Category Manager at Avant

| Chicago
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Avant is dedicated to building premier digital banking solutions for the middle class through a combination of technology, analytics and superior customer service. Since 2012, Avant has connected over one million customers to $6.5 billion in loans and to 200,000 credit cards. A high growth financial technology company, Avant has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, Bloomberg, and has raised over $600 million of equity capital. Visit for more information.
The Procurement team is ready to expand! In the two short years since its inception, the Procurement function at Avant has shown the ability to produce significant cost savings through improvements in organizational processes and close coordination with business leaders. We are aiming to expand upon this success by focusing on new cost categories and continuing to ingrain robust procurement processes into the business. This role will provide an environment for Procurement professionals to help mature the function and be challenged with complex problems.
For our Procurement Associate role, we’re looking for someone who will partner with functional leaders to help design and implement category management and sourcing strategies aligned with Avant’s core objectives. An effective candidate will foster strong partnerships with business stakeholders to develop knowledge of Avant’s vendor landscape and assist in managing vendor partnerships. The individual should be knowledgeable of best-practice procurement methods and will use their expertise to contribute to the negotiation of conditions, terms, quality specifications, and aid in the development of strategic suppliers. Additionally, the candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to the roll-out of a new Source to Contract tool, Scout, helping to shape Avant’s future vendor management strategy. This position will report to the Head of the Procurement department.

What you'll do at Avant:

  • Builds RFPs, conducts competitive analysis, cultivates market intelligence, and leads the evaluation process
  • Actively manages designated suppliers and contributes to key projects aimed at improving financial and operational excellence
  • Negotiates advantageous pricing, terms, and conditions
  • Enforces Source to Contract compliance within Scout
  • Creates and presents monthly spend analytics to inform senior leadership of spend patterns and potential sourcing opportunities
  • Oversees the renewal process including but not limiting to issue list creation, developing the negotiation strategy, and formulating negotiation leverage
  • Spearheads savings realization reporting, including methodology, to maintain savings integrity
  • Partners with legal and finance on approval of agreements per the delegation of authority policy
  • Provides thought leadership from a procurement/sourcing perspective and collaborates with business leaders to develop value add strategies

Why you're a fit for this role:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Finance, Marketing, or a technical field preferred
  • Strong negotiation skills and demonstrated ability to extract continuous value from suppliers
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication
  • Research-focused with the ability to cultivate new skills and knowledge in new areas
  • Proven ability to work with multiple stakeholders and influence senior leadership
  • Competent financial and analytical skills with strong overall business judgment and integrity
  • Prior experience with a Source to Contract tool is preferred

Why Avant is a fit for you:
At Avant, we believe our values make a difference:
We value, support, and help each other grow
We are committed to active inclusion and diversity
We are transparent and believe the best idea wins
We succeed when our customers succeed
We get sh!t done… responsibly
And we keep it fun!
We believe that ideas are more important than titles, everything is more fun together, everyone drives change, and everyone is an owner. While we believe the perks and benefits that we offer are terrific, nothing excites us more than having the ability to collaborate with intelligent, highly-motivated and talented people on challenging problems as we work to change the face of online lending.

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Product
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • RubyLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • TypescriptLanguages
    • ReactLibraries
    • AngularJSFrameworks
    • DjangoFrameworks
    • Ruby on RailsFrameworks
    • MySQLDatabases
    • JIRAManagement


Located on Chicago's scenic riverwalk, we're surrounded by trendy restaurants, a thriving startup community, and easy access to public transportation.

An Insider's view of Avant

What’s the vibe like in the office?

The vibe is positive and encourages fun, but also strives for growth through hard work and innovation. I would also say Avant is a “come as you are” environment where people are able to bring their whole selves to work, which leads to diverse viewpoints and great ideas.


Software Engineer

How do you collaborate with other teams in the company?

Because of the nature of my role, I’m constantly collaborating and working with other teams. Program management is like being a traffic cop, at the intersections of every vertical within the business unit; I stop and start traffic, provide estimates on travel time, and route drivers down the right street if they get lost.


Customer Success Manager

What are some things you learned at the company?

The new projects we launch for our bank partners are really exciting because of all the learning opportunities they present. These projects require a substantial amount of collaboration between teams, so everyone is growing and learning from one another as we go. It's pretty awesome!


Tech Quality

What does your typical day look like?

70% of my day is working on code. 20% of my day is spent on unblocking other junior engineers or reviewing code. 10% of my day is in meetings. 100% of my day is spent having fun! =)


Software Engineer Team Lead

What are Avant Perks + Benefits

Avant Benefits Overview

We offer group Medical, Dental, and Vision coverage, generous parental leave, commuter benefits, and unlimited vacation time. We have a free gym on site at our Chicago office and other great perks like a fully-stocked kitchen with beer on tap, casual dress code, a game room, and company happy hours.

Volunteer in local community
We love being in Chicago! We'll run donation drives for local schools, pack lunches for city shelters, host events for young people interested in fintech, and whatever else comes up!
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
Like the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the Fun Committee, to name a few.
Daily stand up
Open door policy
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Group brainstorming sessions
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Documented equal pay policy
Dedicated Diversity/Inclusion Staff
Unconscious bias training
Diversity manifesto
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Wellness Programs
Onsite Gym
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K) Matching
Company Equity
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Performance Bonus
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
Flexible Work Schedule
Remote Work Program
Family Medical Leave
Return-to-work program post parental leave
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Generous PTO
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Game Room
Stocked Kitchen
Happy Hours
Relocation Assistance
Fitness Subsidies
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Diversity Program
Lunch and learns
Cross functional training encouraged
Promote from within
Paid industry certifications
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