competitive overall remuneration package, including a Short-Term Incentive scheme opportunity.
  • FlexWELL flexible work ethos
  • Additional paid annual leave day per year (Zespri Day).
  • Additional paid volunteer day to volunteer within your community (Volunteer Time).
  • Global Life and Permanent Disability Insurance.
  • Group Medical Insurance benefits.



Zespri will not accept applications or contact from any temporary staffing agency, placement service or professional recruiter for this vacancy (“Agency”).


Where Zespri requires the support of an agency to fulfil a vacancy, we will proactively seek this support from our network of Agencies.  We respectfully ask that you do not contact Zespri or any of its affiliates/employees regarding vacancies, and reserve the right not to reply.


Zespri will not be responsible for, and will not pay, any fees, commissions or other payments related to such unsolicited resumes.