The Associate Category Manager drives category performance through detailed analysis of product assortment, pricing change analysis, including historical changes and future forecasting, vendor proposals and agreements. The position is focused on optimization of category activities to include new product review, assortment review, vendor negotiations, including RFP and RFI activities, and pricing work related to the assigned category.
Manage and provide detailed analysis of assigned category performance including growth objectives. Analysis will focus on the areas of product assortment, pricing, promotions, new product introductions, pricing changes, etc. Maintain regular reports to track performance and identify impact of variables on category performance against established metrics. Identify and report on trends, changes and opportunities. Provide suggestions aimed at increasing category performance.
Develop RFPs and RFIs. Throughout the course of vendor negotiations and on-going management, review vendor proposals, agreements and contracts to support the category’s success.
Manage and maintain relationships with vendors leading product reviews, identification and assessment of opportunities and negotiating promotions for conferences. Additionally, the Associate Category Manager will negotiate with vendors who currently do not have in-place agreements with US Foods. Negotiate deals and Vendor Pricing Allowances (VPAs) with suppliers.
Review and assess vendor performance reports, identify issues and provide recommendations to Category Manager.
Conduct product assortment review and analysis, identifying top-performing SKUs by division and region. Identify areas for potential growth and analyze impact of proposed assortment changes. Recommend changes and actions to the Category Manager, aimed at enhancing category effectiveness and performance.
Review category pricing reports on a regular basis, identifying potential pricing issues and opportunities. Conduct a detailed analysis on the impact of pricing and assortment changes and provide findings and recommendations to the Category Manager. Support the category by developing category specific communications, including product launch support materials.
Maintain close relations with US Foods’ regions and divisions with the objective of understanding critical requirements and perspectives and ensuring that their needs are addressed in the overall category strategy. Liaise with divisions to resolve escalated merchandising issues.
# EOE Race/Color/Religion/Sex/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/National Origin/Protected Veteran/Disability Status
*Education/Training:* Four year college degree in business or related field, or equivalent experience required.
*Related Experience:* Minimum 3 years experience in retail, food service or with a consumer goods company. Prior experience in vendor relations, pricing and management of product assortment required. Prior Category Management experience strongly desired.
*Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:* Must possess the ability to operate successfully in a matrix environment and work effectively across multiple groups and levels.
The successful candidate will have solid quantitative and analytical skills and the ability to work in a team setting. Must possess, or be able to rapidly develop, a strong knowledge of products within assigned category and division sales requirements. Must be able to provide fact-based recommendations across various levels of management. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a high degree of motivation, the ability to prioritize and self direct, strong business acumen and sound interpersonal skills. Strong verbal, written and presentation skills required. Proficiency required in the use of Microsoft Office, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Microsoft Outlook. Prior experience with Microsoft Access a plus.
**Primary Location:** Rosemont-IL
**Schedule:** Full-time **Shift:** Day Job
**Job Function:** Category Management
**Job Level:** Individual Contributor
About US Foods
Why US Foods? As one of America’s top 10 largest private companies, we offer talented professionals outstanding opportunities for personal and professional development. We maintain a strong focus on growth in a high-performance environment. That means your work will be challenging and rewarding. We conduct business in a highly ethical manner and maintain an unwavering commitment to operational excellence, safety, and environmental responsibility. As important, we encourage collaboration and value each member of our diverse and talented team.