Category Specialist

State of Tennessee

Nashville, TN

HQ, Office & Administrative Support

Position Description / Responsibilities

The Tennessee Department of General Services is responsible for providing goods and services to the State government of Tennessee. Its primary customers are other State departments and agencies. It also serves vendors wishing to do business with the State, and citizens and organizations interested in purchasing surplus State and federal property. The Department’s services include centralized procurement for State departments; management of the State’s real estate assets; motor vehicle and equipment management; printing, media, and photographic services; postal services; warehousing and distribution; State employee parking, badging, and shuttle services; and assistance to small businesses and businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans. For more information about the Department of General Services please visit


The Category Specialist executes procurement activities, using all available methods to include Request for Proposal or Qualifications, Invitation to Bid, Competitive and Non-Competitive Negotiation, and Informal Purchase, within the assigned portfolio of goods or services. The Category Specialist must be able to solve complex problems associated with supplier and contract management, procurement processes, data and spend analysis, cost benchmarks, and diverse or conflicting agency requirements. The Category Specialist will administer procurement activities from development and implementation of the sourcing strategy to execution of the contract, which includes identifying agency needs, drafting solicitations, executing procurements, managing and leading the state evaluation process and conducting negotiations. In addition, the Category Specialist will serve as the point person for ongoing supplier and contract management activities, and will utilize problem solving skills to ensure the contract satisfies the needs of internal and external stakeholders.


The position is located in downtown Nashville and the monthly starting salary is $3,737 - $4,298 (determined on experience). Information regarding benefits can be found at


Examples of Duties and Responsibilities

·        Gathers and analyzes contract expenditure data and conducts market research and benchmarking for goods or services.

·        Develops solicitation specifications based on internal and external sources of information.

·        Possesses and demonstrates strong knowledge of policies, procedures and execution strategy for multiple solicitation methods including Request for Proposal and Qualifications, Invitation to Bid, Competitive and Non-Competitive Negotiation, and Informal Purchase.

·        Builds and manages business relationships with agency procurement staff, central procurement teams and key suppliers to facilitate effective contract management and sourcing outcomes.

·        Conducts ongoing supplier and contract management to ensure supplier and state compliance with contractual obligations.

·        Solves common problems associated with procurement activities, including dispute resolution between agencies and suppliers, data analysis and negotiations.

·        Leads and develops strategy for formal supplier negotiations and supports other procurement staff with similar activities and develops tools to calculate, forecast, and report savings.

·        Manages and leads the evaluation team and process to award recommendation.

·        Conducts regular business reviews with supplier executives to review and discuss supplier performance, contract activities and negotiate contract enhancements and price decreases.

·        Represents the central procurement office while speaking at public events with internal and external stakeholders.

·        Analyzes proposed pricing against historical costs, other state contracts, and industry-recognized indices.

·        Monitors supplier market and industry developments to identify appropriate opportunities to maximize cost savings and quality of procured goods or services.

·        Provides protest support in research and development of recommendation for resolution, as needed by the Legal department.


Position Requirements


·        Completion of an Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university; or

·        4 years of professional procurement/sourcing/contract management experience

·        Knowledge of public or private procurement or contract management program

·        Proficiency with Microsoft Office tools, particularly Excel

·        Superior organization, problem solving and negotiation skills

·        Excellent presentation, verbal and written communication skills

·        Excellent analytical skills

·        Knowledge of Oracle PeopleSoft, or other enterprise procurement systems

Pursuant to the state of Tennessee’s policy of non-discrimination, The Tennessee Department of Human Services does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, creed, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or military services—in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs, services or activities.

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates should submit a resume and letter of interest to  Position will be posted until filled.

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