Category Manager

HEAD|HUNTED Recruitment Ltd
Watton, UK
17 Oct 2019
02 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Head Hunted Recruitment are proud to be working with an award winning local business who are one of the largest in their sector and boasting a strong market presence, the company are in the process of adding an experienced Category Manager to the team.

Reporting to the Product And Buying Director, the Category Manager will optimise the portfolio of products within their category, be responsible for product sales and gross profitability. Manage product costs and supplier terms - working in close co-operation with the Hong Kong office. The Category Manager will lead innovation in the category through the development and implementation of new products.

You will need substantial experience in comparable consumer product management roles, including the management of Far Eastern suppliers.

We would be particularly interested to hear from candidates with experience of either consumer household goods or consumer outdoor product categories.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Category research and planning

· Monitor product and range performance throughout the product lifecycle, reporting findings

· Collate and interpret market reviews to inform the competitor and price landscapes

· Investigate competitor product to benchmark quality and specification

· Attend trade events and fairs and visit manufacturing sites internationally as required for

sourcing products and suppliers, and report back to the business opportunities and findings

· With sales colleagues, meet with customers to better understand customer requirements

and opportunities within the category

· Recommend NPD and discontinuations within the category

Supplier and product cost management

· Manage the performance of suppliers within the category in co-operation with other category managers and the Hong Kong office

o Supplier OTIF (with supply chain)

o Product quality (with Product Standards Manager)

o Negotiate and establish target product costs, monitor and report on variances

o Negotiate supplier terms

Product selling price management

· Establish and set optimal product RSPs to maximise gross profitability

· Provide product category gross margin guidance for account managers where net pricing is used

· Seek input and guidance on product pricing from sales colleagues and senior management.

Product Development

· Support the business in the identification of new products and new ranges through detailed market knowledge, customer visits, exhibition visits and factory visits

· Liaise with stakeholders and external resources to determine product and packaging specifications and designs

· Maintain a detailed record of all active projects and provide frequent and accurate updates of progress against timelines to stakeholders

· Formally record bronze and silver signoffs according to the timeline requirements

· Create a detailed and accurate specification sheet suitable for manufacturing and QA purposes

· Prepare a detailed artwork and packaging brief for the marketing team, and provide technical sign-off on the artwork to ensure that claims and statements are accurate and substantiated

· Ensure the manufacturer provides all samples of product and packaging as required by the company and its customers, in a timely manner, and record and report approvals or amends accordingly

· To progress developments through a structured sample and costing process, including:

o Develop costed product briefs for internal approval (Bronze seal)

o Select the most commercial manufacturing partner and work through prototyping and sampling stages to gain approval for mass production, including detailed costings and commercials (Silver seal)

o Sign off first-off production samples against agreed samples and spec (Gold Seal)

· Ensure on-time, in-full delivery of NPD

Product and supplier file maintenance

· Create and maintain a complete and accurate database of product specifications

· Create and maintain a complete and accurate database of all conformance documentation, including Safety Data Sheets, electrical safety compliance, REACH compliance and other such reports and certificates that are required by the business

· Maintain an approved sample area for reference purposes

· Managing others, including vendors, to support these provisions, as and when appropriate in order to meet the businesses requirements

· Create and maintain a complete and accurate database of product related suppliers to the business, including alternative suppliers

General Responsibilities

· Provide an initial point of contact for customer service queries on product specification and regulation

· Providing product training to staff and customers as required from time to time

· Participating in meetings where specification and conformity are key topics

· Attend meetings, trade events and fairs nationally and internationally where the company is exhibiting to provide sales support

· Comply with Health & Safety regulations taking responsibility for the H&S of self and others

· Any other reasonably requested task

Relevant Skills and Experience


· Minimum of five years in a comparable consumer product management role

· Three years' experience of managing the relationship with suppliers including cost and terms negotiation

· Experience of working with and managing Fare Eastern or other non-EU suppliers


· Ability to plan and organise workload to meet deadlines

· Attention to detail

· Ability to communicate confidently and effectively at all levels, both written and verbal

· Excellent IT skills, including using Microsoft Excel

· A collaborative and open working manner

· Good time keeping & flexibility to working hours

This privately owned company has an excellent working culture and are renowned for their innovative product solutions and customer relationships.

As Category Manager you would receive a very attractive salary circa 40K+ company bonus

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