Responsible for the efficient daily operations of a Southern States Cooperative, Inc. (SSC) local farm supply, managed co-op, petroleum or retail service center. Drives profitability by providing leadership and direction to SSC team members in the areas of customer service, sales and merchandising, and operational excellence. Relies on extensive knowledge of retail operations and industry best-practices to accomplish goals. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is required.
Essential Job Functions
Essential Job Functions may vary due to differences in merchandise mix, customer base, and business volume across SSC locations.
- Execute a strategic retail operations plan that aligns customer service, sales and volume building, merchandising, inventory management, budgeting and expense control with SSC business and financial goals. Utilize standard operating procedures (SOP) designed to maximize efficiencies while complying with SSC policy and government regulations.
- Direct daily operations in a manner that optimizes resources and team member skills to achieve profitability targets. Review and analyze financial reports to identify opportunities to increase operating efficiencies. Handle escalated customer inquiries, manage showroom merchandising (dependent upon location), ensure adequate supply of bulk and/or packaged merchandise, oversee warehouse operations including receiving and customer delivery, and foster continuous communication to support team members. Lead daily housekeeping duties to ensure a safe, clean and welcoming environment.
- Lead the development of a highly effective team. Coach facility team members to drive sales by providing excellent customer service. Foster employee engagement by establishing clear performance objectives, continuously communicating facility results and goals, supporting cross training opportunities, removing obstacles to efficient performance, and resolving complex customer issues.
- Coordinate with division leadership to establish a staffing plan designed to meet seasonal volume adjustments and budget requirements. Oversee the hiring process for facility positions. Complete performance appraisals, conduct performance reviews, determine compensatory rewards, and administer corrective action. Promote recognition programs for individuals and teams.
- Promote the SSC brand and business philosophy in a positive and customer-focused manner throughout the local community and sales region. Develop and maintain open lines of communication with local civic leaders, patrons, and board. Direct and perform field sales. Visit current and prospective customer locations to strengthen business relationships and to present product offerings.
- Depending upon product mix, research and assess regional merchandising techniques, pricing trends and/or fluctuation in commodities markets. Gather data through observations of competitors and/or market performance. Collaborate with corporate and regional counterparts to ensure proper pricing to optimize inventory supply and profits.
- Supervise vehicle and equipment maintenance programs, dispatch routes, degree-day systems for fuels, and use of loaned equipment. Order tools and parts for equipment repair. Perform physical inspection, including climbing, crawling, and maneuvering on and around equipment.
- Oversee business office functions including accounting, payroll, returns processing and customer/vendor relations. Verify and approve accounts payable, credits, and other transactions. Manage collection of receivables. Monitor expenditures and control costs to meet financial objectives. Ensure compliance with SSC policies and government regulations.
- Safeguard facility assets. Maintain an inventory control program to ensure inventory integrity and minimize shrink of merchandise. Monitor a facility security program to protect inventory, equipment, facility and staff in accordance with SSC policy.
- Direct and prioritize safety initiatives. Maintain a clean, safe facility to meet OSHA and EPA regulations and Southern States Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) standards. Promote safety, work safely and monitor employees for safe performance. Maintain current Emergency Response Planning records.
- Perform work safely as to not cause harm to yourself, customers, co-workers, equipment, or inventory. Utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required. Operate all equipment according to SSC policy and government regulations. Comply with OSHA regulations, Southern States Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) standards, work rules and policies.
- Perform all other job functions as assigned.
Education: Requires a Bachelor's Degree in business management or related field.
Experience:Requires a minimum of five (5) years of related experience in agribusiness, plant science, refined fuels, livestock / pet care, or related industry. Requires a minimum of two (2) years in a leadership role. Prefer previous experience managing daily business operations. Previous Southern States work experience strongly preferred.
Licensing: Requires valid Driver's License; may require CDL depending upon location
- Demonstrate a commitment to SSC mission, vision and values
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of daily operations to drive sales volume, minimize expenses, and effectively establish polices and operating procedures to support business goals
- Able to effectively apply knowledge of regulations governing storage, distribution and sales of manufactured goods, agricultural products, refined fuels, and/or related merchandise
- Able to perform strategic planning for facility sales and operations
- Able to perform data analysis and utilize results to optimize performance and increase profitability
- Able to manage budgets, monitor and track expenses
- Able to utilize creative thinking and problem solving skills to develop solutions
- Able to communicate clearly and effectively with all levels in the organization and external counterparts
- Able to consistently demonstrate customer-focused interpersonal skills and professional communication
- Able to consistently display servant leadership, build and motivate teams, and delegate responsibilities
- Able to maintain composure while managing conflict and stressful situations
- Attention to detail, accuracy and accountability
- 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 travel 10-20% of time, will vary based on location
The work environment will vary based on location. Essential job functions are primarily performed indoors in a climate controlled environment, however they may also be performed in a warehouse environment that is subject to seasonal temperatures and humidity, and outdoors unprotected from weather conditions.
May be exposed to hazards including:
- Drafts, temperature changes and wet floors due to facility doors opening during adverse weather
- Merchandise, supplies and tools with sharp edges or containing hazardous materials
- Dust, odors, fumes and hazardous chemicals associated with sales and storage of refined fuels, dry and liquid fertilizers, crop protectants and other agricultural, residential, animal care and home care products
- Moving mechanical parts and vehicles, vibrations and electric current
- 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, refined fuel equipment and terminals, fertilizer and crop protectant equipment, and other tools and equipment as determined by specific location and product mix .
Southern States Cooperative, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against based on their race, gender, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or other protected classification.