Vacancy: Supplier Relationship Manager

Vacancy: Supplier Relationship Manager

6th November 2018

Company Overview

Bookspeed is an imaginative, energetic and customer-focused book wholesaler.  Everything we do is geared to our customers’ successes and staff well-being: we believe the two are closely linked.  We are driven by three main goals:

  • Our mission is to provide a smooth, easy route for every customer to buy a range of books that are appropriate to their offer, a range which contributes significantly to the commercial impact of their store in colour, style, and theme.  And, most importantly, a range that sells through quickly and profitably for both parties.  Our customers range from big multi-site retailers to small owner-run businesses; from quirky gift shops to grand castles and country houses.  We’ve been doing this for over thirty years and we’re good at it because we love doing it.


  • We strive to create a workplace that is creative, supportive and inclusive for all members of staff, our greatest asset. Bookspeed has always been committed to fostering an ethos of equality, where people can fulfil their potential free from prejudice of any kind.  All senior staff play an important part in creating and maintaining this pro-active approach to a non-discriminatory workplace


  • As a wholesaler and distributor, efficiency of process is vital as margins for purchases and sales are fiercely negotiated.  Maintaining a keen attention to detail in performance, procedures and processes is critical to our ongoing success.

For the past four years, Bookspeed achieved growth has averaged over 20% per year with the business currently seeing revenues of over £11m. The Board has plans to continue the Company’s growth trajectory with the aim of reaching £25m revenue in 2025.

Following recent changes, a review of our operating model was conducted and as a result this exciting new role has been added into the business.


Job Title:  Supplier Relationship Manager

Location:   Edinburgh

Line Manager:  Managing Director

Scope of the Role:

The Supplier Relationship Manager is accountable to the Managing Director. They will be responsible for working collaboratively with our suppliers to ensure Bookspeed is the wholesaler of choice in the UK book trade.

They will be responsible for the development and implementation of a supplier engagement strategy, and for the day to day running of the stock control department. Close collaboration with the members of our highly experienced and successful stock control department will be essential to success as will continuous attention to achieved purchase margin.


Responsible for:

Supplier Relationships

  • Ultimate accountability for the protection and continual improvement of the company’s purchase margin, one of the company’s most important KPIs
  • Overall accountability for day to day supplier relationships. Working closely with the stock control team you will be expected to field all incoming contact from suppliers, delivering an excellent stakeholder service experience to them.
  • Working with the Managing Director and Finance Team, you will be responsible for the setting and management of monthly and annual purchase budgets and margin targets for the stock control team
  • Liaising with the Sales Department on margin expectations and customer profitability analysis
  • Managing, innovating and improving our daily and weekly stock ordering schedules ensuring all purchases are made at the best possible terms
  • Collaboratively working with inhouse and contracted IT providers to improve processes and achieve efficiencies.
  • Holding regular face to face reviews with suppliers, continually finding ways to improve how we collectively do business, always with Bookspeed’s bottom line at front of mind
  • Distributor management – working across the Stock Control, Warehouse and Accounts Payable departments of the business you will be responsible for reporting against and improving distributor performance. This requires knowledge and understanding of the Company’s financial model and processes.
  • Liaising with the Bibliographic team to ensure supplier information is being received in line with Critical Path deadlines.


  • Leading, managing, motivating and developing direct reports in line with Bookspeed values
  • Holding monthly 1-1s and annual reviews with all direct reports, building and managing personal development plans with all.
  • Work closely with line managers on staff issues, training, management development and activity plans
  • Agreeing staff objectives that meet business objectives and measuring performance against these to maximise contribution to Bookspeed
  • Building a strong relationship with the Senior Management Team
  • Providing direction, support advice and guidance to staff by setting up performance benchmarks and establishing/communicating clear role objectives
  • Developing staff to enable the team to deliver the Bookspeed strategy and achieve excellence and delivery against Bookspeed business plan


The duties outlined in this job description are not exhaustive. The company reserves the right to add to or amend the responsibilities of this role as required with appropriate consultation. 

Applicant specification/requirements:

  • Ability to think strategically whilst ensuring day to day operation objectives are met
  • Highly IT literate (experience of ERP systems would be advantageous)
  • Proven leader of teams and change management with an enthusiasm for CPD both for themselves and their direct reports
  • Advanced understanding of business finance
  • Proven ability to act under pressure with calmness, clarity of thought and decisive authority
  • Proven ability to identify opportunities for business improvement/efficiencies
  • Experience in analysing and interpreting data
  • Proven communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills
  • Able to establish good working relationships with people
  • Evidence of being customer focussed
  • Commercial focus / Sound business acumen



You will possess exceptional interpersonal and negotiating abilities, along with a proven track record of successful people-management including the ability to motivate, inspire and lead.

Experience gained throughout your career will mean you have bags of energy and experience to make this role your own.  The successful candidate must be able to operate at all levels from the warehouse to the boardroom. We are looking for someone with first class organisational skills, ability to get their hands dirty when needed and also think strategically when necessary.


Terms and Conditions

The position carries 30 days holiday per year.  This position is full time, 37.5 hours per week. The role requires regular travel, occasionally working away for several days at a time.

Salary:  £35,750.00 per annum + competitive performance related bonus

Closing date: 16.11.18

To apply, please send your CV and coving letter to Lewis –