Supplier Relationship Manager

United Natural Foods   •  

Providence, RI

Industry: Food & Beverages


8 - 10 years

Posted 86 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Job Description


Functions as a supply chain professional with primary responsibility to the management of specific suppliers and their products on a regional or national scale where single point of contact may be the standard operating procedure in the management of suppliers.  Responsible for sourcing new suppliers and items for all sales channels and managing those relationships toward maximizing sales and profit opportunities for UNFI, and when strategically in alignment, increasing sales opportunities for the supplier. A core subset in the management of supplier relationships, especially in a single point of contact alignment, is fostering an environment of professional interaction which provides a path to growth and profit for both UNFI and its suppliers. Develops and executes sales and purchasing plans and programs designed to maximize the coordination of sales, marketing and supply chain departments and increases sales, profits, and market share; and to minimize UNFI’s expenses with respect to UNFI’s supplier group. Responsible for supporting the internal UNFI process of on boarding new suppliers and new items within both the current regional structure and in a national organization.  Ensures that revenue goals are met or exceeded and formulates strategies for new revenue opportunities.  Ensures that professional business relations exist with all internal customers, and with customers, vendors, third parties, and other external contacts.  Position may direct, train, mentor and appraise personnel.



The Supplier Relationship Manager is the primary point of contact, within UNFI regionally or nationally, for suppliers doing business with UNFI or its customers.  The Supplier Relationship Manager is responsible for the development and management of new and existing suppliers and supplier opportunities, the development and management of new and existing items via the UNFI supply chain structure, and the collection and execution of all required supplier agreements and documentation prior to UNFI doing business with any and all suppliers.

  • Oversees, in coordination with other UNFI supply chain managers, short and long-term strategic supplier sourcing and selection, supplier on boarding execution, and development of protocols specific to enhancing suppliers’ ability to be a profitable and successful supplier to UNFI
  • Identifies suppliers for product and sales penetration opportunities.  Networks with industry leaders and builds relationships to faciliate expanded sales opportunities.
  • Creates and manages a supplier business environment that builds supplier programs designed to drive profitable sales for UNFI and it suppliers.
  • Regularly reviews SKU mix independently, and with cooperation of suppliers, to ensure UNFI distribution centers stock the necessary items required within the marketplace.
  • Negotiates and executes supplier agreements and implements policies in accordance with company guidelines.
  • Negotiates and executes new initiatives in support of company initiatives.
  • Provides regular instruction to suppliers regarding pricing, procedures, and product insight.
  • Researches and analyzes competitive conditions, customer needs, and market trends. 
  • Designs strategies to capitalize on market opportunities and ensures that strategic supplier selection and plans complement market place needs and includes small emerging suppliers as proposed by other UNFI supply chain and sales associates.
  • Maintains a current knowledge of industry trends, opportunities, channels, products, and competitors to support supplier development opportunities.
  • May conduct category reviews as required
  • Documents and reports economic, technological, and competitive factors which may impact business opportunities.
  • Identifies potential new products and services which may increase penetration into new markets.
  • Ensures resources spent investigating new market opportunities are cost effective and result in productive business relationships.
  • Responsible for coordinating and executing strategies in concert with other regions and UNFI business units.
  • Responsible for recommending and implementing effective pricing strategies.
  • Responsible for the negotiation and subsequent development and implementation of effective promotion strategies.
  • Responsible for delivering advertising programs in conjunction with the marketing department.
  • Researches and recommends potential strategic alliances with suppliers, third-parties and other entities.
  • Responsible for the development of new revenue opportunities consistent with national supply chain and company goals.
  • Maintains in-depth knowledge of Company products, operations, and systems.
  • Monitors and manages supplier fill rate performance and develops strategies with the supplier to improve performance metrics without added cost to UNFI.
  • Builds relationships within the One Company initiative.
  • Responsible for ensuring professional relations with all customers, vendors, trade professionals, external contacts, and within all company regions and divisions.
  • Ensures the delivery of products and services within established timeframes.  Works to exceed customer expectations.
  • Ensures customers, suppliers, third parties, and business alliances are well informed through continual feedback and communication.
  • Ensures requests, needs, and questions are promptly resolved.  Ensures that information regarding Company products, programs, and promotions are appropriately provided.
  • Promotes goodwill and a positive image of the Company.  Ensures that the Company’s professional reputation is maintained.
  • Responsible for establishing and maintaining effective communication and coordination with Company personnel and management.
  • Completes special projects as assigned.
  • Attends professional meetings and seminars.
  • Training and development of both new hires and existing staff.
  • Performs mid-year and annual reviews as required. Performs reviews as needed in cases of individual performance shortfalls.
  • Disciplinary actions as required.


  1. Supplier and product on boarding process adjustments and implementation reduces lead time to purchase order creation, product receipt, and availability for sale.
  2. UNFI fill rates and DOH metrics meet company goals and objectives
  3. Book to average metrics meet company goals and objectives
  4. Suppliers are managed from a single point of contact nationally as assigned
  5. Supplier funded programs meet company goals and objectives and appropriately support UNFI and retailer needs to increase consumption
  6. Supplier dead and slow inventory in UNFI distribution centers is at minimal levels necessary to support the business.
  7. Planning processes, execution, and continuous communication are appropriately managed, innovative and successful.
  8. Personnel are informed, well-trained, and effective in all aspects of their roles.


Required Skills



  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related field.


  • Excellent understanding of market penetration strategies, market development techniques, and market segmentation strategies, coupled with a high level insight to retailer trends and consumer behaviors.
  • Excellent negotiation and management skills.
  • Excellent understanding and knowledge of promotional techniques, protocols, pricing strategies, distribution channels, and competitive set.
  • Strong knowledge of manufacturing, manufacturing costs, and product price components.


  • Seven or more years of related business development in category management, sales, purchasing or related fields.
  • Progressive managerial experience is desired
  • Experience in managing supplier relationships with an associated experience in supplier mentoring and training.


  • Excellent leadership abilities.
  • Able to organize, coordinate, and direct projects
  • Strong oral and written communications abilities
  • Solid analytical and technical skills
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Computer literate with ability to use all related hardware and software.