South Africa

Senior Product Category Manager

Company Blue Label Distribution
Reference # B045
Published 19/07/2021
Contract Type Permanent
Salary Market Related
Location Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa
At Blue Label Distribution, our brand philosophy is that we can create and distribute anything that is able to be digitized. Our Blu-approved brand is the face of our service offering and is underpinned by a world-class technology platform for both online and offline commerce. With a point of sale network of approximately 150 000 devices, we provide a distribution footprint across all income groups. 85% of our income comes from merchants in the informal sector
Job Functions Product Management
Industries Telecommunications
The Senior Product Category Manager is responsible for a smaller portfolio of products. Responsible for the profitability and growth of each product within the category thereby facilitating revenue generation. Collaborates with the CFO and Commercial Director to determine pricing, distribution and overall promotion of a product category to maximize consumer appeal and increase revenue for merchants through our products and services. Collaborates with Blue Nova, Business Intelligence and external providers to provide the business with product, channel, merchant and consumer insights. Manages and maintains strategic procurement relationships with suppliers. Manages the supply of product and is responsible for the commercialization of the product.

Strategic Category Management
Interfaces with cross-functional parties at all levels of the organization, including Chief Digital Officer, Commercial team, Sales & Distribution Director, and Finance, as well as relevant technical and execution resources.
Provides advice and collaborates on category strategy, approaches and requirements.
Influences the strategic vision and direction of new product development within the category to enable a profitable category which will meet merchant and
consumer needs.
Leads the commercialization of the products within the category.
Collaborates with channel marketing and IAP team to ensure effective execution and product availability.
Assesses implementation of the commercialization plan across all areas of the business.
Incorporates business insights and objectives into the development of the category strategy.
Develops, leads and executes category plans, strategies and frameworks, including market approaches, procurement analysis, supplier development, contract management, performance

Supplier Relationship Management
Collaborate with Chief Digital Officer to provide expert advice to key stakeholders on all aspects of product procurement and development recommending a build or buy strategic choices within your category
Work with outsourced service delivery organisations to develop products against agreed spec (MVP’s) and commercialization plan
Foster trust relationships with vendors to achieve better pricing and quality of services
Challenge and motivate providers to optimize service outcomes
Lead negotiations on high impact, complex supply arrangements and manage contracts to deliver optimal category outcomes
Consult throughout the organisation to support the development of strategic and high-risk contracts and supplier relationships
Identify sources of value through the supplier relationship
Take action to realize identified opportunities
Lead supplier development activities for key suppliers and market segments to meet the needs of the organization
Develop frameworks to identify and track benefit
Growing and Profitable Categories Delivered
Create an ambitious and wide-ranging and profitable category based on future trends, disruptive technology, customer and consumer needs together with an in-depth
knowledge of organisational demand, needs and requirements.
Effectively evaluate, shape, influence and develop the categories to deliver long term shareholder value
Demonstrate expertise in analyzing category and product performance and provide expert advise to sales teams on how to improve profitability
Develop strategies and supply markets to effectively deal with limited sources of supply
Set the overall strategy and framework for how different ‘go-to-market’ techniques are to be established and used throughout the organization
Lead the interpretation of product availability on merchant profitability and collaborating to develop product value propositions to enable sales selling

Product commercialization
Leads commercialization effort for products, new product innovation programs.
Collaborates across the business to develop internal feasibility assessments and business case rationale to support commercialization plans and revenue
Ensure effective team engagement; review project timelines, cost projections and revenue delivery with the key members of management.
Make forecasts for product availability and ensure the availability of inventory in support of our market penetration strategy
Facilitate creation of mitigation/contingency plans and manage communication for any disruptions in the game plan or revenue targets.
Work closely with business areas to identify and manage commercial, contractual, operational, financial, reputational, ethical and supply chain risks emanating from category activity and supply base arrangements
Act as an internal consultant on techniques and actions to manage risk for high value complex projects and relationships.

Work Collaboratively
Build a culture of respect and understanding across the organisation
Recognize outcomes which resulted from effective collaboration between teams
Build co-operation and overcome barriers to information sharing, communication and collaboration across the organisation
Facilitate opportunities to engage and collaborate with external stakeholders to develop joint solutions
Collaborate with other leaders to deliver a superior end to end customer experience.

Team management
Provide leadership, direction and effective management of the category management team and cross functional working groups to achieve a high-level of performance, integration and consistency
Through effective inspirational leadership, facilitate the creation of accountable, full service teams who understand and strive to meet the needs of all stakeholders
Role model behavior and motivate team members in line with the core values
Take full responsibility for performance of all direct reports, motivating and managing them in relation to quality standards and agreed benchmarks and objectives, focusing on all aspects of sound people management:
Provide support and guidance on career path planning, on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring to direct reports
Develop, promote and direct the implementation of equal opportunities policies in all aspects of the company’s work.
Communicate and maintain trust relationships with shareholders, business partners and authorities

Self Management
Follow through to ensure that personal quality and productivity standards are consistently and accurately maintained
Demonstrate consistent application of internal procedures
Plan and prioritize, demonstrating abilities to manage competing demands
Demonstrate abilities to anticipate and manage change
Demonstrate flexibility in balancing achievement of own objectives with abilities to understand and respond to organizational needs


Plans and Aligns
Communicates Effectively
Ensures Accountability
Financial Acumen
Manages Complexity
Drives Results
Balances Stakeholders
Cultivates Innovation
Customer Focus
Instills Trust
Situational Adaptability

Action Planning
Planning and Organizing
Costing and Budgeting
Policy and procedures
Verbal Communication
Data Collection and Analysis
Commercial Acumen
Project Risk and Issue Management
Project Schedule Management
Project Scope Management
Project requirements verification plan.
Project Tracking and Reporting
Stakeholder Expectation Management

Manage project execution to ensure adherence to budget, schedule, and scope.
Develop or update project plans for information technology projects including information such as project objectives, technologies, systems, information specifications, schedules, funding, and staffing.
Monitor or track project milestones and deliverables.
Confer with project personnel to identify and resolve problems.
Develop and manage work breakdown structure (WBS) of information technology projects.
Submit project deliverables, ensuring adherence to quality standards.
Direct or coordinate activities of project personnel.
Prepare project status reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends.
Establish and execute a project communication plan.
Assign duties, responsibilities, and spans of authority to project personnel.
Initiate, review, or approve modifications to project plans.
Schedule and facilitate meetings related to information technology projects.
Perform risk assessments to develop response strategies.
Monitor the performance of project team members, providing and documenting performance feedback.
Negotiate with project stakeholders or suppliers to obtain resources or materials.
Identify need for initial or supplemental project resources.
Coordinate recruitment or selection of project personnel.
Identify, review, or select vendors or consultants to meet project needs.
Develop and manage annual budgets for information technology projects.
Develop implementation plans that include analyses such as cost-benefit or return on investment (ROI).
Assess current or future customer needs and priorities by communicating directly with customers, conducting surveys, or other methods.


Bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or related field


Minimum 5 years’ experience in similar or related role
Job Closing Date 09/08/2021
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