Senior Category Manager

Job reference: SYS-11172

Location Procurement
Business Area / Department Head Office ~ Operations
Salary & Benefits £60,000 to £65,000 Dependant on Experience.
Closing Date 25/07/2024
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Senior Category Manager

Job reference: SYS-11172

As part of the Transport UK Group, West Midlands Trains delivers around 1,300 train journeys a day, for more than 60 million passengers a year, across our two brands - West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.

We are committed to delivering a safe and reliable train service, by investing in our fleet of trains, stations and employees. As part of this investment we are looking to recruit a Senior Category Manager, on a full time, permanent basis based in Birmingham.

The main focus will be to deliver and be accountable for the fleet/indirect or IT category plan and deliver procurement processes across the business. The role will be expected to lead tendering process, including all aspects of the procurement cycle into developing the contractual relationship and ensure the maximum value is extracted for the benefit of WMT. The role will ensure that excellent procurement governance is applied and the WMT procurement standards are maintained in line with company policies and procedures. 

The role will work closely with a number of key stakeholders across the business, including Finance, IT and the Department For Transport.

The business is contractually obliged to comply with the Utilities Contract Regulations, knowledge of public procurement processes is an advantage to this role, but further training will be offered as the regulations are developed for the passenger rail sector.

What does the job involve?           

  • Be the procurement expert for the relevant category ensuring accountability for the delivery of the Category Plan
  • Lead on the delivery of procurement strategies and tactical approaches which maximise the successes of our business in line with procurement processes and policies including the development of frameworks
  • Creation of contractual agreements with suppliers ensuring they are fit for purpose and deliver commerciality to the business   
  • Ensure the UK laws and industry standards regarding purchasing and contract activities are communicated at every opportunity by the post holder to all managers and other appropriate staff to reduce the risk of non-compliance
  • Management and approval of PO’s through the Financial system to ensure a clear auditable trial and compliance to policies and procedures
  • Hold suppliers accountable to support the delivery of their contractual agreements through clear and robust contract management
  • Drive and lead on the delivery of Procurement KPIs throughout the National Rail Contract taking appropriate measures to ensure KPIs are met and surpassed.
  • Management and Governance of the contracts database to ensure that contracts remain valid, and any contractual breaches are identified and resolved.
  • Ensure suppliers for WMT have been checked financially to minimise risk and exposure to the company.
  • Drive and lead the continuous improvement of the ISO20400 sustainable procurement by capturing sustainability improvements and initiatives within our supply chain
  • Ensure that, all managers and staff across department are made aware of the status of contracts controlled by the post holder and are fully aware of the company policy with regard to the process of purchasing and the letting of contracts.
  • Prepare or assist in preparation of papers recommending action to the appropriate company meetings, and Performance Based Fee reports e.g. Executive Directors Group
  • Provide the primary interface between WMT and external lawyers for matters relating to contracts to reduce the risk of legal challenge
  • Liaise with the Department for Transport to obtain approval of Key Contracts and other related Approvals/consents in line with the NRC Agreement.

What skills and experience do I need to do the job?

  • Degree level qualified is desirable or equivalent experience within a similar sector.
  • MCIPS qualified, or working towards
  • Strong background knowledge of area category (Indirect/Fleet & Projects/IT) contractual agreements and development of terms to deliver a robust commercial position for WMT
  • Significant procurement experience in Category Management activities for large and complex organisations
  • Ability to manage requirements independently, especially while remote working. Creative thinking in order to seek out new opportunities and benefits for the business and procurement function.
  • Team player with the ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders internally and externally to the business. Adaptable to business change.
  • Strong analytical skills to analyse complex spend data
  • Excellent level of knowledge in ICT systems, including e-procurement systems and Microsoft suite
  • Ability to complete a procurement process from start to finish independently
  • Has excellent communication skills and the ability to communicate to all levels of the business (including Exec and Management)
  • Fleet & Projects portfolio only: Strong knowledge and experience of contractual agreements relating to NEC4 contracts.


What are the salary and benefits?

  • Salary up to £65,000 per annum dependant on experience.
  • Free travel on all our trains and those of other train companies within our parent group company - for you, your partner and any dependent children
  • 75% off all other train company travel tickets
  • Retail discounts
  • Career development opportunities

Due to the volume of applications we receive the advert may close earlier than the published closing date. Please submit your application as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

As an inclusive employer, we welcome applications from all backgrounds and ensure no-one receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race/ethnicity, religion, belief and sexual orientation.

Applications will be considered from colleagues with 6 months experience, after completion of their probationary period and a full check of absence and disciplinary records.