Category Manager

American Meadows Burlington, VT

WHO WE ARE

At American Meadows (AMC), our purpose is to Do Good Through Gardening. Our primary focus is to be great at providing home gardeners with the products, knowledge and experience they need to succeed. We work to accomplish this by combining top-quality products, a staff that is passionate about what we do, the latest in technology and direct-to-consumer methods. We have a decade+ track record of impressive growth, an exciting future, and the desire to have some fun along the way. If that sounds intriguing, read on...


OUR CHALLENGE

Gardeners work very hard for results that often do not arrive for months or even years. We want to inspire and inform customers while also closing the sale. We are always looking for ways to offer the right products to customers in the ways they want to learn and shop.


WHO YOU ARE & WHAT YOU’D DO

You’re excited to dive into the world of wildflowers and have a competitive streak in you. Although you may or may not view yourself as a “salesperson,” you thrive with the challenge of winning in a business environment. Our Category Managers own our results and enjoy the thrill of assortment architecture across their categories. That means that you must work to source the right products for our customers and deliver the plan to hit our margin goals. You need to be equally comfortable with dirt under your nails and grinding away at analysis and Excel forecasting while building seasonal product strategies and product stories that continue to amaze our customers.


ABOUT AMERICAN MEADOWS

American Meadows has been the leading purveyor of wildflower seeds in North America for 40 years. We are proud to have pioneered the popular concept of seed mixtures and are fierce advocates of the creation of natural spaces that benefit ecosystems. It is our goal to inspire and meet the needs of all growers from the budding gardener to the seasoned horticulturist or landscaper. The seed business is the foundation of all we do and our driving force to make the world a better place with wildflowers.


If this role looks to be a good fit for the next steps of your career, show off your skills by thoroughly reviewing the accountability matrix, reply with your resume and complete Step 1 (listed below) of the application process to our

Staff Happiness Jedi. We look forward to hearing from you!


ACCOUNTABILITIES & SUCCESS MEASURES:

The following chart reflects how you’d spend your time and the measures of success:


Accountability: Category Business Performance | Priority: 1 | Time: 40%

  • P&L goals achieved across all Seed categories.
  • Long-range planning and growth strategies.
  • Visibility across the organization to sales & market trends.
  • Achieve sales & margin plan
  • Build seasonal calendar to achieve sales & margin plan.
  • In depth knowledge of the customer, marketplace and competition.
  • Data driven approach to decision making and focus on execution.

Success Factors:

  • Continued collaboration with all internal departments to achieve optimal brand growth across all business segments.
  • Exploration of new segments & stronger supply chain.
  • Provide products and sources to support growth goals.
  • Clear data views and succinctly articulated insights in weekly business meeting, post-season hindsight meeting, and pre-season product line review.
  • Complete a seasonal promotional calendar in collaboration with Marketing and Planning resources.
  • Creation of compelling products and stories for outbound marketing campaigns, in collaboration with the Marketing Department.
  • Deliver on all Product Calendar milestones.
  • A data-driven approach to decision-making and a focus on execution.


Accountability: Product Assortment | Priority: 2 | Time: 40%

  • Yearly increased growth, revenue and profit through product assortment and pricing, while maintaining the brand’s position as a leading authority in the industry.
  • On-time delivery of and clearly defined Sales & Margin plan for upcoming seasons to stakeholders.
  • Successful supplier relationships for optimized product assortment, item costs, in-stock management, and issue resolution.

Success Factors:

  • Ongoing product assortment evaluation relative to competitive landscape.
  • Source and develop new products based on historical data and market trends.
  • Delete products from assortment to maximize return on investment (ROI) of inventory and the customer experience.
  • Successful and on-time creation of category plan(s) to support financial goals of the company.
  • Seasonal Line Reviews that outline path to achieve Sales & Margin Plan.
  • Lead cross-functional execution of upcoming season with shared focus on highest leverage opportunities.
  • Fostering of supplier relationships that allow us to meet margin goals.
  • Continuous improvement in customer satisfaction metrics.


Accountability: Planning & Inventory Management | Priority: 3 | Time: 20%

  • Leverage the seasonal financial Plan and Forecast to identify category trends, risks and opportunities.
  • Maximize demand and in-stock inventory while minimizing markdowns and overstock items.

Success Factors:

  • On-time creation of seasonal Plan and consistently updated forecast projections.
  • Accurate historical data and forecasted trends with Business Intelligence tools.
  • Inventory plans that minimize both holding time and lost demand.
  • Maintain Assortment Planner, Demand Model curves, and Item Forecasts.



REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Knowledge of and a passion for gardening will help you succeed immediately but you do not need to be a Master Gardener on day one. However, you soon will become one!
  • Measurable revenue-generating and quantitative experience.
  • Understanding of selling through online channels.
  • Ability to demonstrate past success in developing and executing to a budget.
  • High degree of competency within all phases of project management, e.g. issue and risk identification and management, change management, tracking dependencies and milestones, communication of overall project status.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask while meeting deadlines each day. Use good judgment in making decisions as part of a dynamic group of professionals working towards a variety of goals.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Measurable skills in Excel and experience with an inventory/order processing system.
  • Willingness/Ability to travel to visit vendors and attend industry events.
  • Team-minded individual who handles deadlines, is self-motivated and looks to grow their skills while fostering a collaborative and enjoyable work environment.
  • Willingness to ‘do what it takes’ to contribute to the success of a growing business.


WHAT WE OFFER:

  • The usual, but very important, things like health, vision, dental and pet insurance (which the company contributes to), as well as a matching retirement plan and company paid Life Insurance and Disability. Also, time away to rejuvenate is very important so we offer Paid Time Off and paid holidays. Lastly, we invest in our people and we will help you further your education (Master Gardener, Advanced Vegetable Gardening Certification, Leadership training, and so much more)!
  • Team Incentive program – based on hitting quarterly company project & financial goals.
  • A fun-loving team of plant nerds who are looking to make the world a little better – one wildflower at a time.
  • A few well-behaved dogs who offer up free puppy kisses, their bellies to scratch, and a paw shake if you’ll give them a cookie!
  • Fully stocked kitchen of mostly healthy snacks, but sometimes a plate of nachos is just what you need!
  • Discounts on all American Meadows and High Country Gardens products because we want you to dig in and have the opportunity to grow a beautiful garden!
  • Full usage of company fitness room, free in-house (currently online while we work remote) yoga classes, and the opportunity to join us for free company events (when we’re able to responsibly distance from one another).


The position will offer a salary commensurate with experience and an excellent benefits package. Depending on timing, this role may have a Product Manager as a direct report. Interested parties are to send Step 1 (mandatory) and a resume to our Staff Happiness Jedi.


Step 1 is simple: In a few short paragraphs, tell us about the competitive sales environment for Lupine, which are a popular flower often grown from seed. This is not intended to be a writing assignment, rather a chance for you to initiate an informed conversation about the core elements of this role.


American Meadows is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.

Subscribe to Job Alerts