Director of Trading and Grain Procurement

Grain Team • Supply Chain & Procurement • Sun Prairie, WI • Full-time

Position Summary:

This critical role to the business will lead the grain procurement and commodity sales teams to power Didion’s dynamic growth. In this role, you will provide leadership to a team of motivated, intellectually-curious professionals with direct exposure to both internal and external partners. As a commodity trading expert, you will be strong in the fields of finance and economics due to your significant experience dealing with commodities exchanges and the trading of agricultural products. This role will supervise trades and be responsible for the daily position, managing risk, and ultimately be a significant contributor to the profitability of the business. As this position is key to the performance of all business units, you will ask the right questions of the strategic business unit leaders, bring forward creative sourcing solutions, and ensure optimal purchasing outcomes. Critical to this role is developing a team that will build and maintain strong partnerships with our suppliers by offering value added services and positioning Didion as the partner of choice.

Personal and Work Environment SAFETY is achieved through:

  • Development and ownership of all aspects of the Didion Safety Culture. Safety Maturity is advanced through constant development of safe behaviors, procedures and systems.
  • Absolute commitment to follow the three Didion Safety Promises.
  • Follow all safety procedures, GMP’s, perform risk assessments prior to commencing an unfamiliar task, seek to identify and implement proactive safety improvements, and use the proper PPE when required.
  • Ensure compliance to highest level of food safety not limited to designing and training to processes that uphold a food safe environment.

The highest levels of PERFORMANCE and PARTNERSHIP are achieved through passionate commitment and proactive ownership. In this key role you will:

  • This position will provide leadership to team members, provide feedback, and coaching and developmental opportunities that build a high performing team. This team will be a critical platform to allow individual to grow into other areas throughout the organization.
  • This Team Member will fit our core values of being Safe, Smart, Hungry, Humble, and winning as a Team.
  • Be responsible for corn and bean procurement, ethanol sales, DDG’s and wet cake sales, corn oil sales, and other co-products. This leader will develop and maintain internal processes and procedures to enable clear views on risk positions, management of cash flow targets, reconciliation of trading accounts, and alignment with financial reporting expectations.
  • Set the strategy (in collaboration with Team and other Executives) driving innovation in procurement strategies.
  • Work closely with Sales, Operations and other Didion business units on an ongoing basis, develop KPI’s and report weekly on the success of the company procurement/trading goals.
  • Minimize commodity risk, propose solutions to ensure cost neutrality in volatile markets, and optimize when commodity costs have downward market pressure.
  • Establish and maintain deep and strong relationships with our grower base whereby Didion is viewed as a value-added partner to their business and is relied upon for advice and guidance in marketing strategies.
  • Be an active, positive and a visible representative in the community. Participate in the appropriate networking circles and be active in associations.
  • Develop strategies and seek out knowledge and information on an ongoing basis. Translate knowledge into value improvement strategies to be implemented by the procurement and sales teams.
  • Potentially identify new materials to be strategically sourced including Non-GMO, organic, and IP commodities.
  • Own the Supplier Farm to Market Collaboration program for Didion and have strong traceability protocol.
  • Identify and lead cross-functional teams across the organization including Plant Leadership, Logistics, Operations and Finance teams. Constantly striving for continuous improvement opportunities to lower COGs and operational costs.

REQUIREMENTS to ensure success include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain, Finance, Grain Science or related field.
  • An extensive knowledge of the commodity markets as it relates to corn, soybeans, ethanol, DDG’s, and/or other related commodities.
  • At least 10 years of professional experience, with at least 5 years strategic sourcing within the grains, oilseed, biofuels or specialty grains sectors.
  • Proven track record in creating and enhancing effective commodity teams to drive strategic initiatives.
  • Experience in writing complex procurement agreements.
  • Strong oral and written communication abilities.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement cross functional teams to deliver desired results.
  • Break down organizational barriers and communicate overall sourcing trends for assigned commodities to the senior leaders, strategic business unit leaders and internal and external partners.
  • Procurement experience and/or materials management within a global supply chain.
  • Effective interpersonal, analytical, problem solving, and negotiation skills.
  • Contribute to an environment in which all team members are respected regardless of their individual differences and are motivated to improve both their individual and team contributions to achieve desired business results.
  • Knowledge of logistics, warehousing and sustainability systems. Futures and options trading knowledge and experience in reporting systems.
  • Management experience with commodities procurement, trading and logistics functions.
  • Experience in supplier innovation management and corporate sourcing risk management programs.
  • Experience analyzing industry trends, in-depth knowledge of relevant commodities, identify supply base issues, protect continuity of supply, and define emerging opportunities.