Associate Supplier Manager at Grainger



Date: Apr 15, 2024
Location: Thornhill, ON, CA, L3T 7W8
Company: Grainger Businesses

Work Location Type: Hybrid

As a leading industrial distributor with operations primarily in North America, Japan and the United Kingdom, We Keep The World Working® by serving more than 4.5 million customers worldwide with products delivered through innovative technology and deep customer relationships. We’re dedicated to providing value for customers, fostering an engaging culture for team members and driving strong financial results.

Our welcoming workplace enables you to learn, grow and make a difference by keeping businesses running and their people safe. As a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company, we’re looking for passionate people to join our team as we continue leading the industry over our next 100 years.

Position Summary

This role has strategic responsibility for the supplier relationships and cost of goods sold across multiple product categories which range from $20M in COGS to $50M in COGS.  The Associate Supplier Manager will partner with multiple functions to support aligned product category(ies). You will provide analytics and recommendations on plans to improve profitability and identify cost savings through negotiation and act as the primary relationship manager for select suppliers. The Associate Supplier Manager will lead different cost savings programs and support supplier relationships that bring incremental value to the business.

Job Responsibilities

  • Ensure his/her team’s alignment to Company’s strategic direction.
  • Evaluate current national brand supplier cost positions.
  • Document national brand supply recommendations.
  • Collaborate with merchandising on national brand product assortment sourcing strategy.
  • Develop national brand supplier sourcing strategy.
  • Establish relationships with national brand suppliers.
  • Conduct / finalize cost negotiations driven by product assortment strategy.
  • Negotiate favorable terms and support for growing the business.

Ongoing focus areas

Serve as the key single point of contact for the supplier to key business partners at Grainger

  • Inbound from supplier (examples):  supplier driven product discontinuations, procure to pay issues, manufacturing issues, supplier relationship severance, product underperformance (damages, quality, warranty, etc.), product cost change (cost season and other one-offs), new product innovation opportunities
  • Outbound to supplier (examples):  sales force, quotes, RFP, cross-reference, and sourcing support, SSGP, escalations to drive business partner needs (PI, compliance, legal, supplier performance, etc.), proactive management of commodity adjustments and business environment changes (bankruptcy, sale of supplier, market changes, etc.)
  • Collaborate with merchandising and other business partners to review impact of inbound management issues on national brand product assortment sourcing strategy and determine action plan
  • Collaborate cross functionally to determine action plan for outbound management requests
  • Design a price/cost management strategy, which provides market competitive pricing, minimizes cost inflation, drives top-line sales growth and improves return on invested capital
  • Manage and meet cost inflation targets for the organization across $10M – $25M in COGS.
  • Lead efforts to help improve supplier relationships with Grainger and make it easier for suppliers to do business with Grainger
  • Collaborate with the merchandising to bring new suppliers onboard
  • Leverage supplier relationships to meet end-to-end needs across the business to improve customer and team member experience and grow revenue
  • Coordinate supplier reach out efforts/needs (i.e. trade data compliance process)
  • Establishes and manages relationships with suppliers globally
  • Work with Supply Chain partners to monitor supplier operational performance – and take appropriate action to improve performance

In addition, ensure team operates with highest level of ethics and integrity in conjunction with the Professional Purchasing Guidelines and our Company Code of Conduct.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management or related field
  • 3-5 years business experience with a strong working knowledge of Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Cost Accounting, Finance and Economics
  • Must have an understanding of Company’s business direction, customer requirements, supply management-marketing strategy, and demand generation fulfillment process
  • Proven ability to drive and demonstrate results financially, strategically, and managerially
  • Possesses a clear understanding of suppliers, customers, Grainger’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Clear and thorough knowledge of the negotiation process and key stages: Sets high standards and expectations
  • Proven Change Management skills by inspiring teams to welcome change, embrace new directions, and future opportunities. Anticipates change and proactively prepares for it by defining objectives, responsibilities and time frames.

Work Environment

Travel as needed, international or domestic

  • Responsible to deliver cost inflation goals across the category portfolio of Grainger’s national brand cost of goods sold
  • Responsible to build our relationships with ~10-20+ national brand suppliers globally
  • Supplier relationships, including contract negotiation and execution of contracts valued at 10 of millions annually
  • Working with global businesses to maximize scale resulting in best possible product cost across the globe

Working Relationships


  • Suppliers: Promote Grainger, share direction, manage assets and determine levels of supplier’s commitment to secure and/or advance our position in the market
  • Industry peers: to ensure best in class processes and procurement practices are introduced across Grainger


  • Merchandising: collaborate to establish a clear supplier engagement model for the team
  • Sales and Services and branch: Supports selling efforts of the sales and branch organizations through existing and new products
  • Supply Chain: Optimizes the handling, inbound and outbound movement of product, from supplier through to the customer
  • Finance: Conducts profitability of product lines using financial tools; participates with Accounts Payable and Cost Accounting in managing and improving transactions with suppliers

Rewards and Benefits:

Our programs provide choice and flexibility to meet your individual needs. Check out some of the benefits available to you with Grainger (may vary based on hours worked):

  • Medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage
  • Paid time off (PTO) and up to 12 company holidays per year (dependent on home province)
  • Life insurance coverage, including spousal and dependent life insurance.
  • Employee Family Assistance Program to help team members with physical, emotional, mental, financial and other concerns
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan & Defined Contribution Pension Plan to help you save for your financial future
  • Educational & Professional Membership Fee Assistance program
  • Employee discounts, team member perks and more!

DEI Statement

We encourage you to apply even if your experience doesn’t perfectly match this job post as you may still be the right candidate for this role or others. We aspire to create a culture where everyone is comfortable being who they are, can learn and grow to realize their full potential, and is recognized and rewarded for their impact.

Pre-employment background checks are required for all external candidates. Internal candidates undergo a background check when they move from a non-driving role to a driving role.

Grainger is an Equal Opportunity Workplace. All qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability. Accommodations are available on request.

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