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Senior Category Manager

Date: Jun 8, 2019

Location: Columbia, MD, US, 21044

Company: W. R. Grace & Co.

Requisition ID: 3245 

Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials. The company’s two industry-leading business segments—Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies—provide innovative products, technologies, and services that enhance the products and processes of our customers around the world. Grace employs approximately 3,900 people in over 30 countries.

Job Description

As a part of the Strategic Sourcing Team, the Senior Category Manager will manage direct material categories to establish short and long-term strategies for continued cost optimization, value improvement, supplier relationship development, and risk mitigation.  This role will be responsible for developing strategic category plans as well as sourcing, negotiating, contracting, and managing supplier performance, while delivering finished goods on time with a high degree of quality. 


The Senior Category Manager will partner with the Advanced Refining Technology (ART) business, which is Grace’s 50/50 joint venture with Chevron and support approximately $250MM of direct material spend, which will grow as the in-process business unit expansion projects come online. The position requires transformational thought process regarding current operations, risk management, and value creation. A needed emphasis on risk assessment and critical thinking as the ART business experiences strong growth and works through its plans to capture the growth. Responsibilities and competencies include:


  • Establishes and executes category strategies.
  • Lead 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, including source and qualify alternate sources of material to mitigate risk.
  • Analysis:
    • 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.
    • Links the sourcing and procurement processes to improvement opportunities in planning, customer voice and the ability to address supplier constraints and opportunities.
    • Thinks end-to-end and integrates business plans with sourcing decisions, financial performance and supply requirements.
    • 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.
  • Risk mitigation:
    • Ensuring business continuity, governance and management for all types of supplier risk (including geographical, financial, performance related, financial, geopolitical and corporate social responsibility/regulatory compliance risks).
  • Value Creation:
    • 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 and indirect goods and services. Lead continuous supplier value improvement efforts internally and externally.  Delivers annual reductions in total cost of ownership.
    • Drives step-change improvements to deliver leading edge performance while delivering cost reduction and cash flow productivity.
  • Communication:
    • 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 Skills

  • Demonstrated experience with make vs. buy decision-making.
  • Experience working within supply chain functions with proven leadership capability.
  • Demonstrated experience with enterprise technology applications (such as SAP, Ariba (preferred), SharePoint) that enable sourcing and procurement execution and reporting.
  • Strong business acumen with strong internal and external negotiating skills. 
  • Must be able to critically review and negotiate supply contracts and possess a solid understanding of standard contract terms and terminology; Able to critically evaluate supplier financial health and capabilities.
  • Ability to travel up to 20% of time.

Required Experience

  • B.S. in operations, supply chain management, business, CE, or science. 
  •  7 years’ work experience in a global industrial/manufacturing environment with at least 5 years’ experience in direct sourcing and procurement.  Work experience within an integrated supply chain environment, a plus.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in operations, supply chain management, business or equivalent years of experience
  • Chemical sourcing
  • Supply chain certification (CPSM, CSCP, CPIM, CFPIM).
  • Metals commodity management and minable materials strategic sourcing experience.

Grace is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. Please, no phone calls or emails. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Grace via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Grace. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Grace as a result of the referral or through other means.

Nearest Major Market: Baltimore