Are you an Manager in the Merchandising space who is local to Chicago with strong project management skills, who eats and breaths MERCHANDISING, has experience managing projects, opening distribution centers, onboarding new customers all focused on the goal 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: Merchandising Manager Excellence
- 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)
- Outcome orientated projects - "sku optimization" (how does merchandising meet operations to hit perfect capacity), increase efficiency, improve profitablility
- 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.
- 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.
- Provide merchandising excellence. Combine programs with customers.
- Strong Product and Supplier focus
- Strong PM experience (Manager of project, not people)
- Excel skills - strong power user (Pivot Tables, V-lookups), heavy data manipulation experience
- Category management experience a plus
- Evaluate data and make recommendation
- Strong networking / communication / collaboration / interpersonal skills (will meet and collaborate with multiple levels of people across the company)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.