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Sr. Category Specialist

Date: Jan 18, 2019

Location: Chicago, IL, IL, US, 60606

Company: Glanbia


Reports To:                           Procurement Category Manager

Department:                          Procurement

Location:                               Chicago, IL

Pay Status:                           (Salaried/Exempt)


At Glanbia Nutritionals Inc., our portfolio centers around dairy and non-dairy nutritional ingredients. We co-innovate and deliver ingredient solutions and precision premixes for use in the mainstream food and beverage, infant and clinical, and functional nutrition markets. We are the number one provider of whey-based nutritional ingredients globally and the number one producer of American-style cheddar cheese. Our protein systems have transformed the bar and beverage categories — bringing increased levels of protein, cleaner labels and greater product functionality to market. We have a direct presence in 21 countries, with manufacturing facilities in the US, Germany and China, and international sales and technical offices around the world.


Job Summary

As a key member of the category management team, this position will lead a category and/or major sub-category and also support / deliver the many aspects of global strategy and sourcing process, ensuring we maintain best value and will collaborate cross-functionally to set category strategy.  The role will be responsible for Sourcing lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) while supporting Category Managers, Product Supply, PSM, Commercial/Sales Team, Quality, and Product Development.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities (not restrictive)

  • Leads at least one category or major sub-category on a Global level
  • Leads and has working knowledge of the SST (Strategic Sourcing Team) process
  • Leads and supports  and optimizes a robust global strategy for assigned categories
    • Lead category or support Category Manager in the development, delivery and communication of the category strategy
    • Lead category or support the global cross-functional SSTs to effectively execute the category strategy
    • Ensure that the business requirements and needs of each region are well understood and executed within the category plan; work with the Procurement operations team to implement local sourcing and local category management for items outside not covered in the total Procurement category strategies
    • Assist in Global Collaboration Projects targeted at ongoing harmonization and continuous improvements efforts
    • Support finance and Category Manager on monthly reports as necessary.
    • Lead and support Category Manager on budget revision and updates if necessary.
    • Support and collaborate with S&OP team on key ingredients communications/updates
    • Provide timely communication to Sales/Commercial team on market and price changes. (Monthly market reports/SIM)
    • Work closely with Commercial Finance on commodity dairy pricing and understand dairy markets and complications of quarterly negotiations and budget tracking/reporting.

"Utilize procurement best practices in all areas to deliver strategic value with assurance of supply, alternate sourcing and risk mitigation/reduction by, but not limited to:

  •      Proactively finding alternate sources for key materials/equipment/services
  •      Continuous and diligent updating of price, lead time, terms, etc. in PIR’s and/or contracts
  •      Conducting effective price negotiations for spot buys and initial negotiation for longer term contracts
  •      Effective resolution of daily issues for assigned category/s
  •      Effectively responding to and delivering on the day to day sourcing activities and eTenders  (including    required documentation and R&D / QA approvals) and upload updates to appropriate  sourcing database
  •      Timely follow up and follow through on all sourcing requests from the operations and commercial teams, R&D and innovation teams
  •      Ongoing and effective supplier relationship management that delivers a mutual advantage
  •      Ongoing gathering & reporting of relevant market intelligence
  •      Running spend reports regularly
  •      Entering prices in PDM/SAP/Ariba and using the CRM system to support the Sales Team as appropriate
  •      Assisting in the sourcing of new ingredients/equipment/services, documenting any details in appropriate sourcing database and sourcing systems as well as quality management systems
  •  Submitting new products for evaluation as needed and applicable
  • Responsible for all management of change (MOC) for strategic changes that involve cost savings, risk mitigation or technical efficiency.
  • Support the Operations team in the MOC process for day to day emergencies as needed.
  • Lead and support the savings and avoidance projects as identified and agreed in the category plan:
    •      Cost Savings – Identify and pursue cost savings opportunities together with the Category Manager and internal team members
    •      Cost Avoidance – First line of defense to fight off potential cost increases and work together with the Category Manager to minimize purchasing cost variances"
  • Drive supplier performance and development through proactive utilization of the Supplier Scorecard to benchmark and improve supplier performance through the frequent communication of Glanbia’s expectations and requirements
  • Use the Ariba supplier portal for eTender, contracts, and supplier performance and collaboration
  • Regular attendance is an essential function of this position
  • Lead and supports the Category Manager in the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and works with supplier when operations quality issues become more frequent and/or severe
  • Support other sister divisions/locations for procurement activities such as price negotiation, contracting, sourcing, etc


Additional Functions


Any other key functions and will include any items not captured under essential functions



Supervisory Responsibilities (If relevant)


Performance Indicators

  • Monthly and Bi-annual review with Category Manager on PDP (Personal Development Plan)

Qualification & Experience Requirements

Education, Training:

  • University degree in related field required (equivalent experience in lieu of education may be considered); CPSM or MBA Preferred

Experience Required:

  • Minimum of 4-8 years of business experience; college education  can take the place of work experience
  • Working knowledge of and experience with food and/or fortification in a manufacturing environment is preferred
  • Dairy market indexes and mastery is preferred

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • An ability to negotiate with diverse set of suppliers across multiple regions and close out negotiations
  • Highly detailed with a systematic approach, sense of responsibility and positive customer focus
  • Must have demonstrably strong interpersonal skills (both written and verbal), to include speaking clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations
  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in written form with all levels of personnel within the business unit and in the wider organization, to include excellent writing, negotiation and presentation skills
  • Passionate about the business, will be a strong external ambassador / advocate for the business and will be highly collaborative with the ability to work successfully across teams, regions and functions
  • Analytical with superior problem solving skills over near and long-term planning horizons
  • Strong business understanding and orientation and effectively handles multiple, rapidly changing and conflicting priorities
  • Strong cultural awareness based on past exposure, experience, and successful business dealings 
  • Ability to effectively interact with all levels of personnel with the utmost professionalism
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision while remaining productive at all times.
  • Must be results focused and oriented toward accomplishment of team goals
  • Possesses a passion for learning new skills
  • Must be able to work flexible hours to include overtime and weekends when needed
  • Must be willing to work odd hours with AsPac and EMEA suppliers


Language, Computer &   Numeracy:

  • Fluent in written and spoken English required
  • Experience with and solid understanding of ERP/MRP and supplier portal systems, preferably SAP with the ability and desire to work within and progress such complex systems with Ariba eTender, SharePoint and Business Objects experience also preferred
  • Strong computer skills and proficiency with MS Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint
  • Strong math skills, and knowledge of the metric system, are required
  • Heavy Data analysis including MS Excel pivot tables and spreadsheets to do calculations on cost potency changes, percentages, etc

Travel Requirements

  • Periodic domestic and international travel to visit internal stakeholders in other regions, tradeshows, suppliers, and other events as required (15%)
  • Weekly or bi-weekly same-day travel potential to/from Wisconsin to supplement the face-to-face collaboration with the commercial and finance teams at that location. 

Typical Physical Activity

  • Regularly involves talking or listening, sitting, and the use of hands and fingers.
  • Regularly involves going up and down stairs.
  • Frequently involves reaching with hands and arms, standing and walking.
  • Occasionally involves crouching, stooping, kneeling and/or climbing or balancing.

Typical Environmental Conditions

  • May be exposed to moderate noise levels (i.e. office equipment, light traffic).

May work in areas with mechanical moving parts, above ground with risk of fall, or areas with risk of electrical shock.

Are you someone who likes to make it happen, make it better and make it fun? If so, our company offers you an excellent opportunity to do really interesting work and develop a career in a dynamic and innovative environment that is all about making you and our business successful.

Nearest Major Market: Chicago