Category Manager

The Category Manager is responsible for developing and implementing supply chain strategies for categories supporting the speciality products group.


The Category Manager is responsible for developing and implementing supply chain strategies for categories supporting the speciality products group. This role directs initiatives across the complete range of strategic sourcing activities including supplier identification, spend analysis, strategy formulation, contract negotiations, strategic supplier relationship management, and supplier quality. This position coordinates extensive programs and activities across a variety of teams, functions, and enterprise wide operating companies: purchasing, sales, engineering, quality control, operations and finance. The category manager will develop and implement strategic and robust plans to ensure both value and risk are managed correctly, mitigating risks within the macro-economic environment, and supporting a consistent value chain.


  • Develop Category Strategy: Development and execution of long-term supply strategy, landed cost modeling, supplier opportunity assessments, supplier financial analysis, negotiations and long-term contract establishment. Utilize TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
  • Develop a solid working knowledge of certain category trends including: industry trends, cost drivers, global pricing, material lead times, and technical/manufacturing processes.
  • Negotiate and manage global contracts with suppliers, ensuring cost competitiveness requirements, continuous improvement activities, and risk mitigation methodologies.
  • Partner with suppliers to design and implement aggressive marketing strategies focused on topline growth.
  • Coordinate supplier consolidation efforts to leverage enterprise spend globally.
  • Execute and monitor performance metrics based on PQLIR (Price, Quality, Logistics, Innovation and Risk) and goals specific to each supplier. Including the supplier’s role in continuous improvement tied to product cost reductions, supply chain improvements, quality control.
  • Establish Supplier Development programs to maximize value from incumbents and to identify and establish alternate suppliers; coordination and support onsite supplier assessment / certification audits and continuous improvement activities that drive down total cost.
  • Develop a budget for their spend base (annual spend, savings targets, market indices).
  • Act as a product expert for respective product line responsibilities.
  • Meet company gross profit goals while reducing E&O inventory.
  • Investigate and recommend new and/or alternate sources of supply as necessary to support new customer opportunities, cost reduction requirements, and/or supplier performance issues.
  • Work to continuously improve productivity and efficiency of processes throughout the enterprise organization.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned.



  • Fluency German and/or Mandarin, a plus
  • High standard of professionalism and ethics
  • Preferred style of teamwork, collaboration, and humility
  • Energetic, entrepreneurial spirit – ability to “think outside the box”
  • Ability to read and interpret engineering drawings
  • Self-motivated, self-starter with a sense of urgency
  • Ability to lead through influence and manage business goals in a cross-functional and cross-organizational team environment
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and execute parallel tasks in a high-pressure environment to achieve business goals
  • Ability to communicate concisely at all levels inside and outside the company, both in written and verbal communications
  • Proven presentation skills, effective negotiation skills, and highly organized
  • Strategic thinker; uses creative and innovative problem solving approach to achieve goals.
  • Computer skills: Advanced Excel, Working knowledge of other Microsoft Suite products including Outlook, PowerPoint, MS Project skills a plus. Experience with Tier I ERP systems such as SAP or Oracle preferred
  • Ability to travel 20-30% (Domestically and International)