The Category Strategy Manager is responsible for executing the Category strategy through implementation of tactics, assessing results, and adapting based upon outcomes. Implementation activities can be grouped in four major disciplines: strategy management, vendor relationships, category marketing, and cross-functional collaboration. Key activities include key vendor relationship management and negotiation, product line value proposition, and annual tactics planning.
DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES
Provides supporting category and industry expertise, data, and insights used to define the strategy for the Category:
An 8 step process with emphasis on setting, implementing, and adapting tactics:
- Define Category
- Assess Role of Category
- Assess Category Performance
- Set Objectives and Targets
- Devise Strategy
- Set Tactics
- Implement Tactics
- Review and Adapt
Tactics Planning and Implementation
- Participates in annual planning process
- Creates customer solutions for assigned product lines and lead execution in partnership with sales
- Provides feedback and collaborates with the Category Operations team to continually improve processes
- Leads cross-functional initiatives to drive the business, serving as the SME for the assigned product lines
- Incorporates Change Management as the Strategy evolves
- Builds a cross-functional plan for tactical execution of the assigned product lines incorporating sales, marketing, supply chain, and any other necessary key functions
- Negotiates with and manages key suppliers; aligns goals
- Resolves contract-specific conflicts
- Articulates product line value propositions and whitespace
- Manages +/- product, brand, and vendor rationalization
- Collaborates with the Category Operations team to implement pricing strategy
- Monitors product line contribution margin (sales, cost, coop negotiation, supply chain opportunities)
- Identifies and leads execution of actions to drive growth
- Prepares thorough vendor performance reviews
Builds and Motivates a High-performing Team of Associates and a Culture of Engagement
- Develops skills and competencies of individual contributors
- Communicates openly and effectively
- Manages performance
- Recognizes and rewards appropriately
- Resolves conflict with internal partners or external suppliers or escalates to next leadership level.
- Fosters the company Culture in the department and throughout the company to ensure fulfillment of organizational vision and unity of purpose.
- Participation in special projects and performs additional duties as required
EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE
- Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Supply Chain, or a Related Field; Masters Level preferred.
- Minimum of seven years of experience required.
- Responsible for small population of 10-50 non-strategic suppliers/sales/team (greater than 50+ suppliers/sales/team possible)
- Ability to manage cross-functional initiatives required.
- MS Office proficiency required
- A valid drivers license and the ability to travel up to 10% of the time may be required
- Must be a U.S. citizen or current Green Card holder.