Sourcing Manager, Branded Merchandise

Operations Chicago, Illinois


Position at InnerWorkings



Sourcing Manager, Branded Merchandise

The Sourcing Manager will nurture relationships with suppliers, build value, create urgency, and collaborate strategically with internal stakeholders and suppliers to create growth opportunities within the InnerWorkings supply chain. We are looking for passion, creativity, and a thirst for securing growth through third-party and supplier partner solutions.

This role will be selecting, negotiating, and performing on-going maintenance of our Branded Merchandise suppliers across the North America region. This person will act as the conduit for suppliers to showcase their innovations and to provide commercial and technical support to our Merchandise Team and Account Teams. The primary responsibility is to ensure that InnerWorkings and our clients are getting the very best value for their money, ensuring that we are dealing with suppliers that meet the ethical, environmental, commercial, and quality standards of our organization. The role requires a proactive approach to supply chain management ensuring the InnerWorkings’ supply chain performs at the highest level while delivering market leading value for our clients.


  • Conduct market exercises (RFPs) and develop supplier models in support of both new and existing accounts
  • Establish, optimize, and promote the Branded Merchandise supplier panel to broader business
  • Lead key Branded Merchandise supplier negotiations and contracting efforts
  • Regularly monitor, measure, and report on-going compliance against established strategies
  • Develop and optimize strategic supplier alliances, establishing “C-level” relationships with key suppliers
  • Define and manage pricing, discounting, and rules of engagement with key suppliers
  • Facilitate regular check-ins (QBRs) with key suppliers and adjusting sourcing models and products as necessary
  • Partner with the merchandising and product development teams to identify and evaluate new supplier partnerships
  • Develop supplier roadmap to improve decision making, market leverage, and financial results
  • Create supplier and pricing rate cards and formal pricing mechanisms for all stages of client engagement
  • Effectively manage and address the challenges associated with branded merchandise sourcing including, purchasing, duties and taxes, logistics, ethical sourcing, quality control, and product compliance testing
  • Organize large sets of legacy and internal client data, identifying spending trends and product groupings
  • Right-size the vendor base, ensuring competitive tension and building partnership arrangements
  • Establish, report, and maintain KPIs that ensure client satisfaction and model effectiveness
  • Serve as a point of escalation for supplier-related issues


  • 10+ years in the Branded Merchandise industry with proven relationships with key supplier stakeholders
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related discipline or equivalent work experience
  • Specialty in purchasing, sourcing, negotiation, or extensive supplier sales experience, preferably in a B2B environment
  • Strong understanding of sourced Branded Merchandise products, including logistics, ethical sourcing, and quality control
  • Experience working with suppliers and vendors to negotiate job costs with schedules and proficient in managing complex selling engagements
  • Independent thinker with strong organizational and proven project management skills
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills with the ability to interface with senior-level professionals
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve both personal and collective goals
  • Highly proficient with MS Office software with a high aptitude in Excel
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a love for investigative and data detective work