Oct 25, 2021

Sr. Director, Sourcing and Procurement (Corporate Services Leader)

  • Northwestern Mutual Life
  • 504 S Layton Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53215, USA

Job Description

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference. Summary:

Reporting to the Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Procurement, this role manages a team of category leads who support Northwestern Mutual's (NM) businesses. This is a people-management role, with a broad span of responsibility supporting multiple divisions/departments focusing on HR, Facilities, Corporate Real Estate, Marketing, Print, Travel, Meetings/Events Planning, and Utilities. Year-over-year, this role will oversee approximately $300MM+ in spend across a large number of key suppliers and NM functions and divisions. This role will partner closely with key stakeholders within NM's HR, Marketing, Facilities, and other functions. This leader and the team will provide supply/spend category market expertise, supplier best practices, and value-based opportunities to reduce costs and maximize value annually. Responsibilities for this role range from building relationships with executives, working with stakeholders at all levels of the organization to drive strategic decision, to leading business partners to deliver savings while balancing risk, regulatory, and performance attributes.


  • Ability to build strong relationships with business partners at all levels, in order to drive Sourcing engagements and increase the influence/role of Sourcing & Procurement within various business teams.
  • Direct management of people leaders and individual contributors aligned to the Enterprise Services Towers.
  • Set a long-term vision to perform and transform the value realized from the spend categories
  • Develop a strong execution strategy for team members, business partners, and the broader function.
  • Define and direct performance objectives and career path/building opportunities for each member of the team.
  • Oversee day-to-day management of a broad portfolio of competitive bids, procurement projects, as well as several commercial and contractual engagements.
  • Influence leadership on best practices, process changes, market inputs, etc.
  • Regularly update executives at all levels of the company on deal status, category performance, and provide continuous written and verbal updates to business partners, suppliers and other stakeholders.
  • Implement, Plan, and Monitor activities related to the Enterprise Third Party Risk Management and Supplier Governance Frameworks.
  • Take an enterprise view to ensure NM leverages its scale with its supply base and assets.
  • Category Expertise Lead Sourcing Strategies for assigned areas, change management and optimization of sourcing providers and programs.
  • Provide strategic and tactical strategic sourcing and supplier management best practices and leadership for assigned areas.
  • Partner with business leaders to establish supplier/product strategy for related categories and buys.
  • Understand the business, the long and short-term supply chain strategies for the benefit of the category and functional landscape.
  • Lead projects/programs of notable risk and complexity, as well as develop strategy for execution and implementation.
  • Develop business cases with ROI, benchmarks, strategic fit and risk exposure to deals and sourcing events.
  • Execute procurement/sourcing strategies; drive standardization of processes and procedures, supplier selection processes and ongoing supplier management.
  • Develop negotiation strategies using cost/benefit analysis, should-be cost modeling, market research, etc., lead negotiation efforts on purchase agreements and supplier contracts with cross-functional teams to achieve optimal results (i.e. costs, quality, terms).
  • Sourcing Capabilities Commercial and Contract Negotiations: Manage, review, negotiate and approve contracts for assigned categories or business areas.
  • Oversee contract escalations, planning, terms and conditions, renewals, and compliance and ensure payments align with contract terms.
  • Perform contractual reviews to ensure all agreed upon terms and conditions are included. Ensure contract compliance, perform due diligence in preventing and managing risk to ensure vendor management compliance.
  • Drive multi-supplier strategies to optimize NM's leverage and reduce operational risk.
  • Lead team members in order to executive RFx events effectively.
  • Negotiate contract terms and conditions in partnership with Law and other stakeholders.
  • Build strong working relationships with various cross functional groups (such as Law, Risk Assurance, etc) across the enterprise, monitor stakeholder satisfaction, and establish partner relationships to create synergies across accounts.
  • Drive the identification and delivery of financial impact and savings for category and business area.

  • Bachelor's Degree with an emphasis in Business, Supply Chain Management, Accounting/Finance, Engineering or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Work experience of 10+ years with a specific focus on, strategic sourcing or procurement, supplier management, finance, supply chain management, or other related field.
  • 5+ years of management experience
  • 5+ years of experience in leading the development and management of category plans or sourcing strategies.
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain cross-functional relationships, influence change with diplomacy, and lead the decision-making processes.
  • Strong customer focus, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • Excellent research, analytical, problem solving, planning and organization skills required as well as a high degree of personal initiative and motivation
  • MBA, MS/ME is a plus.
  • Consulting experience with global management consulting firm a plus.
  • Previous large complex deal/contract negotiation, sourcing and deal development, and risk mitigation experience preferred.
  • Direct knowledge and/or training in formal strategic sourcing and procurement preferred.
  • ISM or equivalent certification preferred



This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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