Category Manager - Ameren Bright Return Program

Job Locations US-MO-St. Louis
Category Management
Return-to-Work Program


reacHIRE is proud to partner with Ameren for a paid 6 month return-to-work program starting in October 2022 designed for individuals who are returning to the workforce after a 2+ year career break. 


Candidates who have worked in part-time roles or have done independent contracting will be considered for this opportunity. It is a cohort-based model that allows individuals to re-enter the workforce in a supported way with a group of fellow returning professionals. We provide a one-week intensive onboarding specially designed to build the skills needed to successfully re-enter the workforce. This proven approach fosters camaraderie among colleagues, builds confidence and upgrades technology and professional skills that will be invaluable throughout this next phase of their career.


Please note: Some of the responsibilities and areas of expertise listed below represent performance expectations to be met by the end of the 6-month program. Ameren's Bright Return program is designed to get you back to work with a supported onramp. We encourage all candidates with prior relevant experience in a similar role to apply!


About the Position

The Category Manager is responsible for the development and implementation of Ameren-wide sourcing strategies for assigned categories of approximate $2.5 Billion of annual sourceable spend to leverage the supply base, ensure continuity of supply, maximize cost savings/value realization, and support the achievement of Ameren's business strategy in a proactive manner by truly partnering with the business stakeholders as well as the vendors.


Key responsibilities include:


  • Represent the Procurement organization to the broader Ameren businesses and implement strategies to strategically source related spend
  • Utilize the sourcing process to develop, implement and manage proposal activities; lead negotiation and completion of contracts with suppliers to maximize benefits across Ameren.
  • Analyze and leverage spend across all Ameren business segments.  Segment spend based on category and work with stakeholders to define current and future business needs.
  • Ensure assigned category(ies) are procured in a manner which mitigates risk and provides the highest overall total value to Ameren through:
    • Supplier assessments and rationalization
    • Diverse spend
    • Negotiation strategy and execution to drive lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
    • Make vs. buy analyses
    • Should cost models
    • Cycle time improvements
    • Security and continuity of reliable supply
    • Continuous improvement


  • Internal Stakeholder Management:
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with team members in Ameren's sourcing organization 
  • Develop and maintain a strong network and foster collaboration with key internal stakeholders and suppliers to gain input into demand planning and forecasting, assist in strategy development, advocate the use of the negotiated contracts and influence strategy implementation.
  • Balance commercial and contractual complexities with stakeholders, through influencing change (without authority), driving enterprise consistency and delivering value with internal clients and external stakeholders, e.g. manage stakeholder expectations, operational cultures and individual business requirement, establish and adjust priorities, manage supplier dispute resolution process
  • Leads cross-functional teams consisting of technical SMEs, operations SCM personnel, Legal and other stakeholders, as required, in the development and implementation of sourcing strategies 


  • Market Intelligence (MI) & Cost Modeling:
  • maintain company-wide demand profiles and external supply and demand MI information;
  • interpret MI to drive category strategies and provide direction to stakeholders (i.e. raising changes in market conditions which could have an impact to cost or schedule);
  • understand the marketplace for assigned category(ies), including industry structure and new and non-traditional suppliers;
  • build cost models, identifying value and cost drivers, to drive for better understanding of costs and results during supplier negotiations.

  • Development and implementation of category strategies:
  • for optimizing and leveraging category management processes, policies and tools with the potential for significant corporate financial impact.
  • for long-term strategy development and implementation of a complex categories within the materials and/or equipment portfolio, to achieve lower total cost of ownership and higher value for Ameren. 
  • for the development and implementation of complex category strategies that mitigate risk and deliver competitive advantage for Ameren
  • understand, monitor, and be proactive to current category market conditions/trends, developing technologies, supply chain capacity/capability, product knowledge and supply/demand challenges
  • apply a broad and deep subject matter expertise in category management, market dynamics, and economic and industry trends impacting Ameren to support the development of appropriate category strategies; 
  • lead cross-functional teams to build comprehensive category strategies utilizing market intelligence, demand management, sustainability, supplier diversity and total cost of ownership, with follow through metrics as required to assure performance, supply continuity and manage risk; 
  • execute sourcing strategies, from proposal development and solicitation, to contract negotiation, to recommending solutions and contract execution;
  • partner with suppliers to conduct cost assessments with the goal of reducing costs and identifying improvements drive contract utilization with effective implementation plans, metrics and reporting.


  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or University required, preferably in Finance, Business, Economics, Engineering or related field.  
  • MBA, other related graduate degree, or Doctorate preferred. 
  • Seven or more years of progressively responsible and related experience in the SCM field, (i.e., category management, strategic sourcing, purchasing), consulting, cost accounting, or finance required.
  • Candidates with an advanced degree or Doctorate will be considered with five or more years of experience.      
  • Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) / Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) designation or equivalent preferred.

In addition to the above qualifications, the successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • Superior communication (oral and written), interpersonal, and presentation skills, with strong influencing and persuasive talents.  
  • Demonstrated ability to be innovative, take initiative, lead and manage change.  Experience negotiating substantially large and complex commercial agreements. 
  • Ability to monitor and manage supplier relationships and performance without supervision. Must be a proven expert in category planning, development & execution, as well as ability to achieve tangible results in competitive and non-competitive supplier negotiations both directly and as a coach to others.
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate through the strategic sourcing process required. Strong negotiation and project management skills required. 
  • Must have thorough understanding of purchasing, accounts payable, work management and financial systems applications
  • Thorough understanding of Ameren's systems applications (e.g., Oracle Purchasing, accounts payable, etc.) preferred. 
  • Proven ability to achieve results while effectively managing the associated change and to measure, analyze, (e.g., TCO, NPV, cost price analysis) and understand complex business issues required. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite required. 

About reacHIRE

reacHIRE is changing the trajectory for individuals in the workplace by partnering with forward-thinking companies. Through customized programs tailored to a company's unique business needs and culture, reacHIRE carefully selects under-the-radar, top talent who voluntarily off-ramped and are ready to on-ramp back into their career. At the end of the program, you may be eligible for full-time or extended contracting work, but it is not guaranteed. reacHIRE will provide 360 degree support along with a dedicated Program Manager to ensure your success every step of the way!


Our Returnship Program participants come from all walks of life, and so do we. At reacHIRE, the sum of our individual differences, life experiences, innovative thinking and self-expression is what makes us great. We hire exceptional talent from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes us, our programs, and the forward-thinking companies we partner with stronger, better and more innovative.  Be you and reach higher!


reacHIRE will reasonably accommodate applicants with disabilities who need adjustments in order to complete the application or interview process.  For assistance with your application please contact Sarah White at


About Ameren:

We're Ameren Corporation (AEE), a St. Louis-based, Fortune 500 company that powers the quality of life for millions of people throughout Illinois and Missouri.


Ameren Illinois provides electric distribution and transmission service, as well as natural gas distribution service, while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of over 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas distribution service. Combined, we serve 2.4 million electric and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000 square mile area. We're the largest electric utility in Missouri and the second largest in Illinois, and we're among the nation's largest investor-owned electric or gas utility.


Our workforce is dedicated to keeping the lights on and the gas flowing – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That same kind of dedication and longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has helped us build an "All-In" supportive and accepting diverse culture where opinions are shared in an environment where all are respected, and the best solutions are put into action.


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