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Senior Category Manager

Posted 7 March by Howdens Joinery Featured Ended

At Howdens we invest in our people and provide thorough on the job training and excellent career progression opportunities. We have been awarded 7th place for the Best Big Companies to Work for in the Sunday Times for recognition of excellence in the workplace. 

Howdens Joinery, a trade only business with over 630 depots, has built a reputation that builders can trust through offering best local price and providing product from local stock. Our unbeatable service and product has led to us becoming a market leader, which is why we were awarded the Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen in 2015 for our quality and excellence. Despite its scale, Howdens remains a local business with traditional values. 

We are proud of our substantial growth and remain committed to success through the expansion of our local depot network. We are seeking talented people to help us continue to grow our business and are now looking to recruit:

Senior Category Manager

To further support the growth of the business, this role has the accountability to develop the category strategy and to create the detailed product plans (for assigned categories), incorporating the associated key financials and the opportunities / risks that will be taken for executive approval.  

You will be leading and developing a team of Category Managers & Assistant Category Managers to develop plans that will maximise sales, margin & customer satisfaction. Category plans will be informed by multiple sources of internal & external insight (including commercial figures, market, customer, supplier, depot feedback, product trends etc).  In addition you will work closely with the Supply & Product teams to introduce new product innovation and manage the product life-cycle to optimise performance. 

This role would suit a Senior Category Manager wanting to develop their career or an experienced Category Manager looking to take the next step. 

This position is currently based in Northampton then relocating to our new purpose built offices in Raunds in 2020.

Responsibilities in brief

  • Develop a clear and customer focused category strategy to deliver growth in sales & profit
  • Creation of category product plan and high level financials through product reviews, supplier intelligence, design authority, competitor, performance & customer insight
  • Provision of regular new product & test sales analysis and insight with summaries and recommendations for progression
  • Engagement with the field / lab and depots on new product opportunities and gaps – via board meetings or feedback roadshows/forums
  • Identification of future end of life products
  • Provision of insight and summaries and recommendations for Product Strategy / Trade board meetings
  • Develop, manage and coach direct reports and wider team to ensure they achieve business and personal objectives in order to reach their full potential

Skills & experience

  • Previous experience of Category Management at a senior level in a fast paced commercial business
  • Graduate standard or equivalent vocational qualifications/experience
  • Experienced in creating commercial product category plans
  • Highly commercial with excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Experience in using market & customer insights to inform decision making and to create a customer focused category strategy.
  • Strong analytical skills and highly competent in Excel and  associated packages
  • A proficient man-manager with a proven track record in developing others
  • A self-starter with an enquiring mind
  • Strong stakeholder engagement skills
  • Organised, determined & resilient
  • Confident to work alone i.e. competent to identify what information is needed, how to obtain it and effectively summarise recommendations

Howdens deeply value team working and reward our people in line with individual and team success through a competitive package of benefits including;

  • Highly competitive salary plus bonus, car/car allowance
  • Laptop, mobile phone
  • Matched contribution pension scheme
  • 25 days holiday (excluding Bank holidays)
  • Staff discount on Howdens products
  • Share awards and prize draws
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Modern spacious offices with free parking

Reference: 34627306

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