The RequirementsTo be a good fit for the Regional Director, Perishables, you will have:
- A bachelor’s degree in Merchandising, Procurement, Business Administration (highly preferred), or the equivalent combination of education and experience. A master’s degree is preferred.
- Ten or more years of combined wholesale and retail experience.
- Five years of successful leadership experience.
- Excellent P&L skills including the ability to coordinate your team and read key data, such as the Perishable Fiscal report.
- Completion of Action Selling™ certification within six (6) months of hire.
- The ability to take ownership of your P&L responsibilities and meet regional growth goals.
- Strong knowledge of retail and wholesale meat, produce, bakery/deli and perimeter operations and the ability to sell these programs.
- Knowledge and practice of food safety and sanitation regulations and requirements.
- Proficiency with MS Office applications including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
- Exceptional critical analysis, analytical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Polished negotiation skills.
- A professional, self-directed and action-oriented disposition.
- Demonstrated success working with diverse functions and stakeholders in multiple locations.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to influence those outside of your team and gain cross-functional support and cooperation.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Strong organizational skills, robust attention to detail, and the ability to multitask and keep a lot of balls in the air simultaneously.
The RoleReporting to the Regional Vice President, as Regional Director, Perishables, it will be your responsibility to analyze and evaluate wholesale and retail trends, customer needs, and business objectives within your territory in order to develop and implement sales programs, campaigns and procurement plans that will enable your team to achieve projected sales and gross profit objectives for perishables (meat, produce, bakery/deli) within the region. You and your team will focus on independent grocery retailers, taking a customer-centric, partner approach to sales and service. This is consultative, relationship based sales with a goal helping our clients achieve their goals, which in turn will allow us to achieve ours.
You’ll manage a team including three perishable Sales Specialists, each of whom is expert in their area – meat, produce, or bakery/deli, and depending upon the size of the territory, ten to fifteen Sales Consultants and Sales Representatives. While you can plan on being out in the field approximately 50% of the time, managing the logistics of the sales function – sometimes visiting the customers with a member(s) of your team, other times going alone, checking on the service they’re receiving, getting feedback and leveraging your skills as a resource for your customer. Most of your field work will be tactical in detail, but will be linked to larger objectives and strategic goals.
On the days that you’re in the office you’ll do some tactical work (e.g. solving customer problems, as needed), but you’ll also leverage your analytical reasoning and strategic planning abilities. You’ll work closely with the Marketing and Advertising team, coordinating buying and other programs, generating campaigns and more.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Providing perishable fiscal, operational, and strategic direction within your region.
- Supporting the regional sales teams in the area of perishable procurement, merchandising strategic planning, audits, and merchandising techniques to meet the regions’ sales objectives.
- Assisting in the development of merchandising and marketing campaign implementation, and reporting results.
- Developing and leveraging internal and external partnerships and networks to maximize the achievement of business goals by sponsoring and leading key initiatives; engaging key stakeholders in the development, execution, and evaluation of appropriate business plans and initiatives.
- Translating merchandising strategies into executable programs, reviewing and approving field-level position focus points and direction; determining current priorities; and recommending merchandising priorities to leadership.
- Evaluating and responding to feedback from Sales and Business Development, Advertising and Merchandising teams throughout the organization.
- Recommending and implementing course corrections on strategy, communications, or the direction of regional merchandising goals.
- Providing oversight for the reporting and communication of operational metrics.
- Ensuring Food Safety and sanitation standards are maintained consistently in all stores.
- Ensuring that Food Safety issues are immediately addressed with licensed operators.
- Performing department management duties including staffing, training, performance management and career development.
- Developing and monitoring department goals.
- Developing and managing the department budget as required.
Why Nash FinchCareer growth -- at Nash Finch we know that our employees are our greatest asset and we're dedicated to helping them evolve and grow their careers. We promote internally whenever possible and have a strong succession plan for most positions built into our organizational model. Prove yourself and make an impact and you could move into another, more advanced leadership role such as a Director of National Sales or a more senior perishables role.
Exciting new initiative -- Nash Finch recently underwent an organizational assessment to evaluate how we drive sales, gain new business, provide service and work to build and maintain long-lasting relationships with our customers. Based upon the results, we are implementing an exciting new initiative to change our sales structure in order to better support our customers with strategic plans for growth. We are aligning our sales teams around the needs of the customers, rather than distribution locations. In our new model, sales associates will solely focus on their current and prospective customers, learning and understanding their needs and goals, building relationships, delivering top quality products, services, solutions and more. If you want a sales career where you can be a partner in success, this is a prime opportunity.
Great time to join -- there is an energy and excitement in the air. You’ll enjoy the entrepreneurial drive of a new initiative, built on the foundation of a successful company with 128 years in business. It’s an opportunity to be a key player on a newly focused team.
Pride and satisfaction -- independent retailers face challenges on multiple fronts. You're not just selling; you're providing support and assistance that will help your customers improve their service and bottom line. You can feel good knowing that your efforts are having a direct impact on your customers' success.
Scientifically supported approach -- based upon the data, our new approach will better align us with the customers we serve, create efficiencies, strengthen accountability and streamline decision making. It’s a win-win for NFC and our customers.
Military distribution --? MDV is NFC’s military business which exists to serve American troops and their families, at home and abroad. MDV offers popular grocery products so military commissaries and exchanges can deliver a familiar shopping experience to military personnel, regardless of where they are stationed. Core to our values, Nash Finch will continue to support military personnel and their families. We encourage qualified veterans to apply for this or other NFC openings.
Compensation and benefits -- in addition to a competitive salary and bonus opportunity, we offer a comprehensive benefits package including insurances, a 401(k), PTO and much more.?
Keys to SuccessThis role is key to our success in the region and will have a strong impact on the larger initiative. Perishables are a prime growth vehicle, and as center of the store net profits shrink due to mass availability, the perimeter becomes even more important; in fact, perishable sales often exceed 50% of the overall store revenue for the independent retailers we serve. The services we provide to our customers must be exemplary in this area, and you will drive that service. Success in the role will fall into three key areas – customer relations, team management, P&L. To excel in the role you must:
- Build strong relationships, acting as a partner to your customers and problem solving when needed. While you will sell at times, it’s a soft sell; your team will handle the bulk of the hands-on sales duties.
- Be available to the store owners/managers in your territory when called upon, and often take point if a problem is escalated. You’ll need to be willing to solve tactical problems at times (out dated produce or an incomplete shipment, for example) and strategic issues (e.g., working with owners/managers and NFC Specialists on merchandising or P&L).
- Act with a sense of urgency.
- Ensure that your customers are happy with the team and service and know that you are a partner who cares about their business.
- Manage and develop your team so that each member is working to their potential, are meeting their goals and have a succession or personal growth objective.
- Keep your eyes on the big picture while managing the small details of the bottom-line goal.
About Nash Finch
?Pictured: Nash Finch headquarters. Originally established in 1885 and incorporated in 1921, Nash Finch Company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the second largest publicly traded wholesale food distributor in the United States, in terms of revenue, serving the retail grocery industry and the military commissary and exchange systems. Annual sales are approximately $5.0 billion.
The Company distributes food products and provides support services to a variety of retail formats including conventional supermarkets, military commissaries, multicultural stores and extreme value stores.
Nash Finch Company's core business, food distribution, serves independent retailers and military commissaries in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Azores and Egypt.