Category Manager


NJ, Iselin

Job type:


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 Manager 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, senior 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.


  • Engagement up to a senior level demonstrating the ability to influence stakeholders and manage conflicting views. Effective networking and business partnering skills.
  • Self directed, pro-active, flexible, resilient, motivated and results oriented. 
  • Experience of working in a global matrix organisation
  • Evidence of managing a category through the whole life cycle, ensuring the value created in the negotiation stage hits the bottom line
  • Confidence and credibility with excellent communication and relationship management skills. 
  • Advanced influencing, persuading and negotiating skills. Ability to present complex ideas/concepts and take a consultative approach with stakeholders and peers. 
  • Team player with an ability to manage complex relationships and matrix teams. 
  • Excellent analytical skills with the ability to identify and expeditiously exploit commercial opportunities. Advanced skill using MS Office- Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Imagination and creativity. 
  • Ability to meet deadlines/deliver on promises. 


End-to-end Category Management

  • Provides a deep knowledge and understanding of end to end Category Management within relevant categories. Ensures value is maximised from the contract negotiation through the whole life cycle of the category. 
  • Works closely with business stakeholders to understand their needs in detail both today and in the future
  • ·         Proactively develops a robust strategic sourcing strategy for use within specific categories which delivers breakthrough results and year on year continuous improvement.
  • Undertake category and project-related  assessments to generate innovative opportunities and robust strategic sourcing plans.
  • ·         Working as a Business Partner 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 at the front end.


External Market Expertise:

  • Be seen by the business as the Procurement / commercial expert for the category.
  • Understand the category and provide leadership and insight for the business on all aspects of market dynamics, regulatory framework, suppliers and technical innovations.
  • 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. 
  • Create negotiation strategies and lead complex negotiations.
  • Deliver a “fit for purpose” sourcing and selection approach which is flexible and delivery focussed



  • Draft, negotiate and obtain agreement to commercial contracts ensuring that operational and commercial risks to business are fully understood and minimised. 


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, develop, build and maintain supplier engagement through appraisal and performance monitoring, value analysis, continuous improvement, supplier / supply base development, compliance and demand management.
  • 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).  Lead management of contractual risk and agree in conjunction with senior stakeholders steps to ensure remediation or reduction.
  • Provide effective overview of supplier performance to contract and support operational teams if performance issues arise
  • Manage supplier-customer senior stakeholder management in relation to commercials.  Drive communication between the key internal stakeholders and suppliers to ensure a consistent approach
  • Resolve contractual and supplier disputes where they occur, protecting the interests of the business at all times engaging Legal business partners where required.  Gain appropriate remediation/recompense for the business if appropriate. 
  • 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.
    • Consult in the budgeting process in relation to supplier spend and engage on supplier cost saving initiatives, leading where appropriate
    • Accountable for challenging requirements and re-negotiating contracts in life and at renewal to optimise value and drive cost savings


    People Management (where applicable):

    • Recruit, select, train, develop, manage and lead staff to maintain a high level of commitment in a team-working environment that allows full development and use of individual competencies. 
    • Be a constructive integral member of the wider Procurement teams, 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 efficiency.


    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 senior internal stakeholders, ensuring their requirements are understood and being addressed and that communication channels with them are clear and effective

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