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Category Director (H/F)

At Lyreco, we believe in working together for tomorrow, which means constantly looking to innovate and evolve so that our employees, customers and business continue to grow and develop. We believe in a culture that values our employees and inspires them to be the best they can be and our core values of passion, excellence, respect and agility play a key part in this. Through a perfect blend of people, technology and our corporate social responsibility strategy, our future looks bright.

Your missions:

Lyreco is a worldwide distributor of workplace products, with its corporate headquarters in Valenciennes, North of France. Privately owned, the company was founded in 1926 by the Gaspard family. Lyreco is covering 25 countries with direct presence along with a further 17 countries supported by 15 Strategic Partners.

We are looking for a Group Category Director to improve Category strategy, definition and execution across the Group. The implemented category strategy in products and services should be inline with progressive customer trends & needs, market reality, company strategy and should deliver improvement of business results in terms of margins and sales.

The Category Director is accountable for the operational activities with suppliers, in the definition of the product assortment, in the competitive contract conditions, in the co-creation of services and with local subsidiaries, to guide, support and share best practices. The Group Category Director will lead own Group Product Manager /-s and will animate a community of countries’ Category managers to improve category performance.

This is an ideal role when you have strong character, excellent category, leadership and strategical skills plus strong desire to drive customer-focused business and projects.

Main Accountabilities

Define and execute the category strategy

  • Understand and analyze customers and product trends through B2B market & competitors intelligence as well as through local Lyreco best practices and commercial figures
  • Create the long-term category strategy linked to overall Lyreco strategy to reach company sales and profit targets
  • Communicate and sell the strategy to the business, ensuring full alignment
  • Build and follow-up a business action plan and business cases in collaboration with the local Category Managers, Marketing Directors and Zone Managing Directors
  • Drive strong interactions within the business: between the Category and other group functions as well as between Category and local subsidiaries

Group Offer management – products and services

  • Accountable for the Group product assortment (common range) as progressive & flexible offer
  • Guide & support Group Product Manager /-s in assortment mapping, new selection, optimisation of portfolio, content and proper market pricing
  • Co-define with Group Service manager the relevant services as part of the Lyreco offer within the category

Group Supplier management – sourcing to contract

  • Accountable for Supplier Management: guiding and supporting Group Product Manager, in collaboration with Purchasing Director ensure supplier prospection, offer management, contract negotiation and improvement plans
  • Deliver the best competitive offer on market in terms of pricing & contract conditions
  • Challenge existing models to improve processes

Support Local marketing teams & Global accounts

  • Ensure that group and local strategies are coherent and aligned
  • Share lessons learnt and support deployment of successful projects in other subsidiaries.
  • Bring Category knowledge and best practices to local subsidiaries by regular countries visits
  • Build Category managers “community” and organize Category meetings to align, build and share with subsidiaries
  • Support Global accounts team with Category knowledge to facilitate negotiations with major customers

Project Management

  • Lead transversal project activities within the Group Marketing Team.
  • Lead or join projects as a representative of Group Marketing with other group/local functions
  • If needed present to Group Executive Team and Commercial forum progress of projects, findings and next steps

Team Management

  • Define and Follow up Group Product Manager  /-s objectives through regular meetings
  • Coach and develop team as per capabilities and aspirations
  • Ensure the team understands and supports the Group Category Strategy

The job requires travel activities to the Lyreco subsidiaries, whilst the role has a HQ based office, hence the successful candidate will be expected to be present in Marly, France.

Qualifications and Skills

Personal qualification

  • Demonstrate the Lyreco values at all times. Excellence, Respect, Agility, Passion
  • Very high energy level, stress resistant with positive open mindset

Professional qualification

  • Minimum 5 years experience in category management ideally within complex portfolio & suppliers’ environment
  • B2B experience within Office supplies industry is strong advantage
  • Senior management profile with proven leadership track-record
  • Preferably Master degree in Business Admin or Marketing

Professional skills & abilities

  • Business acumen and strategic understanding
  • Leadership skills (within team but also in matrix environment)
  • Strong customer driven mentality
  • Good communication and influencing skills
  • Build relationships: a team player able to build and develop networks
  • Change management
  • Results oriented: Proven track-record of delivering on targets
  • Project management (organize and prioritize)
  • Analytical and creative, proactive to solve issues

Technical skills

  • Fluent business English (written and spoken)
  • Computer literate - solid mastery of Microsoft Office (Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel)

Lyreco France est certifié Top Employer 2021 pour la 10ème année consécutive.