Associate Category Manager – Technical Procurement

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

United Airlines

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Job overview and responsibilities

The primary responsibility for this position is to capture real total cost of ownership (TCO) savings on a collection of complex spend categories for aircraft components, whether they are direct savings captured through aggregating sourcing volumes or savings captured from other TCO cost reduction initiatives, while ensuring that user needs for the assigned categories are met. The aircraft component categories for this position include expendable/consumable spend, cabin systems, interiors and structures. The Category Manager’s primary responsibility is to manage project-driven and/or maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services-driven sourcing activities for these categories that are characterized by high decision making complexity and/or high organizational influence. In this role the Category Manager is expected to achieve year-over-year improvement in total cost of ownership, quality and service by working closely with other Category Managers, Division Leads/Customers and Suppliers.

•Participate in the development of sourcing strategies for assigned categories by conducting assessment of Division’s current and future needs, analysis of market trends and potential suppliers, analysis of TCO and opportunities to leverage changes in processes, systems and product/services, and estimating timing and level of savings capture

•Manage implementation of each category’s sourcing strategy by establishing site-specific implementation timing, identifying required Division implementation resources and developing communication channels and tools to introduce the new strategy

•Develop and Lead cross functional teams to execute on sourcing strategy

•Manage business relationships with key suppliers including routine enhancements to agreements, communication of demand/volume changes, updating contracts and sharing end-user feedback

•Implement product or service fulfillment process in a timely fashion for all assigned categories while minimizing transaction costs

•Monitor the implementation of sourcing strategies and contract compliance and participate in the resolution of any constraints or issues

•Communicate sourcing trends and results for assigned categories to the Category Director

•Develop and maintain expertise in the assigned spend categories through relationships with Division Leads, Suppliers and Market Experts

•Implement processes to monitor division satisfaction with key suppliers and with the central sourcing department

•Support the Supplier Performance Manager in the collection, synthesis and communication and feedback of performance metrics against pre-determined performance standards within each spend category


•Bachelors Degree or equivalent experience

•Strong Excel Analytics

•Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills

•Strong oral and written communication skills

•Business Acumen


•Customer Focus

•Decision Making



•Minimum of one to three (1-3) years experience in purchasing or Supply Chain Management, including the development of commodity or category buying strategies, or equivalent

•Collaboration skills with peers in Strategic Sourcing function and with business partner leadership

•Strong communication skills and the ability to be a persuasive advocate

•Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without sponsorship

•Successful completion of interview required to meet job qualification

•Reliable, punctual attendance is an essential function of the position


•MBA or Graduate Degree in related field

•Contract negotiation experience

•Experience acting as a change agent that seeks out and advocates new and innovative solutions to meet the business needs

•Knowledge and application of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) concepts and strategic sourcing process

•Airline/Aerospace industry experience

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