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M.S. Walker Spirits Brand/Business Manager in Norwood, Massachusetts

Who we are: Founded in Boston in 1933, M.S. Walker is a 5th-generation, family-owned wine and spirits importer and distributor, a spirits bottler, and a national supplier. We serve On-Premise and Off-Premise establishments throughout the Northeast, with direct operations in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island and brokerage operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. We represent a budding portfolio of wine and spirits nationwide, including our own brands, and we strive to offer the most prestigious portfolio in the industry. M.S. Walker has built our foundation and future on our people – our employees are truly our greatest asset. Our company boasts a diverse pool of exceptionally special team members who each bring their unique skills and experience to the organization.

What we are looking for: M.S. Walker has an immediate opening for a Spirits Brand/Business Manager. The primary role of the Brand Manager is to advance the long-term best interests of M.S. Walker while fostering the company’s supplier relationships and administering to our mutually agreed upon goals and objectives. The Brand Manager is also responsible for targeted account activity to promote brand awareness and enhanced sales.

Responsibilities:

  • Communicate all pertinent information in a timely and professional manner to Event Manager, Purchasing, Receiving, Sales Personnel and Administration, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Marketing, and Out of State personnel as soon as possible. All issues should be remedied within one week of being notified.

  • Thoroughly perform all necessary follow up for timely completion of responsibilities with particular attention to the time sensitive concerns that impact other company departments, customers, and suppliers.

  • Maintain your portfolio’s profitability.

  • Maintain inventory control.

  • Sustain and enhance supplier relations through frequent direct dialogue. Brand Manager is expected to return phone calls and respond to emails within 2 business days.

  • Communicate frequently and effectively with SVP/Sales Director and Senior management regarding supplier activity, meetings, and potential issues.

  • Arrive fully prepared and take a leadership role in business and review meetings. Utilize the Sales Meeting Template to ensure meetings are as thorough and effective as possible before the meeting, during the meeting, and after the meeting.

  • Provide a detailed product and product category information, a consultative sales role in and out of house, as well as formal and informal wine education to MSW Sales Personnel and customers.

  • Ensure that suppliers A/R statements satisfactory. All funds should be collected within 60 days of invoicing. Enlist SVP/Sales Director proactively if delinquency issues arise.

Communication Specifics

Communicate in a timely and when necessary urgent manner the following:

  • Any and all price and support change information both permanent and temporary to appropriate MSW personnel for posting, post-carding, receiving, and bill-backs with respect to DA’s, SPA’s, free goods, FOB and warehouse pricing, sample policies, floor adjustments, banks, and invoice discounts.

  • All information regarding your supplier’s policy on support of events, trade shows, tastings, trade work, and printed materials such wine lists, newsletters, and POS materials. Changes and exceptions to those policies must come in writing from suppliers before enacted.

  • All information regarding your supplier’s logistical procedures.

  • All incentive programs to the appropriate personnel clearly stating MSW and the supplier’s participation levels along with anticipated sales and distribution aspirations.

  • Timely feedback to MSW Principles, SVP/Sales Director, Sales Managers, and Supplier Representatives regarding the success or improvement needed on short, near, and long-term depletion and placement objectives.

  • Pertinent details related to upcoming events and proposed events to Event Manager, SVP/Sales Director, Sales Management, and Purchasing.

  • Upcoming and proposed visits to our market by suppliers and their representatives to Events Manager and Sales Management. Specific notification must be given to MSW Principles and SVP/Sales Director in the case of visits by Supplier VIP’s.

  • All pertinent financial information to Supplier’s and MSW accounts payable and receivable departments to ensure statements are current.

  • Mine new product opportunities from existing and new sources. Use standardized Supplier Introduction Letters and New Product Worksheets where appropriate to ensure that new SKU’s and new suppliers are vetted as carefully and exhaustively as possible.

  • Edit and submit Beverage Journal edits by the 7th day of every month to create the most up to date and credible sales tool possible.

  • Process all order overrides by 5PM. If Brand Manager is unable to react by 5PM then a third party should be clearly designated to act on their behalf.

  • Respond to specific inquiries by sales reps and sales managers by the end of the business day. If for some reason that is not possible a response within 24 hours is expected.

Profit Margin Maintenance

Negotiate with our suppliers the mandated profit margins required by senior management. The goal on any portfolio is a melded 28% and the melded minimum is 25%. Any exceptions must be identified and approved by senior management with an adjusted minimum margin requirement and an adjusted goal.

Inventory

  • Maintain inventory control by balancing inventory levels in a manner that minimizes out of stocks but provides fiscally prudent levels of inventory turn.

  • Take appropriate actions when current turn levels are not in compliance. Actions include; acquiring additional support from suppliers, collaboration with sales management, improving sales reps product awareness, new pricing or programming, and account targeted large drop purchases.

  • Closely monitor fast growing items and increase order frequency and adjust par levels to maintain sales growth expansion. Meet monthly with Purchasing to review the most important and problematic portfolios to ensure inventory continuity. Work with Purchasing to address inventory needs of out of state markets.

Technology proficiencies

The Brand Manager must be independent, competent, and effective with a persistent use of the following applications;

  • Smart Term/DEC

  • EIS

  • Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and Power Point

Maintaining Supplier Relations

  • Brand Manager must maintain frequent contact with their suppliers while exhibiting professionalism at all times.

  • Planning and Review meetings with suppliers are an ongoing opportunity to reaffirm our partnerships while articulating the challenges occurring in a dynamic and evolving marketplace. Brand Managers should take a lead role and must speak to the supplier’s needs and objectives- but also communicate any MSW concerns or challenges.

Product and Pricing Knowledge Proficiencies

  • Must maintain a current price list from all suppliers, a hard copy and an electronic copy that company users can access.

  • Must have in depth knowledge of their supplier’s products along with a very good understanding of the competitive category. This acumen is best achieved through time spent with suppliers in-house and in the field.

  • Must be current with Industry trends with particular attention to developments that affect their suppliers and their categories. Consistent reading of key industry publications is essential.

  • Need to convey product and category information clearly and concisely with an enthusiasm that motivates the listener.

Work expectations:

Brand Manager is expected to spend 70-75% of their time in the office or at sales meetings providing back of the house leadership and support. Office Days begin at 8:30AM and end at 5:00PM.

Brand Manager is expected to spend 25-30% of their time in the trade supporting their brands through sales presentations as well as educational and promotional events. Any required follow up should be conveyed to the appropriate sales rep and sales manager within 24 hours in order to maximize sales.

The Brand Manager position occasionally requires work on nights and weekends.

Requirements

Who you are: The ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities in order to be successful in this role:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and/or 2+ years related experience

Functions necessary to complete the above listed requirements of job description:

Stand: Frequently

Bend/Squat: Occasionally

Climb: Occasionally

Computation Skills:

Lift/Carry 0-55 lbs: Occasionally

Push/Pull: Occasionally

Reach Overhead: Occasionally

Sit: Frequently

Use of Computer: Frequently

Verbal Communication: Frequently

Walk: Frequently

Occasionally = 0-2 Hours Daily

Frequently = 3-5 Hours Daily

Continuously = 6-10 Hours Daily

Benefits

We offer a Comprehensive Benefits Plan that includes the following:

  • Medical, dental and vision coverage

  • 401k program

  • Flexible spending options

  • Disability & Life Insurance packages

  • Paid Vacation & Holidays

  • Career advancement opportunities

  • Wellness programs and discount fitness memberships

  • Employee Assistance Program

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