Job Title

Category Operations Manager

Name:

James Sellers

Company:

Lever Fabergé

Professional Qualification(s):

9 GCSE’s, 3 A levels, law degree

Degree studied at Exeter University

Brief job description

I am a category operations manager for deodorants. I consult and manage an operational plan within the framework of the category strategy to deliver turnover and profit targets.

My career so far…

After university I joined Elida Fabergé in 1996, which became Lever Fabergé in 2001.

What does your job involve in a typical day?

I am accountable for the continuous development of a category operational plan (managing customer investment budgets, communicating and agreeing category objectives with retailer account teams, delivering operational excellence on new product development and maximising the synergies between operational and the ATL communications plan.)

My key responsibilities on a day to day basis involve the creation of a promotion plan for the category, financial analysis of past and future commercial performance and regular liaison with the retailer account teams and supply chain.

Invariably, things can get extremely frantic – the light at the end of the tunnel is often the lights of the oncoming train!

What do you like most about your job?

It is very dynamic and a wide range of skills are required. ‘If you are not living on the edge then you are taking up too much space.’ You are the key point of contact for the business in your category.

What skills are required in your job?

Commercial awareness and an ability to influence internal and external customers. A sense of humour is definitely required!

How many people work for you?

I have a category operations executive working for me.

What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?

If you have a passion for working with people, continually learning new skills and for winning, then this industry is for you. Your efforts can be extremely rewarding and transparent when you walk into your local supermarket, whether it be a brand launch, or in-store promotion or simply a consumer offer. I would say that an understanding of the macro issues affecting the industry (globalisation, EDLP, category management etc.) would be key to a successful applicant.