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Senior Category Manager - Direct Materials (Hybrid location)

Date: Nov 20, 2022

Location: Columbia, MD, US, 21044 Houston, TX, US, 77026

Company: W. R. Grace & Co.

Job Description

We're hiring a Senior Category Manager, Direct Materials, who will report to the Director, Strategic Sourcing. The position requires transformational thought process regarding current operations, risk management, and value creation.


As a member of the Strategic Sourcing Team, the Senior Category Manager will develop and manage strategic direct material category plans as well as sourcing, negotiating, contracting, and managing supplier performance. These plans will include short and long-term strategies for continued cost optimization, value improvement, supplier relationship development, and risk mitigation. 


Additionally, you will partner with internal stakeholders to execute category strategies to support approximately $200M of direct material spend. The strategic contributions of the job are a strong understanding of the use of materials within the business to drive transformational productivity projects (in/outsourcing, material handling improvements, inbound freight optimization, etc.). 


This position will be based at our corporate headquarters in Columbia, MD or in the Houston area. We offer a hybrid work schedule to include 3 days in the office and 2 days remotely.


  • Leads supplier performance management through the negotiations of procured materials to assure optimal TCO (Cost, Quality, Delivery, and Innovation) achieved while mitigating risk to the Organization. Where necessary, sources and qualifies alternate sources of material to mitigate risk.
  • Participates in the financial planning and forecasting process as well as provides relevant global market information and dynamics to internal stakeholders.
  • Analyzes data or insights to determine industry and material trends, devises long-term development strategies for material categories.
  • Thinks end-to-end and integrates business plans with sourcing decisions, financial performance and supply requirements.
  • Lead cross-functional cost-out projects from ideation to execution.
  • Utilizes advanced analytical skills and business intelligence to drive sourcing process end-to-end from selection through performance management to stay ahead of any sourcing issues and maximize value to Grace.
  • Provide innovation and oversight to ensure business value (e.g., cost, service, quality and reduced risk) and open communication around key stakeholder requirements for all direct goods and services. Lead continuous supplier value improvement efforts internally and externally.  Delivers annual reductions in total cost of ownership.
  • Communicates results and recommendations to supply chain leadership on an ongoing and as-needed basis using clear and concise communication both in verbal and written form.
  • Proven capability of managing internal and supplier communication with results-driven mentality.
  • Engages with senior procurement personnel and partners with key internal and external stakeholders to ensure category alignment with global/regional strategies.

Required Qualifications

  • B.S. degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Science or related field
  • 5 years’ work experience in a global industrial/manufacturing environment.
  • Business acumen with strong internal and external negotiating skills. 
  • Must be able to use critical thinking skills to review and negotiate supply contracts and possess a solid understanding of standard contract terms and terminology.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of time.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Supply chain certification (CPSM, CSCP, CPIM, CFPIM).
  • Master’s degree in operations, supply chain management, business.  
  • Demonstrated experience with make vs. buy decision-making.
  • Demonstrated experience with enterprise technology applications (such as SAP, Ariba (preferred), SharePoint) that enable sourcing and procurement execution and reporting.



Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
Life Insurance and Disability 
Grace Wellness Program
Flexible Workplace 
Retirement Plans  
401(k) Company Match – Dollar to dollar up to the first 6%
Paid Vacation and Holidays
Parental Leave 
Tuition Reimbursement
Company Donation Match Program


Nearest Major Market: Baltimore