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Category Specialist

United States - North east
Location (select region first)
NJ, Iselin
Position Type
Full Time
End Date
30 Oct 2018

Job Description

Direct Energy is a leading energy and energy-related services provider with nearly five million residential and commercial customers in North America. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit


The Category Specialist is an important role within the Procurement team in ensuring that value is delivered to the Centrica business. The role works closely with in the Procurement team, internal stakeholders and external third parties and continuously seeks to improve value delivery through a framework of Category Management. The role ensures Procurement is perceived as a positive, significant, value adding integral partner to the Centrica business


Pro-active, flexible, resilient, motivated and results oriented.
· Excellent influencing, communication and relationship management skills.
· Ambitious with a desire to succeed.
· Proven analytical skills including ability to gather, interpret complex data,
summarise and communicate simply and effectively.
· Imaginative and creative.
· Clear understanding of Category Management principles.
· Knowledge of end to end Category Management including market insight,
business partnering, negotiation, on-going supplier management and
· Understanding of general and contract law.
· Commercial Know-How: Managing for value, is the external market,
understanding our Customers, understanding Centrica.


End-to-end Category Management
· Undertake (in conjunction with and or with the agreement of the appropriate
Category Manager) category assessments to generate innovative opportunities
and robust strategic sourcing plans. Ensures value is maximised from the
contract negotiation through the whole life cycle of the category.
· Working with key internal stakeholders, manage all procurement activity across
expenditure categories. This includes the creation and implementation of
category plans that will ensure delivery in line with business objectives,
regulatory requirements and the landing of all value negotiated.
External Market Expertise:
· Understand the category and provide leadership and insight for the business on
all aspects of market dynamics, regulatory framework, suppliers and technical
· Report changes and updates through proactive governance.
· Source and procure a range of goods and services across one or more
expenditure categories ensuring optimum value for money within defined
service and quality criteria.
· Identify opportunities for, lead and evaluate competitive tenders and proposals
for the supply of goods and services negotiating with suppliers on all
commercial and contractual matters and applying judgement as to what
constitutes an acceptable level of contractual risk and supply resilience.
· Provide support to the Category Manager in complex negotiations through
data, market or other analysis.
· Draft, negotiate and obtain agreement to commercial contracts ensuring that
operational and commercial risks to business are fully understood and

On-going improvements & delivery of value add:
· Achieve defined improvement to the bottom line and cost saving targets by
examining total acquisition costs and working closely with internal stakeholders
and suppliers.
· Forecast future expenditure patterns within key business segments, developing
appropriate strategies to ensure budgeted value improvements are proactively
identified and implemented.
· Challenge business plans where alternate opportunities exist to deliver higher
value outcomes, ensuring all options have been duly evaluated.
Supplier Management
· Within the Category Management framework, support the Category Manager
in the development, building and maintenance of supplier engagement through
appraisal and performance monitoring, value analysis, continuous
improvement, supplier / supply base development, compliance and demand
· Coordinate multiple stakeholder interfaces/touch points across the business to
ensure a consistent approach.
· Ensure compliance to contract terms, both legal and commercial (including
value delivery) and management of contractual risk. Agree with the Category
Manager, and/or stakeholders steps to ensure remediation or reduction.
· Provide an effective overview of supplier performance to contract and support
operational teams, if performance issues arise.
· Support the Category Manager in resolving contractual and supplier disputes
where they occur, protecting the interests of the business at all times. Engage
legal team if required and gain remedial/recompense for the business if
· Consult in the budgeting process in relation to supplier spend and engage on
supplier cost saving initiatives, leading where appropriate.
· Challenge requirements and re-negotiate contracts in life and at renewal to
optimise value and drive cost savings.
· Ensure robust working relationships with any pre-existing business-embedded
SRM functions, creating an efficient and seamless flow of activity between the
teams for the projects or categories being managed.
Team and Tools
· Be a constructive integral member of the wider Procurement team, actively
supporting the development and delivery of the Procurement strategic plans
and objectives.
· Identify and implement opportunities for the appropriate use of e-sourcing
techniques and e-technologies to increase commercial value and/or process
Safety and Compliance
· Identify any operational and regulatory risks, escalating as appropriate.
· Operate information systems to the required standard to maintain accurate
and secure records.
· Understand and adhere to the company and department standards, policies
and procedures.
· Adhere to the Competence and Training procedures, in particular, to promote a
culture where customers are treated fairly and are properly informed.
· Develop and maintain strong positive working relationships with internal
stakeholders, ensuring their requirements are understood and being addressed
and that communication channels with them are clear and effective.

The Individual

Direct Energy and its subsidiaries are an Equal Opportunity Employer - EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability

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