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Sr Category Lead - 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

Responsible for developing and executing category strategies for one or more categories of goods and services with an aggregate annual spend of $50M - $100M.  This position is expected to make a contribution to meeting company total cost of ownership reduction goals.

Key Accountabilities

  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with stakeholders, business, and state leadership in order to gather feedback, understand category pain points, opportunities, and influence category strategies

  • Conduct category spend analytics and market research in order to develop category profiles for assigned category(s) to develop cost models for sub-categories of spend and track related commodity indices to identify commodity exposure and forecasts

  • Lead cross functional teams to develop and implement category and supplier initiatives resulting in process efficiencies, total cost of ownership (TCO) savings in line with business goals

  • Leverage sourcing subject matter expertise and industry knowledge to establish “should cost” models, identify opportunities, and drive supplier negotiations

  • Actively monitor industry trends and best practices related to category assignment and incorporate them into category opportunities and initiatives

  • Develop, implement, and monitor KPI’s related to both supplier and category performance , goals, and strategies that support supplier diversity program

  • Facilitate in statement of work and contract document development

  • Apply strong change management principles and influence  

Knowledge / Skills

  • Strong peer leadership experience with a focus on accomplishing key project deliverables

  • Ability to drive progress on various assignments in parallel

  • Strong reasoning, analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills including financial analysis

  • Sourcing strategy formulation and implementation

  • Supplier negotiation and relationship management

  • Project management

  • Contract management

  • Excellent 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 category management policies and practices and ability to teach others

  • Extensive knowledge and experience in Microsoft Office Products

  • 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).

  • Strong industry knowledge of best practices in sourcing and vendor management

  • Experience with relevant supply markets and understanding of sources of supply market intelligence.

  • Extensive experience analyzing industry trends and conditions to develop category strategies

  • Technical understanding of the category or categories being managed

  • Understanding of Lean / Six Sigma concepts and tools

  • Knowledge of information systems and application to procurement.

  • Strong financial and budget knowledge with the ability to develop performance measurement goals consistent with commercial equivalents.

  • Knowledge of operations management and the ability to develop and measure asset performance.


Functional / Technical Skills

Learning on the Fly

Organizational Agility

Problem Solving

Time Management

Experience / Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain, Business, Finance, Engineering or related discipline or equivalent combination of education and experience required

  • Minimum 6 years of work experience (4 years if applying for the Category Lead level)

  • Minimum 4 years of procurement or category management experience (2 years if applying for the Category Lead level)

  • Utility procurement experience a plus

  • SAP knowledge a plus

Travel Requirements

10-15% of time.

Licenses & Certifications

CPM or CPSM preferred - Other supply chain certifications a plus

Join American Water...We Keep Life Flowing

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.