Position Description

Category Director
Location IL - Glenview
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North American is a recognized leader in distribution, supply chain synchronization, and integrated business solutions. Founded in 1919, North American has built an innovative and highly specialized business practice helping companies improve supply systems that have grown inefficient, non-customer-centric and costly.

Commercial Products Group — Complete facility supply management, sanitary maintenance programs and foodservice disposables.

Packaging Systems Group — Full-service packaging solutions from equipment and supplies to technical service and support.

NVISION Marketing Supply Chain Group — Streamlines the supply chain of marketing organizations to create a single point of control for how marketing materials are managed, produced and distributed.


Position Overview

The purpose of this position is to direct product categories sold across multiple commercial, institutional and industrial markets. The position works as part of a cross-functional group and leads the development of strategy, business planning, and product/program definition. The position is responsible for selecting appropriate suppliers and managing the relationship and performance to ensure our products are aligned with what our customers are demanding. There is a high degree of collaboration across internal functional groups as well as sales, customers and suppliers.

Responsibilities Include

  • Using market assessments, channel development, collaborate with Marketing and sales resources, to develop and implement and manage a business plan to position products, systems and service offerings by market segments that align with what our customers are demanding.
  • Identify new products and develop programs to meet the needs of our customers.
  • Lead negotiation of cost, quality and specification with supplier community for customer opportunities including deviated contracts from into stock costs.
  • Develop and organize support and training materials for sales force.
  • Develop, implement and manage a supplier scorecard that drives the metrics (margin, inventory turns, etc.) to ensure our suppliers are meeting our performance requirements.
  • Manage assets through inventory management including supplier and SKU consolidation/rationalization.
  • Collaborating with sales and marketing, develop management reporting tools that outline the performance and status of each product and/or supplier.
  • Create unique solutions for regional or national product program penetration.
  • Performance management and development of direct and/or indirect support staff within Category Management team.

The ideal candidate will have

  • BA/BS Degree.
  • 5-7 years of negotiations, vendor management, with existing relationships in the specific product line.
  • Strong preference towards experience in JanSan industry and/or negotiation/management of deviated cost contracts.
  • 2-5 years in Marketing or experience with developing product marketing plans.
  • 2-5 years of project and people management including budget management and people development.
  • Experience managing products within a Distribution environment.
  • Proficient in Microsoft applications especially Excel with the ability to leverage databases.


This position offers a competitive starting salary and comprehensive benefits program. 


North American (and its subsidiaries) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  This means that we consider all applicants for employment and employees eligible for employment without regard to race, marital status or civil union status, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation and/or any other characteristic protected by law.  We also provide reasonable accommodations to our applicants and employees with disabilities in order to assist them in the performance of their essential job functions.

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