Hiring: Local Food Inside Sales and Procurement Coordinator – Food Connects

Jun 23 2022

Local Food Inside Sales and Procurement Coordinator

BRATTLEBORO, VT

$18.75 Hourly

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Food Connects is seeking an Inside Sales + Procurement Coordinator with a passion for our vision to provide innovative and transformative solutions to New England’s local food system.  This person will employ their technical experience to lend vital backend support to the Sales, Procurement, and Admin teams.

Supervisor: Food Hub Co-Director, Business Development

Employee Status: Full-Time, Non-exempt, Hourly

We value diversity in all of its forms and strive to have our employment practices reflect that. As such, we are an equal opportunity workplace and will not discriminate on the basis of disability or other legally protected categories. If an employee has a disability that makes it difficult to perform their job duties, they are encouraged to notify us to engage in a discussion about reasonable accommodations. 

Position Summary

About Food Connects

Food Connects is a dynamic and growing nonprofit organization based in Brattleboro, VT that delivers locally produced food as well as educational and consulting services aimed at transforming local food systems. Founded in 2013, Food Connects (FC) is a catalyst for food systems change by connecting the next generation with their food, local farmers with new markets, and school chefs with local food.

The Food Connects Food Hub delivers source-identified local food from over 80 farms and value-added producers to over 140 wholesale customers located in Vermont, Western New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts. Currently, we have trucks on the road for pickups and deliveries 5 to 6 days per week. We have an online e-commerce platform for customer ordering, and are implementing a new ERP system for administrative control of the sales flow. The Food Hub is experiencing rapid growth and will be expanding operations, infrastructure, and delivery schedule over the coming year.

Food Connects is seeking an Inside Sales + Procurement Coordinator with a passion for our vision to provide innovative and transformative solutions to New England’s local food system.  This person will employ their technical experience to lend vital backend support to the Sales, Procurement, and Admin teams.

Position Summary

The Inside Sales and Procurement Coordinator (ISPC) will provide crucial administrative support for the Food Hub Sales and Procurement team, ensuring smooth and efficient order cycle & purchasing flow within day-to-day operations. This role is cross-departmental and will extend, to a lesser extent, into the business’ efforts in marketing and general administration.

The ISPC will serve as FC’s primary daily contact with many stakeholders in FC’s community-oriented food distribution network. They will work closely with regional producers and buyers in a close-knit community of food system advocates. As such, the ISPC must have consistently exceptional organizational skills, record-keeping skills, and attention to detail while providing courteous, respectful service to a wide variety of customers and food producers. The ISPC is supervised by the Food Hub Co-director, Business Development and works in close partnership with the Sales & Procurement team, the Marketing team, and the Admin team. As a central member of the Food Hub team, the ISPC will participate, as needed, in organizational decision making in business strategy, systems, and direction.

Core Competencies

  • Attention to Communication: The ability to ensure that information is passed on to others who should be kept informed
  • Thoroughness: Ensuring that one’s own and others’ work and information are complete and accurate; carefully preparing for meetings and presentations; following up with others to ensure that agreements and commitments have been fulfilled.
  • Task Management: Can prioritize tasks and work toward their completion through tracking details and progress and, when needed, toggling between different projects or assignments.
  • Initiative: Identifying what needs to be done and doing it before being asked or before the situation requires it.
  • Analytical Thinking: The ability to tackle a problem by using a logical, systematic, sequential approach

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Sales

This role is not designed to be an Outside Sales role. Our Outside Sales Associates are responsible for developing new customers. They are the primary “advocate” and closest point of contact for their assigned customers.

By contrast, in this role you will:

  • Act as the daily, central point of contact for customers wishing to place orders, resolve simple issues, ask questions regarding accounts payable, request credits, and so on.
  • Manage order updates within our online ordering/inventory system.
  • Field and input freight delivery requests.
  • Be the person who is always reachable (during business hours) by a customer in need.
  • Either provide the customer the solution they need or coordinate the solution with the rest of the Sales and Procurement team.
  • Proactively identify order issues such as out of stock items, and identify and present alternatives to customers.
  • Track and manage customers’ standing orders and special orders.
  • Manage staff orders.
  • Ensure the accurate and timely compilation of Food Hub orders on a twice-weekly basis for submission to our producers.
  • Provide order reports to the Food Hub team, as needed.
  • Maintain the database of customer notes and developments in a clear, concise and consistent fashion.
  • Coordinate with the FH Operations team regarding order details, order changes, product samples, and other specific day-of-delivery needs.
  • Coordinate Food Connects’ ongoing Curbside Pickup program for households.

Procurement

  • Act as a “Buyer” in support of the Procurement Specialist.
  • Build, send, and coordinate purchase orders and inbound logistics with FC’s local and regional suppliers.
  • Monitor inventory par levels and coordinate the regular reordering of products to maintain adequate stock to fill all orders.
  • Assist the Procurement Specialist in performing regular inventory checks.
  • Coordinate the timely collection and organization of vendor food safety documentation.
  • Collaborate as needed with the Operations and Warehouse teams to enable efficient, low-waste, and error-free product flow.
  • Assist the Procurement Specialist in reviewing and reconciling supplier bills against receiving documentation.

Marketing

  • Assist the Marketing Coordinator in development of regular marketing and promotional materials.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing Coordinator to build and maintain accurate, complete, and engaging e-commerce listings for all of our products.

Admin

  • Support the Sales team, Procurement team, Bookkeeper, and Co-directors with various administrative tasks, including:
    • Reporting and report-building;
    • Basic data analysis;
    • Drafting and reconciling customer invoices and supplier bills.

Working Conditions & Physical Demands

Food Connects will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals to perform the essential functions of their work to the degree we are able to do so.

Work Conditions

  • This position is full-time, non-exempt, hourly.
  • The position is based in the Food Connects Food Hub facility in Brattleboro, VT.
  • Schedule has some flexibility, but general availability is required on weekdays approximately 7:30am – 3:30pm or 8am-4pm, depending on the day. Some federal holidays (those that fall on Mondays), will require at least part-time work. Holiday hours will be compensated at a later date. Adequate advance notice will be provided.
  • The role will require in-office work up to 3 days/week, with remote work an option for the remaining days.

Physical Demands

  • This position entails extensive use of a desktop or laptop computer, sitting or standing at a desk workstation.

Qualifications

Required Qualifications

  • 1 to 2 years’ experience in one or more of the following types of roles. Some professional experience in the food industry strongly preferred.
    • Sales
    • Buying/purchasing
    • General administration
    • Project management
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal: in person, over the phone, email, text.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and natural proclivity for keeping detailed records.
  • Enthusiastic ability to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Interest in and ability to adapt to changes in evolving business, be creative, and jump in where needed to optimize operations.
  • Cheerful, professional presence.
  • Strong knowledge of veggies, fruits, dairy, meats, value-added products and other locally-produced foods.
  • General technical skills with common workplace tools such as: G-suite, Excel, Slack, Asana, and customer relationship management software (CRM).
  • Ability to learn and incorporate new tools and technology into work plan.
  • Reliable cell phone. Monthly cell phone reimbursement is rolled into salary.
  • At least 3 professional references.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Existing relationships with/knowledge of food producers in SE VT, SW NH, and Western Massachusetts.
  • General knowledge of the sustainable food and agriculture sector.
  • General knowledge of purchasing regulations for schools, institutions, and restaurants.
  • Experience in small business management and/or business development, especially in the food sector.
  • Familiarity with the geographical area of our delivery services (Vermont, Southern NH, and Western Massachusetts, primarily).
  • Experience with E-commerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for food sales and distribution.
  • Knowledge of basic food safety regulations.
  • ServSafe Certified.

Compensation

  • This is a full-time, 40 hour/week position.
  • Beginning at $18.75 hourly. Negotiable depending on experience.
  • A full-time position has the following benefits after a 90-day introductory period:
    • Paid time off: vacation, sick, personal, and holidays
    • Short-term disability insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Access to vision and dental insurance
    • 15% employee discount on food purchases
    • 2% retirement contribution

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