Nov 05, 2020

Category Manager

  • Avant
  • Chicago, IL, USA
Full time Finance / Banking / Mortgage Process / Continuous Improvement / Lean / Six Sigma Procurement (Direct Materials) / Purchasing Procurement (Indirect) / Purchasing Procurement (Services) / Purchasing Procurement / Risk Management

Job Description


Avant, LLC is an online consumer lender who seeks to lower costs and barriers to borrowing for US-based consumers.  They are a high growth financial technology company that utilizes online data and machine-learning algorithms to provide highly customized and streamlined credit options for middle-income borrowers. Since its inception in 2012, Avant has connected over one million customers to $6.5 billion in loans and to 200,000 credit cards. Avant has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, Bloomberg, and has raised over $600 million of equity capital.

Avant is headquartered in Chicago, IL.  They are a privately equity-owned company with annual revenue just over $300M and they have 550 employees within the U.S.



In the two short years since its inception, the Procurement function at Avant has shown the ability to produce significant cost savings through improvements in organizational processes and close coordination with business leaders. They are aiming to expand upon this success by focusing on new cost categories and continuing to ingrain robust procurement processes into the business. The Category Manager role will provide an environment for Procurement professionals to help mature the function and be challenged with complex problems.

The Category Manager will partner with functional leaders to help design and implement category management and sourcing strategies aligned with Avant’s core objectives.  An effective candidate will foster strong partnerships with business stakeholders to develop knowledge of Avant’s vendor landscape and assist in managing vendor partnerships. The individual should be knowledgeable of best-practice procurement methods and will use their expertise to contribute to the negotiation of conditions, terms, quality specifications, and aid in the development of strategic suppliers. Additionally, the candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to the roll-out of a new Source to Contract tool, Scout, helping to shape Avant’s future vendor management strategy.

This position is based in Avant’s corporate offices in Chicago, IL.



The Category Manager will report to the Head of Procurement.



  • Build RFPs, conduct competitive analysis, cultivate market intelligence, and lead the evaluation process.
  • Actively manage designated suppliers and contribute to key projects aimed at improving financial and operational excellence.
  • Negotiate advantageous pricing, terms, and conditions.
  • Enforce Source to Contract compliance within Scout.
  • Create and present monthly spend analytics to inform senior leadership of spend patterns and potential sourcing opportunities.
  • Oversee the renewal process including but not limiting to issue list creation, developing the negotiation strategy, and formulating negotiation leverage.
  • Spearhead savings realization reporting, including methodology, to maintain savings integrity.
  • Partner with legal and finance on approval of agreements per the delegation of authority policy.
  • Provide thought leadership from a procurement/sourcing perspective and collaborate with business leaders to develop value add strategies.



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Finance, Marketing, or a technical field preferred.
  • 4-6+ years in a professional procurement function or relevant experience.
  • Strong negotiation skills and demonstrated ability to extract continuous value from suppliers.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication.
  • Research-focused with the ability to cultivate new skills and knowledge in new areas.
  • Proven ability to work with multiple stakeholders and influence senior leadership.
  • Competent financial and analytical skills with strong overall business judgment and integrity.
  • Prior experience with a Source to Contract tool is preferred.



Competitive compensation and benefits package commensurate with experience.

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