PB CAREERS: Sears – Director, Strategic Sourcing – Brand Business Unit

SearsSears – Director, Strategic Sourcing – Brand Business Unit

Business: Corporate
Job Function: Sourcing
Employment Category: Regular, Full-time
State or Province/City: IL Hoffman Estates
Requisition Type: Exempt
Requisition ID: 125497BR

Job Description
The Strategic Sourcing (SSI) group supports Sears Holdings through the development, management and/or facilitation of merchandise sourcing analyses, strategies and negotiations. This group directly supports Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard (KCD) branded products for SHC and Wholesale customers.

The Strategic Sourcing Director plays a leadership role in supporting all efforts of the Strategic Sourcing group, including contract negotiations, developing financial analyses, negotiation strategies, and sourcing decisions for merchandise for re-sale.

The Director takes a leadership role in all activities relating materials impact on product costs. This role also serves as a resource for all contract terms in negotiations and in business activities covered by KCD supply contracts.

This position oversees projects and initiatives that are cross-functional collaborations that cover a wide variety of businesses and departments/groups within Sears Holdings enterprise. This individual provides leadership to coordinate and direct various activities and deliverables such as: securing competitive business terms in supply contracts, in-depth analyses of the business and industry including quantitative and qualitative impacts; development of negotiation strategies to maximize profits; and sourcing products strategically by identifying alliance opportunities with vendors. This position is responsible for managing multiple large-scale projects simultaneously, and directing others within the enterprise to optimize results.

This position is also accountable for the maintenance and/or improvement of key vendor relationships to best support KCD’s business goals.
The Director must be a highly creative problem-solver who thrives in a dynamic environment, and uses change management to guide and coach others to execute with speed and purpose.

Responsibilities/Skills/Experience Requirements

Project Management – Lead and/or oversee sourcing projects and initiatives by working closely with key stakeholders and vendors. Identify stakeholder expectations and ensure that the sourcing project objectives, scope, and deliverables meet stakeholder expectations.

Communication Skills – Exceptionally strong written and oral communication skills are a must. A Strategic Sourcing Director is the liaison within the enterprise in co-managing sourcing initiatives. The strong ability to present to senior management, build relationships, and become a stakeholder in major strategic decisions are critical to being a successful director.

Knowledge of Contract Business Terms – Thorough understanding of the requirements and goals of all of SHC’s supply agreement terms to lead the negotiations process. Additionally, serves as a single point of contact for contract compliance and provides guidance for making optimal decisions within the terms of executed agreements.

Negotiate – Lead and influence all aspects of negotiations with internal stakeholders and potential vendors, including presentations to Senior Management, culminating in final sourcing decisions that are reflected in an award of business.

Information Resource – A director must provide various stakeholders with relevant and timely market trends and analyses such as supply trends.

Commodity Costing Management – Analyzing commodity trends to evaluate and/or negotiate cost change proposals, develop and negotiate cost adjustment contract terms with customers and vendors, monitoring all cost adjustment methodologies to determine scheduled cost changes and communicating the changes to the appropriate stakeholders.

Technical / Operations Know How – Director needs technical procurement skills which include ability to understand product specifications and features. A thorough understanding of manufacturing practices is a plus.

Vendor Development – Analyze current and potential vendor capabilities to ensure they meet KCD needs for new product introductions. Select vendors who are continually working to provide innovations as well as reduce costs and improve service by optimizing the supply chain and reducing inventories while maintaining KCD expectations of quality and service.

SSI projects require the development of numerous financial models and the data management within these models as dictated by the project’s needs. This position requires the constant development of conclusions and recommended courses of action based on these analyses.

The Director interfaces with upper management in merchandising, finance, legal, supply chain including inventory management and logistics, product development, home services, as well as vendors on a regular basis. This position is expected to create and maintain effective collaboration amongst these various groups to achieve profitable results for the enterprise.


  • Ability to quickly see the “big picture” and use qualitative and quantitative data to create innovative strategies that move the corporation forward
  • Analytical: active curiosity – must enjoy gathering and digging deeply into data to identify issues and create effective solutions
  • Confidence to interact with senior management and maturity to succeed through teamwork and effective collaboration
  • Apply deep understanding of global business issues to operational plans
  • Strong work ethic – real self-starter able to demonstrate strong proactive approach and self-initiative; persistent and tenacious; excessive level of commitment and dedication to meet aggressive deadlines with high-quality results
  • Demonstrated flexibility and open-mindedness around change; positive, can-do attitude
  • Strong business acumen: strong financial, strategic, operational and leadership skills; ability to grasp understanding of business models and key drivers quickly
  • Focused on results: willingness to do what it takes to get the job done right

Years Experience: 10 – 15 Years Experience
Preferred Minimum Education: Bachelors Level Degree
Travel Requirements: On Occasion (Less than 5%)
Physical Location: 04685: Hoffman Estates, IL


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.