Hold on to your hats, Mid-States is relocating to Fort Worth! Not only are we moving, but our company is experiencing unprecedented growth and is expanding our team! Our Category Managers will develop and manage supplier relationships, events and merchandising programs on behalf of the Mid-States Membership. This will involve collaboration with the Business Unit (division), committees, stockholders, member buyers and executive management to leverage the combined purchasing power of the cooperative. This position serves as the company’s “ambassador” for assigned merchandise categories and requires very strong skills including: analysis, consultation, collaboration, negotiation, cross-functional team work, communication, presentation and building consensus through influence. We encourage you to jump on our bandwagon and apply today!
Established in 1954, Mid-States Distributing ("Mid-States") is the leading Farm, Ranch and Home Retail Cooperative. Our cooperative consists of 39 independent, privately held, financially sound Farm, Ranch & Home retailers (“Members”) who are committed and loyal to their fellow Members and the betterment of all. The Members have approximately 650+ retail store locations throughout the United States and Canada generating over $6.5 billion of annual retail sales. Our Members merchandise items such as agriculture parts & supplies, petroleum products, tools & hardware, pet food, lawn & garden, animal health supplies, apparel & footwear, sporting goods as well as other products for the Farm, Ranch and Home.
The Mid-States team is relocating to Fort Worth, TX from Mendota Heights, MN and is excited to add some stellar Texas talent to our already sterling team. This new conglomerate of Minnesota nice and Southern charm will create and deliver profit enhancing, efficiency improving and cost reducing centralized product and service solutions so that our Members and Suppliers optimize and maximize their business potential.
The following functions and tasks are necessary to support the direct and indirect business. The direct business is our centralized sourcing, purchasing and distribution service to our members and is our growth engine. The indirect business is our traditional program management that does not come through our centralized distribution model and remains a critical element of our Members’ core business needs.
- Develop and manage supplier relationships in assigned categories
- Research, select and certify supplier merchandise programs
- Forecast and budget in responsible areas with cross functional teams
- Manage master data for assigned categories while working to enhance programs
- Coordinate supplier involvement and participate in the design, management and execution processes of the semi-annual tradeshows
- Negotiate, drive/guide “direct” programs from inception to implementation
- Ensure assigned annual revenue plan is achieved through tradeshow structured resources
- Manage supplier assortments & recommend leveraged buys
- Communicate all aspects of supplier programs to the membership via website, mailing, e-mail, tradeshows and meetings
- Manage and analyze each assigned suppliers’ programs for value and accuracy
- Identify and drive new business opportunities by conducting analysis on market trends and facilitation of coordinated line reviews
- Resolve conflicts between suppliers and members in a “win-win” scenario
- Coordinate and manage supplier “Top to Top” meetings, member committee meetings and associated category line reviews
- Present, influence and promote our Learning Management Solution to suppliers to foster commitment and participation
- Support the execution of Private Brand Strategy
- Other duties as assigned
- Positive Attitude & Team player
- Ability to “sell” your vision to member buyers, their owners and our suppliers
- Self-directed associate who can drive results as well as take balanced risks and make decisions
- Able to multi-task and define long and short-term objectives and establish priorities
- Understands the complexities of different cost structures and continuously looks for opportunities to improve processes
- Ability to offer opinions and support senior management and business leaders
- Demonstrated integrity and ethical standards
- Global Sourcing and product development
- Strong organizational, communication (Oral / Written / Public Speaking) and effective collaboration skills
- Flexibility and agility to change and adapt to ever evolving customer, channel and business needs
Required Education and Experience:
- Bachelor's degree or higher in business, retailing, management, sales, or marketing OR equivalent work experience
- Minimum seven (7) years of sourcing and category management experience, including negotiation, contracting and supplier performance management in a distributor/wholesale/retail environment
- Proven negotiation skills through collaboration & strategic thinking - track record of delivering cost savings, cost efficiencies and total cost of ownership improvement
- Experience with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system
- Proficient in MS Office applications such as Outlook, Excel, (vlook-up/pivot tables) Word & PowerPoint
- Proven project management skills
- Strong analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills with a high attention to detail
- Possess the inter-personal, written and verbal communication skills needed to interact with people at all levels of the organization
- Proven knowledge of the end-to-end retail Merchandising, Advertising, Marketing and Supply-Chain business processes
- Competitive Salary
- 10 Paid Holidays
- Paid Time Off (PTO) starts accruing from day 1 and is available after 90 days
- Employer pays 85% of health and dental premiums for employee only and family coverage when enrolled in base plan
- Employer contributions to Health Savings Account (HSA) for HSA eligible health plans
- Flexible Spending Accounts (General Medical, Limited Purpose, and Dependent Care Reimbursement) available
- Voluntary Vision Coverage
- Employer paid Term Life and AD&D Coverage, Short and Long Term Disability
- Optional additional life insurance available
- 401(k) with company match and discretionary profit sharing (upon meeting eligibility requirements)
- Casual dress code
Business travel of approximately 20-25% for supplier meetings, member visits and tradeshows.
This position has no supervisory responsibilities.
Physical Demands and Work Environment:
Generally, the job requires 80% sitting, 10% walking, and 10% standing. This job is performed in a generally clean environment. The usual and customary methods of performing the job's functions require the following physical demands: some lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling, some stooping and significant fine finger dexterity.