Category Manager

"I excel at making complex things simple. My job is to take purchasing to the next level through establishing cross-functional teams that will allow for a more complete focus on establishment of purchasing relationships to provide for optimal business results. Organizing is my craft, and my passion lies in doing just that. The companies that I work for offer a lot of different goods and services, my job is to categorize them into groups that make sense."

Salary Range:

$74,000 - $104,000

The Tip

In a world of hype for big data and analytics, people forget communication is about real people. Get out from behind your screen and talk to someone different every day.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Customer Relationship Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Apply principles of CRM

  • Manage a sales process

  • Compelling presentation & report writing

  • Develop & execute a distribution strategy

  • Leverage e-commerce

  • Develop & execute a merchandising strategy

  • Leverage co-operative marketing

  • Provide customer support

  • Develop & execute a pricing strategy

 

General Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Manage budgets

  • Manage projects

  • Negotiate contracts

  • Conduct competitive analysis

  • Conduct environmental scan

  • Leverage contextual knowledge

  • Analyze data & leverage business intelligence

  • Develop and manage forecasts

  • Manage business intelligence and analytics

  • Negotiate and manage contracts

Internal Supply Chain Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Collaborate with partners in product/service design

  • Manage inventory and warehousing

  • Manage order fulfillment

  • Manage transportation logistics

  • Design, establish and manage related contracts

  • Identify and develop strategic sourcing relationships

  • Establish strategic and tactical SCM plans and processes

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (General Management) with a minor in SCM

  • Halfway through completing my MBA.

 

"Category management is a highly competitive space. I started my MBA after working for seven years. I realized this was essential for me to get to the next level of management. The best thing is my company is sponsoring my MBA. Consider education a life-long challenge."

Employment Experiences:
  • While in university I worked as a salesperson for a large electronics retail.

  • Did internship with a large department store and moved around into different departments. This was my introduction to category management.

  • At graduation, hired by the same department store I did my internship at. I started as a sporting goods category manager and moved into electronics.

 

"Start your career now! If you wait until you graduate, you will already be far behind. Reading about how to do something is important but doing it (and failing) is your real education. My career has spanned a lot of experiences and all with a clear purpose. My retail experience and internship both set me up for getting my job as a category manager."

Community Experiences:
  • I am active in the local chapter of the Supply Chain Association of Canada (SCMA) and facilitate a Lean In Circle. My passion is engaging women this this field. Part of my volunteer work is speaking at local high schools about the importance of females pursuing careers in technology.

 

"I have been passionate about the issue of women pursuing careers in SCM. Speaking at high schools inspires me as much as I suspect it inspires them."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Passionate traveler. My personal goal is 30 by 30. Thirty countries by age 30.

  • Did a three-month temporary posting with my current company in their NYC. This opened my network.

 

"Travel taught me the reality that “context matters.” For me, this recognition has triggered an intrinsic and authentic curiosity in people."

Relationships:
  • Built a diverse mentor team of marketers, finance people and business leaders over the years. Much of my mentoring team are intentionally women, because being an ambitious

 

"My mentors coached me to avoid specializing too early and to get out of the cubicle and into the field. I owe them a lot for pushing me."