PB CAREERS – Walgreens: Manager, Product & Packaging Optimization

Walgreens ChicagoWalgreens: Manager, Product & Packaging Optimization

At Walgreens, we help people get, stay and live well. That’s our core purpose and the difference we make in people’s lives every day. Our purpose has shaped the direction of our company since Charles R. Walgreen Sr. founded his first drugstore in 1901, and it still does today.

Our team members make that purpose come to life in our more than 8,000 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in our call centers, distribution centers, clinics, specialty pharmacies, infusion and respiratory service locations and corporate offices. In fact, those daily demonstrations of our purpose have helped Walgreens become an industry leader and a household name.

Walgreens has something for everyone who wants to build a successful career. Here, you’ll find supportive co-workers, an innovative environment and the tools you need to expand your skills, help build healthy communities and advance your career.

Job Summary

Responsible for leading and managing the identification of global Owned Brands product and packaging optimization opportunities and direct their execution with cross-functional buy-in and support. Directs the analysis of specifications and vendors data to achieve product and packaging cost optimization. Directs the activities of a buying team to aggregate sourcing savings across multiple categories. Leads the creation of product and packaging optimization processes with global cross-functional partners including existing, new and multi-sourced items. This role works with numerous cross-functional groups including product integrity, finance, merchandising, global centers of expertise, supply chain and strategic sourcing. Successful candidates will exhibit strong leadership and communication skills to influence various business units at all levels of management. This position may also support a number of other strategic initiatives including LEAN and Six Sigma efficiency processes. Foster the development of a culture of continuous improvement by providing strong leadership, technical training, coaching and facilitation to cross-functional teams over the course of the new product development and replenishment activities. Seek opportunities for collaboration across the value chain as a mean of eliminating wasteful practices.

Job Responsibilities

  • Leads all Product and Packaging sourcing optimization related projects, owning the process from beginning to end: Drives accountability across functions to ensure timelines are met. Resolves issues, and when necessary, escalates to management to ensure projects remain on track. Discovers opportunities and makes recommendations to improve sourcing processes across all functions.
  • Partners with Product Development Manager (PDM) to develop annual sourcing plans and delivers sourcing savings estimates.
  • Owns, Reviews and finalizes detailed timelines with PDMs and cross functional groups.

Works as the lead and liaison with:

  • Product Integrity – to ensure all specifications and audits are ready for future bids.
  • Legal – to ensure contracts meet legal, statutory, policy and procedural compliance.
  • Strategic Sourcing – to ensure their team is prepared for upcoming bids.
  • Supply Chain – to ensure inventory levels are managed closely for product impacted by bid.
  • Finance – to ensure all financial reviews and approvals are completed.


  • Establish standard sourcing operating procedures; continuously look for and implement improvements.
  • Leads existing sourcing projects, new item projects and multi-sourcing projects across all PB categories.
  • Directs the work of a team of materials buyer (direct procurement) in conjunction with vendor needs.
  • Develops scorecard to provide updates to Private Brand leadership team on overall project status, risks and action plans.
  • Prepares monthly updates on key commodity trends and review potential opportunities with PDM’s.
  • Partners with Strategic Sourcing to vet potential synergy opportunities across the company.
  • Works with teams to establish a robust understanding of ‘fitness for purpose’ to ensure that product and supporting processes are not over-engineered.
  • Improve suppliers’ performance through value stream assessment and end-to-end optimization.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and at least 7 years of experience in Merchandising, Product Development, Product Commercialization, or Supply Chain OR High School Diploma/GED and 10 years of experience in Merchandising, Product Development, Product Commercialization or Supply Chain.
  • Experience in Product or Packaging Materials sourcing or consumer goods manufacturing.
  • Experience collaborating with internal resources and external resources to develop strategies that meet department goals within budget and established timelines.
  • Knowledge of end to end sourcing optimization best practices and the effect on store and warehouse fill rates, inventory, and shelf life, and the results these areas have on Company profitability.
  • Intermediate level skill in Microsoft Excel (for example: using SUM function, setting borders, setting column width, inserting charts, using text wrap, sorting, setting headers and footers and/or print scaling).
  • Intermediate level skill in Microsoft PowerPoint (for example: applying a theme, formatting character spacing, inserting a picture, changing slide layout and theme colors, adding transitions, customizing slide numbers, changing chart style and/or formatting font).
  • At least 2 years of experience in one or more of the following:
  • Sourcing governance policies and procedures, Auditing and compliance procedures/guidelines , Commodity and supplier industry conditions, trends, opportunities, competition and/or costs and cost components (materials, labor, commodities, facilities, shipping, storage, special technologies and services.
  • Experience with project management (for example: planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives).
  • Experience establishing and maintaining relationships with individuals at all levels of the organization, in the business community and with vendors.
  • Experience developing a project plan, including charter, scope, project management approach and management plans, such as the statement of work, cost estimates, schedule, etc.
  • At least 1 year of experience planning, developing, and managing departmental expense and capital budgets.
  • At least 2 years of experience directly managing people, including hiring, developing, motivating, and directing people as they work.
  • Willing to travel up to 20% of the time for business purposes (within state and out of state).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Direct sourcing of consumer goods components, ingredients or packaging.
  • Lean / Six Sigma Experience and Credentials.
  • Knowledge and experience in private brands, CPG, or retail.

Requisition ID 016152


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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.