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Regional Category Manager

Date: Oct 7, 2021

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, MY, 13600

Company: IFF Family of Companies

Job Description

Are you passionate about sustainability or do you have strong budgetary affinity? Would you love to work for a global organization that is doing more good for people and planet?


Joining science and creativity, we are an international collective of thinkers who partner with customers to bring scents, tastes, experiences, ingredients and solutions for products the world craves. 


We have an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and dedicated individual to join our Asia Procurement team as Regional Category Manager.


Your Focus
As Regional Category Manager, you will develop and maintain a strategy to source competitive and cost effective regional portfolio of raw materials across all manufacturing plants in Greater Asia region. The portfolio will include materials sourced regionally, with a common supply base and similar market forces. 


You will lead the management of raw material costs and performance of their full portfolio, including establishing the sourcing strategy and setting strategic objectives, while optimizing the supplier portfolio. 


The role will see you managing relationships with key suppliers, ensure alignment with IFF business objectives, and participate on Category teams level to align sourcing strategies with global, regional and local business needs. Equipped with extensive market network and knowledge, you will be the key liaison with regional external suppliers and internal stakeholders interaction across key functions including Regulatory, R&D, Quality, Creation & Application, Commercial, and Technical Program leads. 


This is a key role that will contribute to functional and regional business strategies, and cost initiatives, directly impacting IFF’s margins. The role will drive year over year savings in raw material costs, continuous improvements in working capital, supplier development, sustainability programs, and collaboration with suppliers to drive IFF's innovation programs.  


The role will report into the Global Category Director (Soy & Oils). We are open to base this position in Kuala Lumpur, or Penang, Malaysia.

How You Will Contribute and Lead

  • Develop regional category strategies for assigned categories and sub-categories to ensure raw material supply, manage costs, and capture savings:

o    Contribute significantly to the overall category strategy
o    Leverage a deep understanding of best practices, sourcing strategies & levers
o    Develop subject matter expertise for the portfolio
o    Regularly analyze and communicate market intelligence and information to facilitate informed business and customer pricing decisions


  • Execute a disciplined application of IFF’s strategic sourcing methodology:

o    Perform continually spend analysis on assigned categories and sub-categories
o    Assess market intelligence and develop full market analysis
o    Identify and approve new vendors to diversify supply portfolio
o    Execute global and regional category and sourcing strategies    


  • Understand and apply the principals of SRM:

o    Manage overall Supplier relationships for portfolio
o    Develop new and existing supplier partnerships and collaboration to support growth strategy with innovation and technology
o    Support technology buying by accessing supplier capabilities
o    Reduce non-value added suppliers
o    Implement contingency planning to mitigate supply risks


  • Optimization and continuous improvement in raw material quality and service through collaboration with Creation & Application, Operations, and Quality in support of corporate service and quality goals:

o    Work with technical flavorist and perfumers teams to accelerate adoption of alternate products and suppliers, running own projects
o    Participate in Creative and R&D platforms as required


  • Provide informed and accurate input into the budget process in a timely fashion. Update the budget forecast each quarter. Communicate impactful price movements to both GP and Business stakeholders.  
  • Reduction of working capital through payment term negotiation and collaboration with Planning group on vendor managed inventory and vendor based planning initiatives.
  • Alignment with Responsible Sourcing Team on Supplier and ingredient risk assessment. Ensure assigned suppliers complete Ecovadis and/or SEDEX assessments. Continue to advance IFF efforts in the area of sustainability. Deep understanding of RSPO.

Job Requirements

What you will need to be successful

  • MBA in Supply Chain or Material Science. Degree in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, Supply Chain or any other relevant discipline.
  • Minimum 7 years proven track record Supply Chain procurement experience in the Food industry around raw materials, suppliers, supplier relationship management and best practices.
  • CPSM, SPSM or related certification in supply chain or procurement excellence is a plus.
  • Recognized procurement expert in the Food industry with product depth and contacts in key supply markets for Palm Oil and Fatty Acids.
  • Strong knowledge of business practices and financial concepts, impact and analytics.
  • General knowledge of different regulatory requirements 
  • Excellent people skills, project management ability and presentation skills.  
  • Sound experience in ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Office.
  • Experience identifying, developing and promoting new and existing supplier relationships.
  • Engagement capability across function or level in matrix and diverse culture organization.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, in English at global interaction level.
  • Great attention to details, ability to analyze data and draw conclusion or resolutions for supply or cost issues. 
  • Ability to evaluate financial implications of currency and supply chain costs.  
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, prioritizing workload to meet multiple deadlines.
  • Capability to proactively address internal and external customers’ needs.  
  • Positive team spirit with an independent, flexible and decisive approach.
  • Ability to work under pressure and is customer-oriented.
  • Knowledge of one or more foreign languages is desirable.
  • Willingness to travel (10-20%) post COVID.



IFF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


At IFF, we believe that your uniqueness unleashes our potential.  We value the diverse mosaic of the ethnicity, national origin, race, age, sex or veteran status. We strive for inclusive workplace that allows each of our colleagues to bring their authentic self to work regardless of their religion, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, or disability. Visit to learn more