United Airlines Associate - Category Manager in Chicago, Illinois

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Explore open positions in our Finance department, which manages the company's budgets, forecasts and investments, and provides analysis of our financial performance and strategies.

Job overview and responsibilities

The primary responsibility for this position is to support catering operations and marketing initiatives to increase value (minimize spend, capture TCO savings, or avoid cost increases), while ensuring that quality and reliability needs for onboard products and services are met.

  • Participate in the development of sourcing strategies for catering operations and marketing by conducting analysis of market trends and potential suppliers, analysis of TCO and opportunities to leverage changes in processes, systems and product/services, and estimating timing and level of savings capture.

  • Negotiates and contract for related commodity areas including but not limited to: retables, disposables, food, beverage, catering, and security while facilitating vendor management activities with responsible stakeholders (as needed).

  • Direct related outside contractors as needed to support stakeholder needs.

  • Coordinates the development of new requirements with supplier base.

  • Manage business relationships with key suppliers regarding service levels, quality, costing, contract modification as directed by stakeholders.


  • Bachelors Degree or related experience

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

  • Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills

  • Strong oral and written communication skills

  • Business Acumen

  • Planning

  • Customer Focus

  • Decision Making

  • Innovation

  • Teamwork

  • 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

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

  • Knowledge and application of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) concepts and strategic sourcing process

  • Collaboration skills with peers in Procurement and with business partner leadership

  • Strong communication skills and the ability to be a persuasive advocate


Division: 40 Finance

Function: Procurement / Strategic Sourcing / Purchasing