Category Director, Artisan & In-Store Bakery (ISB)

Weston Foods - Etobicoke, ON (6 months ago)

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Job Address:
1425 The Queensway, Etobicoke, Ontario, M8Z 1T3

Weston Foods is a leading North American bakery company with a specialized focus in breads and rolls, donuts, pies, cakes, alternatives breads, and cookies. We bake our products in more than 40 bakeries across Canada and the USA, conducting our business with integrity, contributing to our communities, and fostering a respectful culture. We are building a culture of success, and it depends on our people striving for greatness and having the courage and commitment to win every day.

The strength of our bakery portfolio is balanced across our nine categories – ISB, Artisan, Cakes, Donuts, Pies, Packaged Bread & Rolls, Biscuit, Cones & Wafers, and Alternatives - represent unique business challenges and opportunities as the shopping and consumption behaviours of our consumers continues to evolve. On-trend in grocery, we’re poised to make a major impact on the future of bakery in North America.

Role Overview

The Director, ACE/ISB is accountable for the overall ACE/ISB Category strategy and development of 3-year strategic plans and 1- year annual plan, with a focus on driving Category growth and profitability (P&L). The Artisan category(ACE) is an “invest to win” category where superior growth through strategic investment is expected. The ISB portfolio is classified as “optimize” where superior delivery of profit is expected. The successful individual can look forward to a truly challenging and rewarding role leading two direct reports at the Category Manager level and working with an integrated and dedicated cross functional team (R&D, Integrated Supply Chain, Finance, Sales Strategy), at a very exciting stage in the Company’s evolution and growth.

Reporting to the President, Category Strategy & Activation, the Director is expected to optimize cash flow and grow annual margin delivery while holding and increasing market share. The successful candidate will be responsible for leadership, vision and strategic direction to this Business Portfolio, ensuring deliverables and requirements are clearly communicated internally and externally, and delivered to a high standard and within budget. H/she will demonstrate category management leadership and business expertise to create and implement a best-in-class category strategy that will enable Weston Foods to achieve aggressive goals. There are six bakeries in the ACE/ISB network: five in Canada, and one in Gaffney, SC (USA).

Critical Responsibilities

S/he will take full strategic and day-to-day management responsibility for the development and future growth of the ACE/ISB business, and the role will focus on the following key aspects:

Develop Category Strategy development, including 3-year strategic plans, Category growth & profitability (P&L)
Communicating and aligning internal resources against a clear Vision & Purpose for the category
Develop annual Category Plans that grow category & Weston Foods consumption
Conduct Category analysis, deriving insights and building on knowledge from the insight team to understand category trends, competitor behaviour, and identify whitespace opportunities
Measure, monitor and react to external based score carding including consumption based planning
Accountable for marketing activity management with Marketing COE support, including developing and executing consumer promotions
Measure, monitor and react to Category sales and profitability, driving increase in sales and in-year margin improvement with a focus on P&L vs Net Sales and/or spending
Create and execute against a mufti level Margin Improvement plan (complexity, Design to value, pricing) that drives profitability to then drive investment capacity against the business.
Accountable for demand planning as part of the S&OP process including demand plans to ISC with % forecast accuracy
Accountable for product commercialization via X-functional Stage Gate process.
Leverage Weston Foods Taste & Experience expertise with key category insights.
Develop strong collaborative working relationships across the aligned internal cross-functional stakeholders to influence the strategic direction of the Category and address issues
Work across the S&OP process and with aligned internal cross functional stakeholders to increase forecast accuracy
Where required working alongside Sales customer account teams (e.g., Walmart North America Pies) to translate customer insights into strategies
Develop Category team members, providing growth opportunities across the Category Group (e.g., experience across other Categories or within the COEs)
Participate and in some instances, lead customer facing presentations
Provide organizational leadership and bring enterprise wide thinking and responsibility.
Desirable Background and Qualifications

Preferred candidates will have broad business leadership experience ideally in the CPG industry. Previous food or beverage industry is preferred. At his/her core, s/he will be a strong business leader who knows the fundamentals of category management, consumer insights and positioning. S/he will be able to translate this work into driving significant growth and performance. The successful candidate will bring a demonstrable record of accomplishment of success and commercial leadership customer partnerships, brand marketing, positioning and innovation. Beyond his/her function, the successful candidate owns the results working across functions both horizontally and vertically within the organization.

We are looking for someone to be able to continue to elevate the performance of this category, building on strong fundamentals already in place. Preferred candidates will ideally have an advanced degree, with strong experience and cross training in both Marketing and Sales, and relevant Canadian retail environment knowledge. S/he will ideally have a record of accomplishment of successfully managing a P&L, coupled with a real appreciation of marketing, product development and innovation, sales and customer management and the ability to build customer relationships at the highest level and generate new business opportunities. Excellence in influential leadership and communication, with a record of accomplishment of building relationships across all functions and within a matrix style organization.

The Company is fast-paced and collaborative, and self-starters who perform well within an entrepreneurial and lean culture that offers a high level of autonomy and accountability will thrive here. It is also a value-driven organization with a key focus on quality, teamwork and trust plus a commitment to personal development and growth.

Key Requirements:
7-10 years of marketing and business experience preferable in the CPG industry, with a minimum of 3 years of management experience. The ideal candidate will have experience working in sales or in close collaboration with sales.
University degree will be viewed as an asset
Understanding the Business

Managing Vision & Purpose – ability to build a compelling vision / strategy for the organization; demonstrated ability to develop strategies that deliver growth
Knows the business and the mission-critical technical and functional skills needed to do the job; understands various types of business propositions and understands how businesses operate in general; learns new methods and technologies easily.
Providing thought leadership

Is able to come up with the next great breakthrough thing to do; is creative, a visionary, and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market; comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.
Works together to win together

Manages people well; gets the most and best out of the people he/she has; sets and communicates guiding goals; measures accomplishments, holds people accountable, and gives useful feedback; delegates and develops; keeps people informed; provides coaching for today and for the future.
Drives accountability for results

Attacks everything with drive and energy with an eye on the bottom-line; not afraid to initiate action before all the facts are known; drives to finish everything he/she starts.
P&L Management – experience and ability in improving every line of the P&L
Engage and inspire

Is skilled at getting individuals, teams, and an entire organization to perform at a higher level and to embrace change; negotiates skillfully to achieve a fair outcome or promote a common cause; communicates a compelling vision and is committed to what needs to be done; inspires others; builds motivated, high-performing teams; understands what motivates different people.
The successful candidate will need to demonstrate a broad range of skills and abilities:

Low ego and a true team player.
Strong communication, with excellent interpersonal and networking skills at all levels.
Charismatic and empowering leadership skills with a clear and decisive motivational and inspiring style.
Able to assess, coach, mentor, build and continue to develop his/her team, providing future direction and vision towards the common goal and demonstrating the company’s values, supporting the vision for growth and encouraging best practices.
Collaborative, ability to influence, build relationships and drive transformation.
A “commercial manager”, both strategic and analytical, comfortable with detail, implementation and understanding of the “big picture” from both a local and global perspective.
Inspires trust and confidence, with unquestioned integrity and high personal standards. Genuine, forthright and honest, and takes tough decisions when required.

Weston is committed to fostering a work environment with strong core values that support diversity through various policies, programs and activities that encourage sensitivity and accommodations. Weston offers employment regardless of race, colour, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Diversity is integral to our success as an organization and we will use diversity as a model to help identify and develop the best talent, create effective teams, and achieve overall excellence. In addition, we believe that compliance with laws is about doing the right thing. Upholding the law is part of our Code of Conduct – it reinforces what our customers and stakeholders expect of us.

Weston s'engage à promouvoir un environnement de travail avec des valeurs fortes qui favorisent la diversité à travers divers politiques, programmes et activités qui encouragent la sensibilité et les accommodements. Weston offre du travail sans égard à l’ethnie, la couleur de la peau, le sexe, l’origine, la religion, l’âge, le handicap ou l’orientation sexuelle. La diversité est une partie intégrante de notre succès en tant qu’entreprise et nous allons utiliser la diversité comme modèle pour aider à identifier et à développer les meilleurs talents, pour créer des équipes efficaces et pour atteindre une excellence globale. En outre, nous croyons que la conformité aux lois consiste à faire ce qu'il faut. Le respect de la loi fait partie de notre Code de conduite; il renforce ce que nos clients et nos parties prenantes attendent de nous.

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