Director of Category Management - North America

Category Management Glenview, Illinois


Position overview: 

We are looking for a self-starter and highly-driven Director of Category Management, who will be responsible for developing strategic supplier partnerships and managing large-scale projects and negotiations simultaneously for the North America region.    

Balancing strategy development with the tactical execution necessary to execute cost reduction projects through contract negotiation, process changes, and implementation of sustainable cost controls is essential in this role.

A candidate for this position must be a creative problem-solver who thrives in a dynamic environment and uses change management to guide and coach others to execute with speed and purpose.


  • Project Management – Lead sourcing projects and initiatives by working closely with key stakeholders and the Best Cost Country (BCC) Sourcing Team. Identify stakeholder expectations and ensure that the sourcing project objectives, scope, and deliverables meet stakeholder expectations and that projects are delivered on-time and on-budget.
  • Communication Skills – Exceptionally strong written and oral communication skills are a must. Ability to present to senior management, build relationships and become an influencer in major strategic decisions are critical to this position.
  • Negotiations – Strong negotiations skills are essential in this role. Ability to negotiate complex global contracts is a must for this role. 
  • Information Resource – Must provide stakeholders with relevant and timely market trends and analyses such as Category costing and currency trends. Category Manager should be subject matter expert for his/her Category area.
  • Technical Skills – A thorough understanding of manufacturing practices and the ability to understand product specifications and features are essential to success in this position.
  • Analytical Skills – Enjoy gathering and digging deeply into data to identify issues and creative, effective solutions. Must be proficient in Microsoft Excel and prior experience utilizing Business Intelligence tools is a plus.
  • Foreign Travel will be required
  • Partner with global sourcing analyst on market intelligence, data gathering and reporting
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Key Competencies:

The ideal candidate should have the following competencies:

  • Strategic Vision.
  • Building organizational capacity.
  • Results driven.
  • Embrace change.
  • Collaboration and Influence.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Customer value and Market focus.


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum of five (7) years’ experience in a strategic sourcing role within a related industry; three (3) years’ experience with international sourcing in lower cost geographies
  • Demonstrated project management experience.
  • Global experience leading cross-functional or geographically dispersed teams viewed very favorably (not a must).
  • Sense of urgency and comfort working in a fast-paced environment with a variety of simultaneous projects.
  • Solid analytical skills to understand market dynamics and business requirements.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, to convey ideas and processes.
  • Drive, determination, and a self-disciplined approach to achieving results.
  • Ability to complete work assignments accurately and quickly; ability to manage more than one initiative at once.
  • Ability to perform analysis and interpret data into actionable steps.
  • Ability to build strong relationships, both internally and externally
  • Focused on results – willingness to do what it takes to get the job done right
  • Strong work ethic – self-starter able to demonstrate strong proactive approach and self-initiative; persistent and tenacious; excessive level of commitment and dedication to meet aggressive deadlines with high-quality results.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and open-mindedness around change; positive, can-do attitude
  • Strong business acumen – strong financial, strategic, operational and leadership skills. Ability to understand business models and key drivers quickly.
  • Ability to see the “big picture” and use quantitative and qualitative data to create strategies that move Optimas forward.
  • Multi-lingual skills would be advantageous


To Staffing and Recruiting Agencies: Optimas does not accept unsolicited CVs or applications from agencies. Optimas is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited CVs or applications and explicitly reserve its right to contact candidates presented in such unsolicited CV or application.



Optimas OE Solutions provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Optimas OE Solutions complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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