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Job Information
Job title
Product Category Manager
Job grade
Mid Level
Location / Operation
Blue Label Distribution - Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa
Blue Label Distribution - Sandton
Job reports to
Product Category Director
Job Purpose

Product Category Manager is responsible for a smaller portfolio of products. Responsible for the profitability and growth of each product within the category thereby facilitating revenue generation. Collaborates with the CFO and Commercial Director to determine pricing, distribution and overall promotion of a product category to maximize consumer appeal and increase revenue for merchants through our products and services. Collaborates with Blue Nova, Business Intelligence and external providers to provide the business with product, channel, merchant and consumer insights. Manages and maintains strategic procurement relationships with suppliers. Manages the supply of product and is responsible for the commercialisation of the product.


Strategic Category Management

  • Interfaces with cross-functional parties at all levels of the organization, including Chief Digital Officer, Commercial team, Sales & Distribution Director, and Finance, as well as relevant technical and execution resources.
  • Provides advice and collaborates on category strategy, approaches and requirements.
  • Influences the strategic vision and direction of new product development within the category to enable a profitable category which will meet merchant and consumer needs.
  • Leads the commercialisation of the products within the category.
  • Collaborates with channel marketing and IAP team to ensure effective execution and product availability.
  • Assesses implementation of the commercialisation plan across all areas of the business.
  • Incorporates business insights and objectives into the development of the category strategy.
  • Develops, leads and executes category plans, strategies and frameworks, including market approaches, procurement analysis, supplier development, contract management, performance reporting and evaluation, to optimise value for money outcomes and meet stakeholder needs and expectations
  • Provide updates on category activity and performance
  • Establish KPIs and reporting processes and frameworks to capture and report category profitability and performance.
  • Lead efforts to develop and harmonise category management processes/standards across all user groups to gain buy-in and organisational commitment
  • Research and seek opportunities for improvement in category management and effectively promote and manage changes
  • Analyze data and share insights with the business
  • Devise long-term development strategies for product categories
  • Develop exit strategies for unsuccessful products

Supplier Relationship Management

  • Collaborate with Chief Digital Officer to provide expert advice to key stakeholders on all aspects of product procurement and development recommending a build or buy strategic choices within your category
  • Work with outsourced service delivery organisations to develop products against agreed spec (MVP’s) and commercialisation plan
  • Foster trust relationships with vendors to achieve better pricing and quality of services
  • Challenge and motivate providers to optimise service outcomes
  • Lead negotiations on high impact, complex supply arrangements and manage contracts to deliver optimal category outcomes
  • Consult throughout the organisation to support the development of strategic and high-risk contracts and supplier relationships
  • Identify sources of value through the supplier relationship
  • Take action to realise identified opportunities
  • Lead supplier development activities for key suppliers and market segments to meet the needs of the organisation
  • Develop frameworks to identify and track benefits through supplier relationships
  • Establish mechanisms to ensure supplier relationships are effectively governed both within and outside of the category management function
  • Establish performance standards and evaluation processes to assess and report on category activity in terms of progress, results, customer satisfaction, value and cost
  • Maintain in depth knowledge of category market and vendor trends and dynamics to develop strategies to maximise the organisation’s influence in the market to deliver organisational and government objectives

Growing and Profitable Categories Delivered

  • Create an ambitious and wide-ranging and profitable category based on future trends, disruptive technology, customer and consumer needs together with an in-depth knowledge of organisational demand, needs and requirements.
  • Effectively evaluate, shape, influence and develop the categories to deliver long term shareholder value
  • Demonstrate expertise in analysing category and product performance and provide expert advise to sales teams on how to improve profitability
  • Develop strategies and supply markets to effectively deal with limited sources of supply
  • Set the overall strategy and framework for how different ‘go-to-market’ techniques are to be established and used throughout the organisation
  • Lead the interpretation of product availability on merchant profitability and collaborating to develop product value propositions to enable sales selling stories

Product commercialisation

  • Leads commercialisation effort for products, new product innovation programs.
  • Collaborates across the business to develop internal feasibility assessments and business case rationale to support commercialisation plans and revenue generation.
  • Ensure effective team engagement; review project timelines, cost projections and revenue delivery with the key members of management.
  • Make forecasts for product availability and ensure the availability of inventory in support of our market penetration strategy
  • Facilitate creation of mitigation/contingency plans and manage communication for any disruptions in the game plan or revenue targets.
  • Work closely with business areas to identify and manage commercial, contractual, operational, financial, reputational, ethical and supply chain risks emanating from category activity and supply base arrangements
  • Act as an internal consultant on techniques and actions to manage risk for high value complex projects and relationships, and take calculated risks to achieve objectives
  • Manage compliance and work with business partners to eliminate noncompliant practices in category management

Work Collaboratively

  • Build a culture of respect and understanding across the organisation
  • Recognise outcomes which resulted from effective collaboration between teams
  • Build co-operation and overcome barriers to information sharing, communication and collaboration across the organisation
  • Facilitate opportunities to engage and collaborate with external stakeholders to develop joint solutions
  • Collaborate with other leaders to deliver a superior end to end customer experience.

Team Management

  • Provide leadership, direction and effective management of the category management team and cross functional working groups to achieve a high-level of performance, integration and consistency
  • Through effective inspirational leadership, facilitate the creation of accountable, full service teams who understand and strive to meet the needs of all stakeholders
  • Role model behavior and motivate team members in line with the core values
  • Take full responsibility for performance of all direct reports, motivating and managing them in relation to quality standards and agreed benchmarks and objectives, focusing on all aspects of sound people management:
  • Provide support and guidance on career path planning, on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring to direct reports
  • Develop, promote and direct the implementation of equal opportunities policies in all aspects of the company’s work.
  • Communicate and maintain trust relationships with shareholders, business partners and authorities
  • Leads change to creates a self-refreshing and learning organisation
  • Continuous improvement of business processes


  • Follow through to ensure that personal quality and productivity standards are consistently and accurately maintained
  • Demonstrate consistent application of internal procedures
  • Plan and prioritise, demonstrating abilities to manage competing demands
  • Demonstrate abilities to anticipate and manage change
  • Demonstrate flexibility in balancing achievement of own objectives with abilities to understand and respond to organizational needs


Requirements of the Job
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in similar or related role
Minimum qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or related field
Competencies / Behaviour
  • Solid knowledge of category management, marketing and sales principles
  • Solid knowledge of product development
  • Understanding of data analysis and forecasting methods
  • Insights & foresight
  • Planning & service delivery
  • Value chain digitisation
  • Product development & management
  • Innovation Commercialisation
  • Build & develop customer centric capability
  • Profit and revenue growth management
  • Business Acumen
  • Governance
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Drive results through team
Behavioural attributes


  • Energy       
  • Passion     
  • Respect for others.
  • Honest and Fair
  • Creativity   
  • Entrepreneurial Orientation
  • Positive Attitude     
  • Courage     
  • Tenacity     
  • Achieves Results    


  • Have fun and find purpose
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity
  • Strive for Customer Centricity
  • Innovate boldly
  • Be both agile and entrepreneurial
  • Build relationships and trust
  • Develop our people for long-term success
  • Be an agent of change
  • Collaborative


  • Innovative
  • Creative
  • Evaluating problems
  • Investigate Issues
  • Creating innovation
  • Continuous improvement
  • Building Relationships
  • Communicating Information
  • Providing Leadership
  • Showing Resilience
  • Giving Support
  • Processing Details
  • Structuring Tasks
  • Driving success
  • Mitigate financial risks
Closing date for applications
Friday, 20 September 2019

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