Category Manager

Topco Associates LLC

Topco Associates LLC is a privately held company that provides innovative business solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers.

This is a position that combines Topco’s sourcing and category management responsibilities under the direct supervision and administrative direction of Category Director. The Category Manager, is responsible for the marketing, merchandising, and management of assigned product groups/programs in such a manner as to grow Topco program sales and enhance the competitive position and profitability of member companies. In this role, the Category Manager is also Responsible for developing and implementing the short term (day to day) and long-term (2-3 year) strategic sourcing strategy for assigned categories measured by the lowest total cost of ownership, maximum member participation, and competitive position and profitability of Topco member companies.

1. Conceptualizes and creates goals, objectives, and action plans for product categories, with the purpose of meeting member needs, achieving full member participation, and ensuring that product and services are provided to the advantage of members.

2. Analyzes assigned program areas to develop marketing strategies and to identify areas of business and program growth opportunities to meet current and future member and consumer needs.

3. Establish annual goals and objectives for assigned categories aligned to company/department objectives. Develop strategic sourcing plan and supply chain actions including: locating new sources of supply, finding high quality and competitively priced products, utilizing e-sourcing tools to gather information and negotiate with supply base, identifying alternative specifications, identifying common specifications, aggregating member spend, contracting and/or introducing new technologies or techniques to drive savings or value to members.

4. Employs superior communication skills to establish credibility with members, promote member acceptance of new products, expand member participation in existing programs through economic justification, and support member efforts to expand market share for private label goods.

5. Develops sales plans to increase member participation in assigned product groups and achieve maximum volume incentives to improve member profits.

6. Promotes increased member participation by developing pricing, ongoing promotional schedules, and customized promotional activities.

7. Analyzes market, industry trends and member needs and takes action to keep products, programs, and services in line with changing market conditions and consumer trends; develops new products and programs with existing vendors or new vendors to maintain and enhance member competitiveness in their markets, and identify brand targets

8. Analyzes department finances and maintains sound financial position by developing operating budgets, forecasts, controlling expenses, and taking responsibility for achieving sales, patronage, inventory, packaging, and expense budgets for assigned area.

9. Develops business plans for assigned area of responsibility, updates the plan annually, and reports progress/relevant issues to senior management. Relates operating numbers to industry, member numbers, and trends.

10. Promotes viability of product packaging by recommending packaging design concepts to keep Topco products competitive with the brands.

11. Coordinates new member start up activities in assigned programs and product groups.

12. Coordinate with third parties and other channels to grow assigned programs and product groups

13. Enhances the ability of departmental associates to deliver quality service to members by managing and developing subordinates; this includes instituting, reviewing, and following up on on-the-job training programs, conducting performance appraisals of direct reports, and recommending promotions, merit raises, and other actions as appropriate.

14. Furthers Topco’s value to members by coordinating member projects and assigning them to subordinates for completion.

15. Stays current with industry, market, and consumer trends by attending conferences/trade shows and reading trade periodicals and information, and applies this information creatively to develop assigned product areas and enhance members’ competitiveness in the marketplace.

16. Establish and maintain relationships with key suppliers in managed categories to ensure compliance with category plan including acquisition costs, vendor incentives, risk management, supply chain development, innovation, and continuous improvement. Utilize annual business planning, business reviews and supplier scorecards

17. Demonstrate leadership competency skills through strong business acumen, influencing stakeholder constituents, and change management actions. Duties may also include Developmental Projects internally or external to the department. Responsible for the subordinate Associate’s skill development advancement.

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