Business Development Representative / Manager Opportunity

Location: Marathon City, WI
Job Status: Full Time

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As a premier contract manufacturer to many of the country’s well-known cheese manufacturers, Marathon Cheese converts their suppliers’ cheese into customizable consumer products including slices, shreds, chunks, and snacks. Kincannon & Reed has been retained to recruit a superior Business Development representative who understands the food market and operations and can sell the broad level of customized services that are at the heart of Marathon’s offerings to other cheese manufacturers.

The Company

Founded in 1952 in the basement of Ray and Marie Goldbach’s family home as a means to package remaining natural cheese from nearby suppliers, Marathon Cheese has witnessed significant growth over the past sixty- five plus years. State-of-the-art technology is now used at each facility to deliver the most innovative cutting and packaging available for retail, food service, and industrial products.
Still family owned and based and headquartered in Marathon, Wisconsin, the company has six manufacturing and shipping locations in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Idaho. The firm is known for being both employee and customer centric, its long-standing relationships in the industry, and its strict adherence to quality manufacturing principles.
From its humble beginning, the company today converts over 600 million pounds of cheese annually into over 3,000 specific items. Their supplier customers then distribute this product to every major retail, club, and food service organization in the US in a mixture of branded and private label offerings.
The Company’s rapid growth and multiple market opportunities have created the need to take its business development capabilities to the next level. Through an extensive succession planning exercise undertaken over the past several months, the company has decided to split Business Development (cheese customer focused) from Sales (retailer and broker focused). While a flat organization, career progression is available to those who demonstrate the experience and capability to effectively manage larger responsibilities.

The Position

This individual reports to a Director of Business Development and will be following their direction on both strategic and tactical initiatives. H/she will be involved in all aspects of a product’s lifecycle: concept development, launch preparation, optimization of existing products, and end of product life cycle. Working across many functions in the company, this person will be responsible to:
  • Understand and communicate customer needs and interests.
  • Work with internal functions to develop differentiated solutions that meet those needs.
  • Plan, prepare, and deliver communication that sells products and ideas.
  • Gain mastery of product and packaging capabilities across locations.
  • Understand and apply the various financial relationships based on component ownership.
  • Efficiently execute customer product sample requests.
  • Initiate thorough and accurate finished goods quote requests. Maintain accuracy in cost assumptions through launch.
  • Demonstrate ongoing interest and growth in technical aspects of the business.
  • Liaison to Quality / Regulatory group for ongoing customer requirements.
  • Provide timely responses to various customer engagements with professional communication.
  • Develop and execute cost optimization projects relating to customers including order size, order frequency, producing plant determination, and distribution optimization.
  • Define customer requirements and work with Customer Project Manager on successful implementation of large or complex initiatives.
  • Monitor customer volume reports and initiates further customer engagement when data suggests doing so.
  • Stay abreast of market trends and leverages IRI data for customer insights.

Candidate Profile

We seek a commercially minded business development representative with a balance of business development and technical responsibility and interest. Experience in operations, manufacturing, supply chain, and sales process experience and knowledge in the consumer-packaged goods food industry is a plus. The Business Development Representative position will be based at the company’s HQ in Marathon, WI.

Experience

  • Ideal candidate will have 5-10 years’ experience of business development/technical sales/supply chain or operations for a food manufacturer or consumer products supplier in consumer-packaged goods food processing, preferably in refrigerated products.
  • Experienced in successful development and execution of a manufacturing operations strategy aligned with overall business strategy to fit near term and long- term customer goals.
  • Knowledge of a variety of pricing relationships including tolling, direct pay, and third party financed payment methodologies.
  • Understands issues regarding throughput, line speeds, quality, transportation, and safety.
  • Understands how to develop business including prospecting and pipelining.
  • Skills
  • Strong communication oral and written skills, along with the ability to make formal presentations to a wide array of internal and external audiences.
  • Skilled at developing relationships and generating trust with all stakeholders.
  • Data-driven.
  • Ability to work in an informal and flat organizational structure.
  • Proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint, and SAP and leverages systems in daily work.
  • Professional customer engagement / communication that is consistent with company values.

Personal Characteristics and other Position Parameters

  • A results-oriented individual who is self-motivated to achieve and exceed targets.
  • A “roll up your sleeves” doer with strong interpersonal skills that are equally effective in a customer meeting and on the manufacturing floor.
  • A personality and manner that demonstrates confidence, sound judgment, and a straightforward tenor to interpersonal relationships.
  • Demonstrates integrity, flexibility, tenacity, and physical/intellectual energy.
  • Unentitled, parks ego at the door.
  • The position is an individual contributor but will rely on peers and other staff members for support.
  • Travel 25-35%

Education level

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or other relevant discipline.