- Proppants and Transportation Responsible for sourcing and managing all transportation and materials activities for the multiple regions across the US and developed strategies to secure capacity for daily operations.
- Managed suppliers and their contracts, and measuring cost and benefits with a spend of $100MM+ Negotiated savings of $5MM in 2014 and $23MM in 2015.
- Prioritized initiatives, managed the implementation of the category strategy and supplier agreements.
- Created forecasts of activity for proppant and transportation vendors and coordinated the inventory levels and delivery schedules to the wellsite.
- Developed cost reduction models and conducted Requests for Proposals.
- Provided market intelligence to the Head of Category Management by assessing external market conditions, identifying risk, and developing effective cost reduction models.
- Created a tool that streamlined the P2P process for transportation and proppant vendors and lowered the process time by 50%.
- Guided internal stakeholders to ensure rail management strategy is aligned with overall company strategy and operational needs in the major US shale plays.
- Collaborated with 3rd Party rail management provider to develop and streamline a dynamic rail rate management system to track and communicate all rail movements.
- Develop comprehensive reporting and understanding of rail freight expectations versus actual execution costs, including detailed explanation and quantification of any variances.
- Analyze rail turn times and other relevant data to determine optimal rail fleet size and composition.
- Maintain working relationships with railroad personnel and rail car suppliers.
- Forecast future rail car requirements in relation to mix and volume changes planned.
- Provides analytical support to management in support of logistics market conditions and cost drivers.
- Measure fleet utilization, perform cycle time analysis and identify and solve inefficiencies in the rail supply chain.
- Spearheaded the redesigned of supply chain strategy in North America which led to cost savings totaling $45.7 million.
- Created and developed transportation dispatching tool in conjunction with Requests for Proposal which resulted in savings of more than $18.8 million in savings for 2009 fiscal year, a 25% reduction in cost.
- Consulted with various levels of management and provided recommendations and guidance regarding supply chain strategy.
- Initiated an ongoing project to evaluate the ground transport supply chain in support of Hydraulic Fracturing activities for the US and determine optimal locations for trans-load facilities and sand plants.
- Trained field personnel to improve process of sourcing and movement material from supply point to destination by identifying key cost drivers and determining strategy to keep costs stable in an inflationary market which resulted in 2% inflation for the year.
- Responsible for hiring, training, cross training and motivating logistics supervisors and coordinators.
- Coordinated vendor selection process, performed detailed analysis of proposals and made final recommendations to key stakeholders to support logistics decision-making.
- Responsible for oversight of over 100 transportation vendors totaling over $250 million in spend. Developed, evaluated and maintained strong vendor relationships and negotiated transportation and trans-load contracts.
The first step when seeking work is to write a winning resume and cover letter. These are designed to earn you an interview, but how can you use the interview to get hired? The interview is vital because it is the point where you meet face-to-face and go beyond the text communication you have had so far. This is where you can create a strong first impression and maximize your chances of being hired.
There are many general interview questions you will likely be asked that you should be familiar with. If you are anticipating them and have developed strong answers, you will be able to appear professional and qualified. There will also be questions relating directly to the position you are applying for. These category manager interview questions are especially important. The most successful interviewers are also anticipating these questions. To make the most of your interview, take the time to review the following list of common category manager interview questions and answers and develop your own responses.
6 Category Manager Interview Questions & Answers
1. Communication skills are essential for the category manager position. What sort of experience do you have that has developed your communication abilities?
Previously, I held an account executive position in the accounting department. In this position, I had to work with other account managers to make sure each client was being taken care of properly. As the head of the department, it was my responsibility to make sure everything was communicated effectively through emails, over the phone, or in person. I developed significant communication skills through this process that I believe will easily translate to working with clients as a category manager.
2. If hired, you will be managing the effectiveness of suppliers. Have you ever held a position that required you to oversee others’ operations?
This is exactly what I was doing on a daily basis as an account executive. I was indirectly responsible for how successful others were when interacting with clients. I quickly developed the skills necessary to manage others and lead a department, so I certainly believe I am qualified to manage suppliers and ensure that we are effectively and efficiently receiving what we need.
3. Market trends change very quickly in our field. What strategies do you employ to remain current and up to date as the field changes around you?
This was also a problem when I was working in accounting. Over the years, I have gotten a lot of practice doing research. I am passionate about human resources, so I frequently look into emerging strategies and practices. Additionally, I subscribe so multiple advanced human resources news sources, so I feel I am very able to remain up to date.
4. You will be facing many unique problems that you must be prepared to overcome. Have you employed problem solving in previous jobs?
One of my very first positions was in reception. I was responsible for solving the problems and issues that many clients would bring to me. In fact, I was practicing problem solving nearly constantly. I gained a reputation in that firm as a problem solver. I continued to develop these skills throughout my long working history, so I believe that I have the critical thinking skills that will be required of me in this category manager position.
5. A big part of the category manager job is performing risk and cost evaluations. What sort of evaluation skills have you developed?
This was a big part of my responsibilities when I worked as an accountant. We would deal with finances directly, so we would always be evaluating how successful different projects were and whether certain other projects were good investments or were too risky. Eventually I became the lead of the department, so I was the one primarily responsible for the evaluations. I was also creating documents to communicate and recommend different directions.
6. You must have adequate cooperation skills to succeed in this position. Describe previous experiences where you worked as a team.
I felt my time as an account executive brought me and my team very close together. We would work together at nearly all times to ensure each and every client was satisfied. I was the leader, but there is no way I would have been able to succeed as I did without the team working behind me.