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Category Manager Analyst - Hybrid

  • Location: Naperville, 60563
  • Salary: $85000 - $100000 / year
  • Job Type:Permanent

Posted 29 days ago

MATRIX has partnered with a premier client to fill a critical direct hire team on their management staff where the person will be onsite every Thursday (1 day a week) so candidates must be local to the Chicago area.   This is a great opportunity with an incredible company!

Are you a Category Manager Analyst space who is local to Chicago with strong data manipulation skills, who eats and breaths category management, has experience managing projects, experience within the CPG industry and a love for analyzing and gaining insights from data to be able to efficiently sort various prducts with the goals of improving profitability and increasing efficiencies?  Are you an Excel guru, strong with pivot tables and v-lookups as well as an artist with PowerPoint?  Are you extremely collaborative and enjoy working with your teammates to impact positive change?  This position may be for you!!!

Location:  Local to Chicago (will be onsite every Thursday for strategy sessions)

Title:  Category Manager Analyst

  • Looking for category management / strong data manipulation experience - people with CPG (Consumer Product Goods) experience or Retail experience will be a good fit for this position
    Person needs ability to work with data and gain insights from the data and various product assortments in order to efficiently move data around (This job is not heavy operational focused)
    Sample titles:

  • Associate Category Manager
  • Category Analyst
  • Account Manager (within CPG)
  • Merchandising Analyst
  • Category management experience
  • Strong Product and Supplier focus
  • Provide merchandising excellence.  Combine programs with customers. 
  • Strong PM experience (Manager of project, not people)
    • Project management work and looking at the sku optimization project to get buildings back in a good operating place - we were sending in way more skus than we were removing.  Last 9 months reduced outside storage costs, pick zones are functioning better. 
  • Excel skills - strong power user (Pivot Tables, V-lookups), heavy data manipulation experience
    • Evaluate data and make recommendation
  • Strong networking / communication / collaboration / interpersonal skills (will meet and collaborate with multiple levels of people across the company)
  • Outcome orientated projects - "sku optimization" (how does merchandising meet operations to hit perfect capacity), increase efficiency, improve profitablility
  • Looking for next phase to move into independent group to help them with the assortments to help them - territory sales managers, etc.  Help them to get a more focused assortment in the future.  This will cut down on things like warehouse spoils, take out underperforming suppliers which will help service levels.
  • Examples of types of projects person will be involved with:
    • Opening Distribution Centers - what are products putting into the DCs, what suppliers will they carry, make sure they support the DC appropriately, work with supply chain, ops team to build DC, work with transportation to get product in
    • Onboarding new customers - understanding their assortment, adding new items, resourcing new suppliers
    • Pushing work to other groups (not doing work) 
    • Make sure we keep the building within sku numbers
    • Work with independents to work with sku assortment to leverage to build out the regional assortments
Project management type skills - hit deadlines, work that needs to be completed by EOW - larger teams are counting on you.   Building out an APL (authorized product list) - every week you need to have items added/removed.  Extrovert skills - network and have good communication skills.  Must be able to network with people and get things done


Formal Job Description
Operating under the Merchandising team umbrella, the Manager - Merchandising Excellence is primarily responsible for providing project management support for new distribution center openings, new customer on-boardings, expanding existing customer assortment initiatives, and support of new business development projects. This position operates on a regional basis and looks to drive a number of ‘outcome-oriented’ initiatives that will further enhance opportunities to improve the operational and merchandising efficiencies within our distribution centers and build sales volumes broadly across our Independent sales channel. 
This position serves in a project manager capacity; highly cross-functional and intersects with various stakeholders internally (Sales, Business Development, Supply Chain, Operations, and Merchandising). It is designed to provide a well-rounded development opportunity that prepares the candidate for a next-level leadership role.

Essential Functions:
  • Analyze customer initiatives, primarily APL product and supplier match – no match reviews, analyze Distribution Centers (DC) capacity constraints, and summarize their findings for review.  Communicate summarized findings to senior leadership. 
  • Gather data, assemble workbooks in support of customer initiatives, and DC assortment initiatives.  Utilize data to identify and activate new items, new suppliers, implement restrictions & prohibits, etc. required for the successful completion of the project.  Identify limited performance items that may be needed to be discontinued from the distribution center to make room for new item assortments.
  • Lead outcome-oriented initiatives that will move the business forward and create value.  Initiative’s impact can include creating new business processes, defining new business metrics, developing new reporting and insights, implementing automation, and influencing corporate culture in support of the initiatives.  Overall strategic execution and implementation of the project plan is the primary goal.
  • Manage each project’s plan of milestones and tasks.  Implement strategic and tactical oversight of the project to move the business forward and create impact for the company. Ensure the plan is being actively worked and that tasks and milestones are being completed in a timely manner.  Network with various stakeholders across the organization to ensure the overall success of the initiative.  Coordinate strategic or tactical meetings to ensure all key stakeholders are aligned and manage project expectations.
  • Strong ability to build presentations and communicate content clearly and thoroughly to a large audience of stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively with the supplier community. Update suppliers on new DC openings and DC-customer initiative timing.  Ensure suppliers understand product authorization impacts based on the overall project’s APL (authorized product listing).
  • Recognize, align, and properly engage resources at all organizational levels to accelerate change management.
Minimum Requirements, Qualifications, Additional Skills, Aptitude:
  • College degree in related field.
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel & Power Point.
  • Project Management knowledge and certifications (PMP - preferred).
  • Ability and focus to hit deadlines
  • Strong verbal, written, and organizational communication skills are required.
  • Excellent interpersonal abilities: ability to get along with diverse personalities; tactful, mature, and flexible.
  • High energy level, comfortable performing multifaceted projects in conjunction with day-to-day activities.
  • Have a high degree of self-motivation and dependability.
  • Strategic thinker with effective diplomatic and proactive leadership skills.
  • Ability to analyze data and translate into insights.
  • Highly credible, collaborative, and resourceful style with the ability to work independently and as a team player.
  • Ability for travel to team leadership meetings and off-site collaboration sessions. - 5%

Strong ability to build presentations and communicate content clearly and thoroughly to a large audience of stakeholders.


Candidates will be responsible for following the client's COVID-19 protocols. Please refer to your MATRIX representative for specifics.

About Us

At MATRIX, we expertly match talented professionals with job opportunities to elevate careers. Since 1983, we have placed thousands of professionals at innovative clients across every industry ranging from small startups to Fortune 50 companies. It’s why we’re consistently in the top 25 of all U.S. IT staffing firms and why our consultants rate us well above the industry average, earning us ClearlyRated's Best of Staffing awards year after year. People come to us for a job, and stay with us because of our top-notch consultant care.

MATRIX is and Equal Employment Opportunity employer including disability and veteran and provides reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals.  Supporting medical or religious documentation will be required where applicable. If you are a qualified individual you may request a reasonable accommodation under the American Disability Act (ADA). If you are a person with a disability needing assistance applying, or at any point in the hiring process, please email us at To ensure a quick response to your request, please use the words “Accommodation request” as the subject line of your email.

For hourly W2 contract roles MATRIX offers a highly competitive benefit package including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, Disability, HSA, and 401(k) with pre and post-tax options.  Please see for more information.

For direct hire placement with our clients, benefits would be offered in accordance with that particular client’s offerings. This may include PTO, Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K and other pre and post-tax options.