The job description for a category manager requires candidates who are responsible and detail-oriented. Candidates for this position must have well developed analytical skills as well as the ability to make decisions and solve problems.
A category manager is responsible for category product planning as well executing strategic product marketing strategies in order to drive sales and procure business, but they also secure contracts with other organizations in order to obtain the services and products necessary to operate the business.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Category Manager
- Contacts and manages both buyers and vendors of products, supplies, and services.
- Advises management in selecting appropriate vendors and buyers.
- Manages contract negotiations with vendors and buyers.
- Ensures the punctual delivery of all goods and services necessary for operation.
- Oversees the billing process in relation to category.
- Develops a competitive product strategy in accordance with business goals.
- Oversees production and development, ensuring efficiency and productivity.
- Analyzes the effectiveness of marketing strategies and adapts when necessary.
- Develops account specific plans for key customers.
- Performs inventory and secures production supplies necessary for operation.
- Analyzes sales trends and buying habits in developing a production and marketing strategy.
- Develops the packaging design, store displays, and advertising for the product.
- Coordinates with marketing department in analyzing trends and adapting marketing strategies.
- Observes competing companies and adapts products to remain aggressive in the market.
- Watches trends in buying and consumer interest in order to offer in-demand products.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Is able to multi-task, manage time effectively, and meet deadlines.
- Demonstrates strong communication skills, especially in persuasion and interpersonal relations.
- Exhibits strong decision-making and problem solving skills.
- Has strong organizational skills and pays close attention to detail.
- Is able to work independently.
- Possesses excellent bartering and negotiating skills for handling both customers and vendors.
Education and Experience
In order to work in this position, a high school diploma or an equivalent degree is necessary. In addition, some employers in larger organizations require a Bachelor’s degree in economics, business administration, marketing, or a relevant field of study, though this depends on the employer. Many in this field first gain experience as inventory specialists, buyers, or otherwise overseeing operations. Some managers also earn experience working in a marketing department.
The work environment is a comfortable, indoor corporate setting. The work week is usually 40 hours long, Monday through Friday, though there are occasions that require work during evenings or weekends in order to compensate for a heavy workload.In order to meet deadline, overtime work is frequent. This job also necessitates occasional travel in order to meet with customers, potential customers, and suppliers in person.
The salary of a category manager can range from $46,500 to $120,000, with a median income of $80,590, with variances depending upon experience, location, and employer. Those working in the industry for more than four years can make double the salary of an entry-level manager. Managers may also earnannual bonuses of up to $10,000 depending upon the quality of their work.