Oversees daily operations for one or more specific business area(s) at a Southern States Cooperative, Inc. (SSC) local farm supply center, member co-op, petroleum, retail, or agronomy facility. Implements merchandising and/or production strategies, leads customer support initiatives, trains and supervises staff. Relies on expertise of assigned area(s) and knowledge of local industry trends.
Essential Job Functions
Essential Job Functions may vary due to merchandise mix, customer base, and business volume across SSC locations.
- Collaborate with facility management team to develop strategies for achieving daily/weekly/monthly sales and/or production goals. Effectively communicate action plans to staff. Lead sales and/or production efforts to implement strategies and achieve goals.
- Serve as subject matter expert for merchandise and services related to assigned department(s). Manage training and development initiatives to increase staff expertise. Coach team members to recommend the best product solutions to meet customer project needs. Effectively demonstrate skills and proper product usage. Contact Product and Vendor Support Representatives to obtain current product information.
- Provide specialized support and expertise to customers in person and via telephone. Seek information to understand the full scope of customers' projects and recommend SSC merchandise and service solutions. Assess whether companion products or additional equipment and services may be useful. Utilize advanced customer-focused interpersonal skills to independently resolve escalated issues. Assist with delivering products to customer locations as necessary.
- Conduct inventory of merchandise. Place orders to maintain optimum quantities of products and supplies. Partner with management team to implement new product introductions, discount old inventory, and develop creative displays to move excess inventory.
- Manage merchandising efforts for assigned department(s). Lead staff to replenish merchandise, face and organize products on shelving, update signage, pricing and shelf labeling to ensure a neat and professional presentation. Coordinate with management team to plan and execute local store events. Lead circular prep and tear down. Interpret planograms and move shelving and fixtures to build merchandise displays. Cross-stage merchandise with companion products.
- Provide general supervision to staff as requested by facility management. Assign various tasks within the department(s) to support sales, merchandising, production, and housekeeping goals. Effectively utilize leadership skills to motivate team members and foster a positive working environment.
- Assist with overseeing maintenance programs for equipment, including motorized vehicles. Maintain ability to effectively operate all facility equipment. Perform physical inspections, including climbing, crawling, and maneuvering on and around equipment. May perform minor repairs and general maintenance. Ensure equipment logs and records are accurately maintained.
- Promote the SSC brand and business philosophy in a positive and customer-focused manner throughout the local community and sales region. May conduct on-farm sales consultations for current and prospective customers to present product offerings, strengthen rapport, and develop business relationships. Attend local board meetings as requested.
- Maintain awareness of industry trends, developments, regulations, and updates to SSC products and services. Utilize a variety of resources, including: professional organizations, seminars, conferences, training courses, self-study, and on-line tools.
- Serve as a key-holder to independently open or close the facility. Comply with established policies and guidelines to ensure the security of facility, all assets, employees and customers.
- Maintain a clean, safe facility to meet OSHA and EPA regulations and Southern States Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) standards. Lead department housekeeping functions. Conduct and attend safety meetings. Monitor employees for safe performance. Perform work safely as to not cause harm to yourself, customers, co-workers, equipment, or inventory. Utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required.
- Perform all other job functions as assigned.
A combination of completed coursework and relevant experience may be considered in lieu of degree.
Education: Bachelor's Degree, will also consider an Associate's Degree from select programs with specialization in agronomy, plant science, animal science, business management, or a related field of study.
Experience:Requires a minimum of two (2) years of work experience in agriculture, plant science, petroleum, livestock / pet care, or a similar industry, with specialized knowledge of related merchandise and services. Requires demonstrated leadership ability. Previous Southern States work experience strongly preferred.
Licensing & Certification: Requires valid Driver's License
Depending upon location, may also require:
- Forklift Certification (or ability to obtain)
- CDL / hazmat endorsement (or ability to obtain)
- Petroleum and/or Propane Certification (or ability to obtain)
- Specialized knowledge to accurately advise customers and recommend merchandise and/or services in one or more of the following areas: equine, livestock, pet, home, lawn & garden, farming operations, crop protectants, fertilizers, petroleum products, propane, and/or related line of business
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of daily operations for assigned department(s)
- Able to consistently display servant leadership, motivate teams, and delegate responsibilities
- Able to consistently demonstrate customer-focused interpersonal skills and professional communication
- Able to utilize creative thinking and problem solving skills to develop solutions
- Able to communicate clearly and effectively with customers, staff, management, and external counterparts
- Able to maintain composure while managing conflict and stressful situations
- Attention to detail, accuracy and accountability
- Able to safely operate facility equipment (varies based on location)
- Computer literacy to utilize MS Office products and SSC business systems
- Able to work in a fast paced, customer focused, team environment
- Able to work extended hours to meet business demands
- Able to speak, read, write the English language in a proficient manner
- Able to travel 10-20% of time, will vary based on location
- Further progression in the management job group frequently requires relocation
The work environment will vary based on location. Essential job functions are performed indoors in a climate controlled environment, in a warehouse environment subject to seasonal temperatures and humidity, and outdoors unprotected from weather conditions.
Regularly exposed to hazards including:
- Merchandise, supplies and tools with sharp edges or containing hazardous materials
- Dust, odors, fumes and hazardous chemicals associated with sales and storage of various fuels, dry and liquid fertilizers, crop protectants, plant material, and other agricultural, residential, animal care and home care products
- Moving mechanical parts and vehicles, vibrations and electric current
- Draughts, temperature changes and wet floors due to facility doors opening during adverse weather
- Noise levels where hearing protection is optional per PPE Plan
Schedule requirements will vary based on location. Extended hours and/or alternate work schedules may be required. Ability to report to work on time and in adverse weather conditions is required.
Physical Activities & Requirements
Physical activities and requirements will vary based on location and merchandise mix. Below is a general description.
- Continuously bend and stoop; finger, handle and utilize repetitive hand motion with merchandise and tools including computers and motorized vehicles; reach with arms and hands for extended periods; stand and walk for extended periods, at times may be on concrete or uneven surfaces; utilize eye/hand coordination; twist back and neck. Pull, push, lift, carry up to 50 pounds.
- Frequently climb, crouch, stack, and sweep. Pull, push, lift, carry 50-80 pounds, may be assisted.
- Occasionally balance, kneel, shovel and sit. Pull, push, lift, carry 80-100 pounds, may be assisted.
Must be able to speak to co-workers and customers regarding sales, operations and safety. Must be able to hear customer service phone calls, hand held radio, equipment and vehicle sounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include: close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.
Tools & Equipment
Tools and equipment will vary based on location and merchandise mix. Below is a general description.
Hand held scanner, telephone, hand held radio, computer, printer, scanner, copier, fax machine, writing instrument, reports, logs, spreadsheets, merchandising diagrams (planograms), point-of-sale terminal, petroleum and/or propane equipment and terminals, fertilizer and crop protectant blenders and spreaders, loaders, forklifts, pick-ups, delivery trucks, and other tools and equipment.
Southern States Cooperative, Inc., is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate against individuals based on their race, color, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, family medical history or genetic information, or any other status protected by federal, state or local laws, or regulations.