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Category Buyer – Food


Who We Are

Freemans Event Partners are the leading provider of event and stadium public catering in the UK. We operate at over 400 events each year, working in partnership with prestigious sporting and entertainment venues such as Silverstone Circuit and Twickenham Stadium and have established excellent supplier relationships with market-leading partners across numerous platforms

Overall purpose of the job 

  • Deliver a strategic approach to procurement utilising category segmentation to enable focus opportunities for growth, category consolidation and efficiency.
  • Focus on building solid two-way relationships with suppliers
  • Maximise sales and margin within each product categories.
  • Sourcing all products in line with the group strategy at the best quality and lowest overall cost.
  • Minimise waste across the group and for 3rd party partners, through clear ordering, scheduling and optimisation.
  • Maximising input and selling prices through proactive communication and collaboration across the group.
  • Innovation with the event food sector is critical to this role, utilising consumer and customer insight to ensure that we remain ahead of changing food trends. Implementing new food ranges effectively and timely is imperative.
  • Working across the FEP group to understand the needs for each of the divisional key stakeholders, to inform your decision making.
  • The role operates within a fast-paced environment and utilises the full Purchasing Process.

Main duties and responsibilities 

  • Negotiating best prices and terms for the logistics business in undertaking the procurement of selected products to achieve a high level of profit for the company and quality for the customers.
  • Issuing RFQs to suppliers and negotiating pricing and commercial terms.
  • Researching new products and services to meet requirements as they arise.
  • Working with the Sales team to manage and action enquiries from existing clients and source new business and products.
  • Represent the company in undertaking supplier performance reviews and B2B meetings in line with company process and procedure.
  • Taking ownership and review on a daily basis, levels for all products in the portfolio (include limiting stock holding and minimise stock markdowns), ensuring 100% availability and maximising cash flow at all times.
  • Ensuring fulfilment of orders by providing and managing contingency supply sources if there are issues with the usual supply chain.
  • Develop the product category and strategy to create a competitive core range of products to drive incremental sales and profit growth.
  • Coordinate the projects that have been assigned to you in close collaboration with the different stakeholders.
  • Delivering and reporting against performance/agreed targets/KPI’s/budgets on a regular basis including annual sales profit and supplier income, with full P&L responsibility of assigned category.
  • Developing, negotiating, and managing all contracts and supplier agreements for the category and, where appropriate, agree and document joint business plans (JBP’s) to include promotional plans, target turnover and supplier income.
  • Maintaining accurate records of all agreements and transactions, ensuring departmental systems and procedures are adhered to.
  • Track and report market trends, risks and opportunities, linked to your portfolio.
  • Auditing of Suppliers / Vendors to comply with company policies / procedures and sustainability initiatives.
  • Take into consideration sustainable solutions and best practices to ensure we take responsibility for reducing our impact on the environment and support the companywide sustainability strategy.
  • Any other duties that may be required from time to time for the smooth running of the business.

Knowledge, experience and skills required

  • A real passion for the Frozen and Fresh Food category, and a strong understanding of the FMCG market.
  • Previous experience within a fast-paced Procurement function preferably within a FMCG or Food service environment.
  • People management experience.
  • Conflict resolution ability.
  • Experience of purchasing Frozen / Fresh food or packaging with both high volume large scale global suppliers and or local artisanal or food service suppliers.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Advanced Negotiation Techniques.
  • Degree qualified / MCIPS accredited (or working towards) is preferrable.
  • High standards of personal ethics and integrity demanded.
  • Technical and Commercial acumen.
  • Autonomous, effective individually and as part of a multi-discipline team.
  • Used to working to budget and time constraints.
  • Experience, knowledge, and skills in project and change management; with demonstrated success of delivering benefits and savings within procurement.
  • Must be mobile and prepared to travel.
  • Proficient in data analysis.
  • Proficient in the use of a computerised purchasing systems. Experience of using Sage is preferred.

About you

  • A self-starter and confident decision maker who is able to think on their feet.
  • Excellent negotiation skills.
  • Ability to network and build positive relationships at all levels.
  • Excellent level of numeracy and financial analysis.
  • Confidence to work independently, ensuring you meet deadlines and deliver agreed targets.
  • Passionate and driven, with the ability to work on your own initiative, to build a strong knowledge of the product area.
  • Ability to work under pressure, to tight deadlines, with a collaborate approach to team working.
  • Must have a “can do” attitude with high levels of motivation to continually challenge the status quo.
  • An entrepreneurial mind-set.
  • A creative strategist with excellent organisational abilities.
  • Tenacious with an eye for detail.
  • Resilient, independent, self-motivated.
  • Results-orientated with ability to work under pressure, and to use initiative to resolve issues.

Why work for Freemans? 

In return for your hard work, we offer many great benefits…

  • 28 day holiday allowance plus bank holidays on top.
  • Life cover, income protection, company matched pension scheme, employee assistance programme and eyecare vouchers.
  • The opportunity to earn some extra cash by using our refer a friend programme.
  • We also have fortnightly team lunches and regular social activities, plus the opportunity to be involved in some of the UK’s most prestigious sporting events and festivals!

If you feel that you have the passion and experience to join the team, we would love to hear from you. To apply, please submit your CV via our website.

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