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United Airlines Associate - Category Manager in Chicago, Illinois

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Job overview and responsibilities

The primary responsibility for this position is to successfully lead procurement initiatives for United Airlines to purchase services falling within the designated categories of human resources benefits and workers compensation which exceed business objectives in terms of scope of service, quality, risk mitigation, delivery timing, and cost. This position will involve decision making and/or organizational influence across procurement initiatives and will include the ongoing management of designated purchase categories.

  • Participate in the development and implementation of category plans for designated purchase categories to achieve intended business objectives.Work will include but not be limited to research of current state and future needs, analysis of market trends and potential suppliers, and identification of continuous improvement opportunities (e.g. leverage changes in processes, systems and product/services, new and innovative market offerings).

  • Capture direct savings on assigned purchase categories by working with Procurement leadership to build sourcing strategies which enable cost reduction while ensuring that user needs for the assigned categories are met.

  • Maintain expertise in the assigned spend categories through relationships with Division Leads, Suppliers and Market Experts.

  • Communicate sourcing trends and results for assigned categories to Procurement leadership and other interested parties.

  • Create and manage requests for proposals (RFPs).Work will require ongoing collaboration and proactive communication with a cross-functional team, and responsibilities will include design and creation of the RFP, system set-up and administration, analysis of total cost of ownership (TCO), creation and tabulation of supplier evaluation scorecards.

  • With input from United’s legal department, procurement leadership, and other stakeholder departments, redline and negotiate contracts for purchases within designated categories

  • Manage business relationships with key internal stakeholders and external suppliers including routine enhancements to agreements, communication of demand/volume changes, updating contracts and sharing end-user feedback.

  • Participate in vendor management activities with internal business teams, as needed; this may include following-up on performance against contract (compliance) and resolution of any constraints or issues.

  • In this role the Category Manager is expected to achieve year-over-year improvement in risks, costs, quality and service by working closely with internal stakeholders and external suppliers.


  • Bachelors Degree

  • Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills

  • Strong oral and written communication skills

  • Business Acumen

  • Planning

  • Customer Focus

  • Decision Making

  • Innovation

  • Teamwork

  • Minimum of three to five (3-5) years experience in purchasing, finance/accounting or Airport Ops, including the development of buying strategies, or equivalent

  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without sponsorship

  • Successful completion of interview required to meet job qualification

  • Reliable, punctual attendance is an essential function of the position


  • MBA or related Graduate Degree

  • CPSM Certification or other relevant certification

  • Experience working in the transportation or airline industry

  • Experience or familiarity with Human Resources Benefits and/or Workers Compensation

  • Experience acting as a change agent that seeks out and advocates new and innovative solutions to meet the business needs

Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled/LGBT

Division: 40 Finance

Function: Finance

Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled