If you haven’t heard by now, Mid-States has moved operations South, relocating in the great state of Texas! Our company is experiencing unprecedented growth and is expanding our team significantly!
The Category Manager position is a highly important role in our new Commercialization team! This position serves as the central hub of all things that happen within the respective category. Our Category Managers will develop and manage supplier relationships, events and merchandising programs on behalf of the Mid-States Membership. This will involve collaboration with the Business Unit (division), committees, stockholders, member buyers and executive management to leverage the combined purchasing power of the cooperative.
At its core, the position serves as an ambassador for the category. It requires a keen understanding of retail merchandising, and how to creatively utilize the unique opportunities that the Mid-States organization holds to create value for our members. Working with cross-functional teams, external resources and suppliers, the CM is always working to enhance profitability and grow the category volume. This position requires a strong awareness of industry trends, ability to build and foster relationships, strong negotiation skills, clear communication skills, high analytical aptitude, and most importantly the ability to create consensus through influence.
Prior experience and passion in the outdoor sporting goods business is preferred. With strength in the Firearms, Ammunition, Optics, Security, and/or Hunting categories.
The following functions and tasks are necessary to support the direct and indirect business. The direct business is our centralized sourcing, purchasing and distribution service to our members and is our growth engine. The indirect business is our traditional program management that does not come through our centralized distribution model and remains a critical element of our Members’ core business needs.
Develop and manage supplier relationships in assigned category (Sporting Goods)
Research, select and certify supplier merchandise programs
Forecast and budget in responsible areas with cross functional teams
Manage master data for assigned categories while working to enhance programs
Coordinate supplier involvement and participate in the design, management and execution processes of the semi-annual tradeshows
Negotiate, drive/guide “direct” programs from inception to implementation
Ensure assigned annual revenue plan is achieved through tradeshow structured resources
Communicate all aspects of supplier programs to the membership via website, mailing, e-mail, tradeshows and meetings
Manage and analyze each assigned suppliers’ programs for value and accuracy
Identify and drive new business opportunities by conducting analysis on market trends and facilitation of coordinated line reviews
Resolve conflicts between suppliers and members in a “win-win” scenario
Coordinate and manage supplier “Top to Top” meetings, member committee meetings and associated category line reviews
Present, influence and promote our Learning Management Solution to suppliers to foster commitment and participation
Support the execution of Private Brand Strategy
Other duties as assigned
Positive Attitude & Team player
Ability to “sell” your vision to member buyers, their owners and our suppliers
Self-directed associate who can drive results as well as take balanced risks and make decisions
Able to multi-task and define long and short-term objectives and establish priorities
Understands the complexities of different cost structures and continuously looks for opportunities to improve processes
Ability to offer opinions and support senior management and business leaders
Demonstrated integrity and ethical standards
Global Sourcing and product development
Strong organizational, communication (Oral / Written / Public Speaking) and effective collaboration skills
Flexibility and agility to change and adapt to ever evolving customer, channel and business needs
Required Education and Experience:
Bachelor's degree or higher in business, retailing, management, sales, marketing OR equivalent work experience
Minimum seven (7) years of retail buying, sourcing, or category management experience. Including negotiation, contracting and supplier performance management in a distributor/wholesale/retail environment
Previous experience in the outdoor industry is a plus (Hunting, Fishing, Camping, and Shooting Sports)
Proven negotiation skills through collaboration & strategic thinking
Track record of creating exciting volume driving initiatives, improving profitability, and finding cost saving efficiencies
Experience with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system
Proficient in MS Office applications such as Outlook, Excel, Word & PowerPoint
Proven project management skills
Strong analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills with a high attention to detail
Possess the inter-personal, written and verbal communication skills needed to interact with people at all levels of the organization
Ability to confidently present to large groups
Proven knowledge of the end-to-end retail Merchandising, Advertising, Marketing and Supply-Chain business processes
About Mid-States Distributing, LLC
Established in 1954, Mid-States Distributing ("Mid-States") is the leading Farm, Ranch and Home Retail Cooperative. Our cooperative consists of 38 independent, privately held, financially sound Farm, Ranch & Home retailers (“Members”) who are committed and loyal to their fellow Members and the betterment of all. The Members have approximately 675+ retail store locations throughout the United States and Canada generating over $7 billion of annual retail sales. Our Members merchandise items such as agriculture parts & supplies, petroleum products, tools & hardware, pet food, lawn & garden, animal health supplies, apparel & footwear, sporting goods as well as other products for the Farm, Ranch and Home.
The Mid-States team relocated to Fort Worth, TX from Mendota Heights, MN and is excited to add some stellar Texas talent to our already sterling team. This new conglomerate of Minnesota nice and Southern charm will create and deliver profit enhancing, efficiency improving and cost reducing centralized product and service solutions so that our Members and Suppliers optimize and maximize their business potential.