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Global Category Manager - Strategic Sourcing and Procurement

Job reference:
category manager
$70k - $90k plus bonus
Job type:
Perm - Non-consulting
Outsourcing, Supply Chain / Procurement
Date posted:

Our client is a leader in the diving market with c.a. 1000 people across 16 legal entities and 7 production sites. Their products are distributed worldwide through 10 affiliates (owned distribution platforms) and +90 distribution partnerships.

They operates in three main markets:

  • Recreational diving (regulators, BCDs, wetsuits/ drysuits, masks/ fins/ snorkels, instruments, spearfishing/ spear guns)
  • Military & Professional (military & professional)
  • Sporting goods (swimwear, swimwear competition, goggles, snorkelling, paddling)


They launched in 2016 a vast programme of procurement optimisation split in two parts:

Strategic sourcing: A target of 6 to 9m€ across all categories of spent has been set to be delivered with the help of a team of consultants from a major consulting firm across two ‘waves’. Wave 1 is set to start in June 2017 for a completion at the end of the year. Plastic Sporting Goods has an annual spend of 25m€ and is the top ‘Goods for Resale’ category in terms of savings target for this first wave so it represents a very strategic element of the initiative.

Procurement organisation: To ensure a performant execution of procurement on the short and the long term, the consulting firm will also help designing the procurement department for the client. This entails appointing a Global Procurement Manager, as well as Global Category Managers, together with the planning and running of a training programme and providing a set of tools for them. For this reason, they are today looking for new colleagues to accompany them in the building of this new procurement function.


Role and responsibilities

The role will differ on the short term and on the long term given the high focus on the strategic sourcing project launched in June 2017. In the short term (until about June 2018), the Category Manager will work alongside the consultants to support the delivery of the savings targets set for the Plastic Sporting Goods category, whilst engaging relations with stakeholders and suppliers, getting familiar with the organisation, and participating in building up the future procurement organisation for Aqua Lung.

On the long term, the main activities will be:

  • Manage a total annual spend of circa 33m€ (including Plastic Sporting Goods)
  • Using the Group Procurement methodology to define business needs, assess supply markets, define strategy, conduct tendering and negotiation
  • Use the tools, templates, and techniques as part of the methodology to run highly effective sourcing projects and give confidence to business stakeholders
  • Work closely with all interested internal and external stakeholders to ensure all sourcing strategies are fit for purpose and meet the business-wide requirements
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with strategic suppliers
  • Follow internal governance process to ensure all ‘stage gates’ are approved before proceeding
  • Create robust legal contracts, in line with all their legal standards
  • Implement contracts to ensure operational satisfaction
  • Work flexibly across a broader range of categories to meet changing business requirements


Skills and experience

  • Strategic sourcing experience – Goods for Resale, Plastic sporting goods (masks, snorkels, fins) or similar
  • Good analytical skills – able to use MS Excel to analyse reports, supplier quotations, create spend profiles, …
  • Good interpersonal skills – confident and assertive, without being aggressive. Able to be assertive and influence effectively across a wide stakeholder base both internally within them and across the supply market
  • Cultural awareness – most of the suppliers of Goods for Resale are located in the Far East
  • Project management skills – disciplined at defining actions and following through
  • Stakeholder management skills – the stakeholder base is diverse and the role needs the ability to operate effectively at Executive level (influencing and articulating issues & opportunities); and at a more day-to-day operational level. The person must be able to flex style to have credibility at all levels
  • Go-to attitude and driven personality




-          Fluency in English

-          Computer literate with good MS Office applications skills

-          Experience of similar sourcing roles

-          Business or engineering degree or equivalent higher qualification

-          Willingness to travel in Europe, US and Asia on a regular basis



-          Fluency in one or more languages other than English, in particular French and /or Italian

-          Experience with Far East sourcing

-          Problem solving skill-sets – e.g. Lean ; six-sigma, TQM tools

-          Advanced analytical skills (e.g. Microsoft Excel) and experience of using technology as part of procurement

Please send your CV to

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