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Category Lead - Product Procurement Optimization
Grainger | Mettawa, Illinois
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Job Description



Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.2 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products such as safety gloves, ladders, motors and janitorial supplies, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with more than 1.6 million products stocked in Grainger's distribution centers and branches worldwide.

Job Title:  PPO Category Lead

Primary function:

The PPO Category Lead is responsible for leading the portfolio review process, as well as, additional cost saving initiatives in order to deliver the best assortment at the best cost. This position partners cross-functionally to ensure portfolio reviews are executed and implemented in a timely manner across the business.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities:

Sourcing Strategy:

  • Serve as the cross functional lead for portfolio reviews and other cost savings initiatives.
  • Design and execute a customer relevant sourcing strategy that maximizes gross profit dollars while driving top-line sales growth.
  • The scope of the Category Lead's responsibility may cover all Grainger global business units depending on the category review.
  • Design negotiation strategy that supports an optimal total cost of procurement, including but not limited to: product cost, performance metrics, rebates, payment terms, returns etc. Leverage purchasing scale and increase competition among suppliers for Grainger's businesses.
  • Identify new Grainger Global Sourcing opportunities within the desired portfolio strategy.
  • Lead planning, review, and implementation strategy to ensure portfolio optimization recommendation is executed in a timely manner.

Market and Customer Research:

  • Collaborate with key stakeholders across the organization to ensure that extensive customer research and brand segment initiatives are incorporated into the sourcing strategy.

Total Cost Optimization:

  • Partner with Global Supply Chain and Finance to ensure sourcing strategy supports total cost optimization objectives.
  • Evaluate the financial performance of the overall product line to identify opportunities to improve portfolio profitability.

Supplier Communication Strategy:

  • Develop and drive execution of supplier communication strategy for portfolio reviews.

Supplier Agreements:

  • Support the optimization of contractual agreements between Grainger and its Suppliers minimize Grainger's risk and align to negotiated agreements.





Preferred Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in Business, or equivalent related experience. Requires minimum of 3 - 5 years' experience in Purchasing, Product Management, Manufacturing, or Distribution.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Access, etc.)
  • Proven ability to lead and execute business decisions across an organization.
  • Possesses demonstrated working knowledge of business strategies including customer requirements, catalog merchandising, Supply Chain strategies, product information strategies, and marketing strategies.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in partnering with cross functional key stakeholders across the business.
  • Demonstrated experience in driving results through the negotiation process such as contract negotiation and supplier performance.
  • Proven project management, financial analysis and problem solving skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including ability to find creative solutions to problems, ability to effectively collaborate with team members.
  • Self-directed, flexible and able to work independently.
  • Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and strong organizational skills.
  • Has proven relationship building skills and conflict management skills.
  • Ability to communicate confidently and effectively in various ways to upper management (e.g. written, oral, and presentation).
  • Comprehensive understanding of global business issues including external factors that impact the business, industry, product strategy, and pricing.
  • Demonstrated experience with coaching and mentoring team members to drive project initiatives.



These activities support the achievement of the PPO and Global Purchasing Strategy cost savings goal of approximately $40M annually and product line expansion and consolidation initiatives across the organization.


Working Relationships:


  • Who does this job partner with externally?
    • Suppliers
    • Third party providers
  • Who does this job partner with internally?
    • Global Product Management
    • Global Sourcing
    • Engineering
    • Global Supply Chain
    • Finance
    • Sales / Brand
    • Indirect Purchasing
    • Legal

Grainger Global Business Units


EEOC Statement Grainger is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status

About Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (Grainger) distributes facilities maintenance products, and provides services and related information used by businesses and institutions primarily in the United States, Canada and Mexico to keep their facilities and equipment running. Grainger is the supplier of facilities maintenance and other related products in North America. Its operations are managed in three segments: Grainger Branch-based, Acklands - Grainger Branch-based (Acklands - Grainger), and Lab Safety Supply, Inc. (Lab Safety). Grainger Branch-based is an aggregation of the Grainger Industrial Supply (Industrial Supply), Grainger, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), Grainger Caribe Inc. (Puerto Rico), Grainger China LLC (China) and Grainger Panama S.A. (Panama). Acklands - Grainger is the Company's Canadian branch-based distribution business. Lab Safety is a direct marketer of safety and other industrial products. (Source: 10-K)

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