University of Southern California Jobs – Strategic Sourcing Category Manager

University of Southern California

Are you a motivated and intellectually curious strategic sourcing professional? Are you ready for an exciting challenge and an opportunity to add immediate value to a world-class University? If you can say yes to these questions, please read on!


University of Southern California

(USC) –

Finance Division

is seeking an experienced and highly motivated

Strategic Sourcing Category Manager

to join its Strategic Sourcing team!

About the Opportunity

Your Focus Will Be On The Following Strategic Initiatives

Reporting to the Director of Strategic Sourcing, as a Strategic Sourcing Category Manager you will work on a broad range of initiatives and categories with a strong focus on the Scientific and Research categories of spend. You will also have opportunities to drive sourcing activities and initiatives across the university in other areas of spend, such as technology and business services. You will partner with leadership and lead category strategy development and execution to drive total cost savings/improvement, develop Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) category and supplier strategies, lead implementation activities, and manage sourcing initiatives that achieve value without compromising business strategy and performance.

Category Management

: Across a wide array of indirect spend areas, including, but not limited to, Research and Scientific goods, services and capital equipment, dental and pharmaceutical goods and services, develop an understanding of the sourcing categories and supply markets; help determine preferred and recommended suppliers; utilize cost reduction, risk mitigation, and value optimization strategies; lead mid-range to high-dollar RFI, RFP, and RFQ processes; negotiate pricing, SOWs, and Master Agreements.

Supplier Management

: Establish and track key performance indicators that will drive continuous improvement across categories and suppliers; meet with strategic suppliers to review performance and develop expectations and ensure the continuing value of their master agreements; oversee supplier contract compliance program.


: Provide leadership and guidance to the department/division and other university team members

The Strategic Sourcing Category Manager

  • Develops an understanding of the sourcing categories and supply markets through a combination of research, professional experience, and communications with internal clients. With input from key stakeholders, determines the primary suppliers for specific categories and evaluates changes within the market to provide guidance for the category, as a whole.
  • Develops total cost of ownership (TCO) category and supplier strategies and leads implementation activities. Utilizes cost reduction, risk mitigation, and value optimization strategies. Establishes sourcing targets with key business units based on business needs and requirements. Engages proactively with schools, departments, and administration to identify opportunities and develop appropriate sourcing strategies and approaches. Establishes and executes plans to meet or exceed established targets. Has responsibility for close management of projects and initiatives, engaging both internal partners/stakeholders and suppliers.
  • Develops and executes fact-based negotiations strategies and approaches. Leads mid-range to high-dollar RFI, RFP and RFQ processes as required. Utilizes these sourcing processes to maximize the benefit and quality for each project and/or initiative.
  • Using knowledge of legal terminology/language, and contract structure, the Strategic Sourcing Category Manager negotiates and draft contracts with both legal and business terms.
  • Develops additional category-specific performance indicators and expectations specifically for suppliers. Determines corrective action plan when supplier performance does not meet expectations; communicates action plan expectations to suppliers and monitors the plan to track progress. Meets with the strategic suppliers on a periodic basis to review performance and develops expectations for the next period.
  • Provides leadership and guidance to Business Services and other university team members. Communicates effectively to all levels of the organization on category and supplier information, current and upcoming initiatives and other core activities (e.g. demand management, compliance, process improvements, etc.). Improves team members’ performance through coaching, development, and leadership. Leads strategic supplier management activities focused on total cost, risk assessment, supplier performance management, continuous improvement, and innovation opportunities.
  • Establishes goals and drives progress towards Supplier Diversity and Sustainability targets in support of the University’s key initiatives.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time


Candidates for the position of Strategic Sourcing Category Manager will meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred
  • 7 years of experience; 10 years of experience preferred
  • Strong category management experience (scientific & research categories highly preferred); negotiating supplier agreements, data analytics, and supplier performance management; developing category strategies and developing and administering RFx processes for indirect spend areas
  • Outstanding written and verbal communications and presentation skills
  • Deep understanding of the contracting process and strong understanding of legal terms and conditions
  • Ability to build relationships and consensus with senior stakeholders
  • Strong command of data and analytics
  • Creative thinker/doer
  • Build and drive innovative strategies
  • Experience leading change
  • A relentless approach to nailing the details, driving process, and managing goals
  • Knowledge of current best practices in strategic sourcing

The annual base salary range for this position is $120,000 – $140,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

The USC Finance Division – Strategic Sourcing Team values Accountability, Teamwork, Open Communication, Integrity, and Opportunities for Growth & Professional Development. Join us – apply today!

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree Minimum Experience: 7 years Minimum Field of Expertise Experience in negotiating complex supplier agreements, data analytics, and supplier performance management. Experience in developing category strategies and developing and administering RFx processes. Possesses strong written and verbal communications and presentation skills. Possesses team leadership or management experience. Understands business law, legal contracts and financial analysis.

Job Details:

Company: University of Southern California

Job Type: Full Time

Job Location: Los Angeles, CA

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