A.W. Chesterton Company

Global Category Leader- Procurement

3 months ago
Job ID
1st Shift


At Chesterton, we have a laser focus on our customers.  This job impacts the customer by creating a sourcing strategy that ensures our materials are purchased for the right price and show up at the right time, and is purchased from suppliers who can support our new product innovation process on a global basis.


Job Summary:


Accountable for achieving global objectives in assigned category or commodity areas. Responsible for leading cross-functional, global or regional category management teams or sub-teams (eg SSI/SPI). Responsible for the development & execution of the overall procurement category strategy for AW Chesterton. Responsible for project management of assigned category activities together with supplier management. Serves as team leader for assigned category, and partners with the relevant functional leaders and regions to identify future sourcing opportunities. Forecasts short to medium range price movements for assigned commodities and develop and recommend cost reduction targets to achieve agreed purchasing price variance / cost savings goals, inclusive of should cost modeling) for the category. Ensures that purchasing buyers/purchasing assistants activities are aligned with company objectives and business needs.




Category Planning and Management

  • Develops overall procurement category business plan
  • Analyzes internal spend and macro factors to understand positioning of key suppliers/spend within category and recommend opportunities, identify potential threats and / or counter measures
  • Leverages the appropriate business tools to evaluate and track price movements
  • Develops purchase standards leadership and recommended cost reduction targets to achieve agreed purchasing price variance / cost reduction goals
  • Exploits predicted favorable market conditions and implements contingencies for predicted unfavorable conditions
  • Creates opportunities to bring new suppliers into the matrix through a thorough understanding of the supplier base
  • Works with Engineering/New Product Development / Marketing to challenge requirements and identify product opportunities
  • Oversees execution of strategy across global teams; Identifies roles/responsibilities of key team members required to develop and execute category plan
  • Aligns category strategies with wider Corporate and Procurement objectives


Sourcing Strategy

  • Assesses the business impact and supply market complexity to make a recommendation on the sourcing strategy
  • Ensures the Category Team understands applicability of the available tools (eAuction, RFx) and develops appropriate strategies to ensure effectively utilization
  • Drives the creation of sourcing strategy recommendations within the category, communicate and achieve buy-in from key stakeholders
  • Identifies and incorporates Low Cost Country Sourcing opportunities in strategy development
  • Prepares contingency plans for key suppliers and spend segments including countering market conditions
  • Develops benchmarking strategy for both intra-industry and inter-industry comparisons


Supplier Portfolio Generation/Maintenance

  • Ensures the team utilizes required tools and processes to effectively manage assigned Chesterton’s supply base, including recommending and implementing opportunities for rationalization
  • Manages the development and implementation of measurement criteria in order to assess and rate suppliers
  • Analyzes supplier operations and financial accounts (e.g. annual report, financial statements, cash flow, P&L, balance sheets, etc.)
  • Promotes the value of the key supplier audit/assessment process within the team and ensures a schedule is managed and followed


Supplier Management/Partnership

  • Ensures the category team analyzes industry best practices and works with responsible supply base, set and manage clear performance targets
  • Manages the development and execution of periodic process to communicate issues, and performance against targets with responsible supply base
  • Develops a solid, trusting relationship with supplier aimed at increasing responsiveness and customer service
  • Develops and manages initiatives which utilize key tools (e.g. value analysis and engineering, audits and KPI's) as a way to build supplier performance and improve relationships
  • Recommends ways in which supplier’s innovation capabilities may add value to the Company
  • Identifies non-value added activities, and develops programs to reduce waste and improve the effectiveness of both processes and information flow (i.e. should costing)
  • Promotes benchmarking amongst key suppliers within and outside our industry and the sharing of best practices


Leveraging Competition

  • Works with the team and internal customers to capture and validate clear requirements across the category, in order to expand the pool of potential suppliers and solutions to maximize competition
  • Designs RFP/RFQ leveraging applicable templates and existing technologies
  • Manages the bidding process across the category, ensuring effective communication to suppliers and stakeholders
  • Ensures creation of objective structure to analyze supplier responses leveraging applicable templates and technologies



  • Manages the development and communication of a wide range of negotiation plans for the category. Ensures a clear presentation, incorporating all elements (not just purchase price)
  • Considers total network costs and responsiveness and quality objectives when planning negotiations
  • Masters a wide range of appropriate negotiating tactics and styles to effectively manage the negotiations according to circumstances 




  • Develops and adapts pricing mechanisms and payment terms to suit various markets in order to optimize Chesterton’s cash position
  • Builds in adequate protection and remedies against potential dispute/difficulties through establishing service level agreements and KPI schedules
  • Writes and develops draft contracts incorporating relevant legal terminology and laws regulating purchasing policies and procedures, ethical practices, and adherence to supplier contracts and agreements
  • Works with legal staff to ensure that all contracts meet the legal requirements of the company and are appropriate and commercially suitable while protecting the company from legal and business risks
  • Facilitates awareness of contractual responsibilities, liabilities, moral and ethical duties across the business


Business Systems

  • Ensures the effective use within the category of key systems and resources that support all procurement, operational and sourcing processes (Including local transactional systems, eSourcing (eRFx / eAuction) applications, supply market analysis and spend analysis tools)
  • Utilizes all standard office applications as appropriate
  • Participates in the planning and implementation of new Procurement technologies
  • Champions the use of key procurement systems and resources
  • Articulates gaps and opportunities in existing technologies


Process Improvement

  • Drives the identification and implementation of process improvement opportunities within the category and team (Including the use of statistical and root cause analysis)
  • Champions best practices amongst category team members and across category teams
  • Supports process improvement activities in other categories / locations


Strategic Planning

  • Participates in the identification and planning of SSI Waves
  • Develops clear procurement policies and procedures for the relevant category to guide the function towards long-term business objectives
  • Researches industry trends, creates and tracks savings across the category
  • Liaisons with multi-functional teams (e.g., Engineering, Manufacturing, Product Packaging) to find cost reduction opportunities


Project Management

  • Develops detailed project plans supporting all activities across the category, identifying key deliverables and roles/responsibilities for all team members
  • Establishes and manages a project budget
  • Obtains buy-in from key stakeholders on plans and budget
  • Executes plan communicating relevant project information to stakeholders


Complexity of Duties:


  • Work is highly independent, with minimum instruction or supervision.
  • Supervises, and coaches associates at varying levels, representing multiple product teams and/or sub-teams.
  • Advises their team, removes roadblocks, and ensures full and timely completion of projects.
  • Makes business decisions based upon sound judgment that impact product introduction schedules, financial plans and specifications.
  • Work is reviewed in terms of meeting Company objectives and schedules.
  • Suboptimal results, decisions or recommendations would often result in critical program delays, considerable expenditure of resources and loss of product revenue.
  • Establishes, develops and maintains productive long term relationships with key suppliers.
  • Provides solutions to a wide range of problems, some of which will be complex in nature.
  • Partners with finance to manage department budget, projects and key initiatives.
  • Frequent inter-organizational and outside customer/supplier contacts are expected. Ongoing negotiation (with suppliers as well as with internal associates) is expected in order to achieve optimal cost, on-time and successful completion of projects.


Essential Skills:


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Superior negotiation, arbitration, conflict resolution, problem solving and interpersonal skills with suppliers, internal and external customers. Ability to coach associates in these skills.
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills managing associates spanning two or more business areas.
  • Thorough knowledge of, and ability to audit, enhance and write AWC procedures and policies.
  • Advanced analytical and presentation skills. Advanced project management skills.
  • Able to understand and work effectively in an ISO 9000 / ISO 14001 environment.
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft office suite products
  • Ability to utilize and master various computer systems.
  • Ability to analyze and assist in implementation of new computer systems and train others.
  • Manages priorities and delivers projects and tasks on time.
  • Consistent Customer focused attitude. Communicates frequently with direct reports, management, customer service, manufacturing leadership and others, to keep them well informed.


Education and/or Experience:


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration or Engineering is required
  • APICS and/or CPM highly desirable
  • 4-6 years’ of experience in purchasing, across multiple areas of spend
  • Demonstrated track record in cost reduction and supplier development, within a global multi-facility settings
  • Superior decision-making and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to provide coaching and direction to a diverse team of associates.
  • Function well in a dynamic environment and be able to prioritize tasks.
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions in written, oral, diagram or schedule form.
  • Experience with international purchase order terms, Incoterms® 2010 and Harmonized Tariff Codes.
  • Understanding of international currency valuation and how it impacts cost.
  • Basic knowledge of purchasing contract law.
  • Familiarity with basic financial accounting. Develops and tracks budgets.
  • Strong working knowledge of import / export compliance.

Physical Demands:


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, sit, talk or hear and reach with hands and arms. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision. Moderate noise (i.e.: computer printers, traffic) exists daily in the work environment.


All of A.W. Chesterton Company employment is contingent upon successfully passing a background check, drug test, and the respective medical surveillance requirements.


Chesterton is an equal opportunity employer  M/F/V/D




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