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Category Manager - Materials at American Water Works Service Company Inc

Posted in Purchasing - Procurement 30+ days ago.

This job brought to you by eQuest

Type: Full-Time
Location: Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

Job Description:

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada.  To learn more about American Water and additional career opportunities, visit

Primary Role

Position can be a front-line employee or leadership position. Oversees the strategy and procurement of direct  and in-direct material categories and other related national categories of spend. Works closely with state procurement functions and business stakeholders to identify opportunities to manage costs and leverage company size to deliver best value to the company while building strategic supplier relationships. Works closely with operating unit leadership to understand company spend patterns and business requirements in order to develop and influence sustainable procurement strategies.

Key Accountabilities

  • Builds relationships with clients across the operating units to understand business requirements and to build confidence in the sourcing organization.

  • Influences other business leaders to drive standardization, manage specifications, and control demand

  • Direct and assist the category leaders in the identification of category opportunities, define and prioritize sourcing strategies and category initiatives

  • Allocate resources to deliver annual savings and cost avoidances in line with established targets

  • Provide sourcing subject matter expertise, market knowledge, and best practice coaching along with broad category management expertise.

  • Coach and develop team members to support improved performance.

  • Personally lead sensitive negotiations and high-profile projects to maximize value. Manage vendor relationships to maintain a cooperative atmosphere while jointly eliminating inefficiencies and reducing costs.

  • Develop and implement KPI’s for both supplier and sourcing group performance. Define and implement improvement plans as necessary. Communicate results to the broader organization in a way that builds understanding of and confidence in sourcing capabilities

Knowledge / Skills

  • Ability to lead others either as direct reports or through influence.

  • Ability to work on various assignments. Strong reasoning, analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills.

  • Verbal and written communications skills (e.g. presentations, listening, report writing).

  • Good interpersonal skills (tact/diplomacy, persuasion, co-operation) and ability to influence others

  • Strong collaborative client relations skills

  • Understanding of Strategic Sourcing policies and practices and ability to teach others.

  • Proficiency in MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Lotus Notes, and web based communication tools. SAP knowledge (preferred)

  • Strategic sourcing experience across a range of categories and strategies.

  • Demonstrated ability to drive value through tactics other than price negotiation (e.g. specification management, demand management, joint process improvement).

  • Understanding of best practices in sourcing and vendor management in both utilities and other industries.

  • Knowledge of relevant supply markets and understanding of sources of supply market intelligence.

  • Knowledge of information systems and applications to procurement. Strong financial and budget knowledge with the ability to develop performance measurement goals consistent with commercial equivalents. Background in operations management and the ability to develop and measure asset performance.


Dealing Effectively with Direct Reports


Directing Others

Managing / Measuring Work


Sharing Information

Experience / Education

  • Minimum 8 years total work experience (10 Years for Sr. Manager Level)

  • Minimum 6 years’ experience in procurement or category management (8 years for Sr. Manager level)

  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in management or senior individual contributor role (5 years for Sr. Manager level)

  • Utilities industry experience preferred

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Finance, Engineering or related discipline or equivalent combination of education and experience required. (MBA Preferred for Sr. Manager Level)

Travel Requirements

10-15% of time.

Licenses & Certifications

CPM preferred. Other supply chain certifications a plus.

Join American Water.  We care about water.  It's what we do.®

American Water is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and prohibits employment discrimination for employees and applicants based on his or her age, race, color, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, or because he or she is an individual with a disability, protected veteran or other status protected by federal, state, and local laws.