Category Manager

Bunzl R3 Distribution

Location Pin Icon
St. Louis, MO

Job Description

As posted by the hiring company

Job Overview:

The Category Manager position is responsible for the development and implementation of category specific strategies that deliver profitable growth.

Responsibilities include overall management and success of a group or category of non-consumable products related to Grocery, Food Service, Janitorial and Processor business segments.

It’s important to note that brand strategy, private label development, and sustainable packaging product lines are important strategies managed by this position and integral to the success of the role.

The ideal candidate will have success in developing and managing strategic relationships with domestic and import manufacturers in order to maximize product profitability throughout its lifecycle.

This position is also responsible for managing strategic supplier relationships and defining the appropriate brand strategy for the categories assigned.


  • Ownership of assigned product category performance and management of the overall health of the portfolio.
  • Strategic engagement with supplier community to develop and implement initiatives that enable profitable growth.
  • Monitor the health of assigned categories and manage the product lifecycle.
  • Develop category and market expertise that allows the organization to effectively compete in target market segments; this includes market trends and competitive analysis, as inputs to the development of our assortment strategy.
  • Leverage market intelligence to validate and benchmark costs and competitive pricing.
  • Monitor market needs and trends, competitive products, and the changing production schedules of approved manufacturers to improve competitive positioning.
  • Work to develop "Best Value" product opportunities that include best performance, customer acceptance, and continuous improvement.
  • Develop product pricing policies and negotiate best cost vendor programs to improve product positioning while improve margin.
  • Rationalize and consolidate product lines to improve inventory turns and create volume cost improvement opportunities.
  • Manage on-going supplier relationships and execute supplier performance management initiatives in accordance with standards and guidelines and in collaboration with business partners.
  • Manage multiple projects and initiatives within assigned categories with the ability to meet defined timelines and provide proactive status communication to business partners
  • Establish category ownership with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Support sales staff with special product requirements and costing. Work to improve go-to-market strategy and speed of new product implementation.
  • Support sales staff by problem solving and recommending new and different packaging products as they become available.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred
  • 5+ years’ experience in Category Management or relevant business experience is required
  • Distribution experience strongly preferred. 
  • Solid knowledge of marketing and sales principles
  • Solutions oriented thinker and doer
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Demonstrated highly developed experience in negotiation and best in class practices
  • Strong ability to assess and manage contractual, operational, financial and business risk
  • Working knowledge of the raw materials used in food service, janitorial and processor packaging is preferred with an existing working relationship with packaging material manufacturers is preferred
  •  Ability to effectively work across a matrix global organization
  • A strong ability to create a partnership atmosphere with internal and external resources while achieving key operating
  • Exceptional EQ and influencing skills are required; Ability to work collaboratively across multi-functional teams.
  • A strong relationship builder who is able to foster excellent relationships and gain credibility quickly across all levels of the organization.
  • Demonstrated ability leading through The ability to develop and drive recommendation through the organization, showing initiative across functions.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Possess strong planning, organizational and time management skills, as well as, strong analytical problem-solving skills
  • Multi-task with the ability to change direction quickly and often
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office mandatory (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.)

Bunzl is a global leader in the Cleaning & Hygiene, Food Processing, Grocery, Health Care, Non-Food Retail, and Safety industries. We have grown both organically and through acquisitions to sales in excess of $10 billion.  Bunzl North America is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.  Bunzl North America owns and operates more than 100 warehouses and serves all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and parts of the Caribbean and Mexico. With more than 5,000 employees and 400,000 plus supplies, Bunzl is regarded as a leading supplier in North America.

Bunzl Distribution offers competitive salaries, a comfortable work environment, and a full range of benefits including a 401k with a company match.

Bunzl Distribution has a tradition of commitment to equal employment opportunity. It is the established policy to attract and retain the best qualified people without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex/gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, age, disability or veteran status as provided by law.