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Cengage Group Strategic Partner Manager (Remote) in Wichita, Kansas

We believe in the power and joy of learning At Cengage Group, our employees have a direct impact in helping students around the world discover the power and joy of learning. We are bonded by our shared purpose – driving innovation that helps millions of learners improve their lives and achieve their dreams through education. Our culture values diversity, engagement, and discovery Our business is driven by our strong culture, and we know that creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is absolutely essential to the success of our company and our learners, as well as our individual well-being. We recognize the value of diverse perspectives in everything we do, and strive to ensure employees of all levels and backgrounds feel empowered to voice their ideas and bring their authentic selves to work. We achieve these priorities through inclusive programs, benefits, and initiatives that are integrated into the fabric of how we work every day. To learn more, please see https://www.cengagegroup.com/about/inclusion-and-diversity/. As Strategic Partner Manager (a part of Cengage Academic’s Operations team), you will strategize, design, plan, implement, lead, and evolve sourcing solutions and programs across a range of procurement categories that enable Cengage’s businesses. This role is vital to Cengage’s near- and long-term success. In it, you will apply your years of experience in partnership management and improvement, outsourcing and procurement, and partnering with leaders with diverse priorities to optimizing our engagements with third-party partners and the processes they support. You will join a high-caliber team, reporting to the Senior Manager, Strategic Product Partnerships. Your core focus is to: + Establish, optimize, and evolve critical third-party technology and 3P intellectual property partnerships that support the creation, delivery, and value of Cengage products + Negotiate best-in-class service and/or deliverable fees, payment terms, and service level agreements (SLAs) for partnership agreements + Ensure maximum value (quality; process efficiencies; flexibility; control) for spend on outsourced services and licensing + Ensure scalability and uniform extensibility of third-party partnerships across Cengage business units (both U.S. domestic and International) + Optimize performance of third-party suppliers/partners with respect to quality and schedule + Minimize and manage risk attendant to the engagement of third-party suppliers/partners You will manage partnerships in the following categories: + Software and other technology offerings essential to the functionality and success of Cengage Academic’s digital product offerings, including MindTap + 3P intellectual property acquisition and licensing (including photos, video, simulations and other interactive media) + Supply chain, manufacturing, and transportation/freight + Sales and marketing support services Cengage is a collaborative environment. You will partner with teams in and beyond the Academic Operations organization, including product, sales/marketing, technology, finance, legal, and customer support. This role requires you to bring data-first thinking to projects that are groundbreaking in nature. The right candidate easily demonstrates critical thinking, effective problem structuring, the ability to influence within diverse teams, and superior negotiation skills. This remote position is full-time and supports teams located across the U.S.. What you’ll do here: Set Partnership Management Strategy: Develop an overall strategy for assigned partnerships categories, addressing resource gaps and finding opportunities for efficiencies and economies. The overall strategic priority is to optimize the utilization of external partners, such that quality, cost savings, process efficiencies, and control are improved across Cengage product development workflows. Implement Solutions: Work closely with third-party suppliers/partners and Cengage teams to ensure the successful implementation, communication, and ramp-up of new and updated partnerships and programs. Actively Lead Partnerships: Ensure that partnership performance is actively and consistently managed and tracked and that agreement status is visible and available to collaborators and management. Design New Pricing Programs with Outsourcing Partners: Design sourcing solutions with formal program definitions for services and deliverables, uniform pricing models/rate cards, SLAs, and performance metrics. Secure Competitive Agreements: Lead negotiations to secure MSAs, licensing agreements, SOWs, and SLAs that ensure market-leading product quality, meet financial objectives, achieve optimal licensing models, and align with time-to-market goals. Conduct either formal RFIs and RFPs or “one-on-one” partner negotiations as needed on a case-by-case basis. Perform Data Analysis: Obtain/prepare, organize, analyze, summarize, and present financial and non-financial data in a clear way to support designing solutions and programs, securing optimal pricing, conducting dialog with partners, and supervising program and solution effectiveness. Keep Colleagues and Leaders Informed and Engaged: Establish, maintain, and evolve methods that support goal-focused interactions with internal customers and collaborators who are critical to the partnership process (including Product and Technology leads, Finance partners, and Legal). Understand Supplier Landscape and Promote Sourcing Best Practices: Keep current on new technologies, industry trends, current and potential suppliers their service offerings. Perform Administrative and End-User Support: Provide support to partnership end-users who work with Strategic Partner Management, including providing consultative support on partnership terms and definitions, negotiated pricing, and service level agreements every day. Skills you will need here: Required: + Four-year college degree in business or related field + Dynamic work history, including within a professional services organization (consulting; product operations) + Consistent track record in driving sophisticated, cross-functional process improvement and outsourcing initiatives successfully from conception to implementation, to assist teams in adapting to change, and to solve problems effectively + Proficiency in the collection, analysis, and presentation of financial and non-financial data + Ability to communicate clearly and comfortably in a variety of styles and settings and to both technical and non-technical audiences, include members of senior management + Strong leadership and influencing skills; ability to establish relationships with collaborators and partners + Is a self-starter with analytical skills; is driven and able to prioritize + Ability to work well in a matrix environment across multiple groups and levels + Ability to handle confidential information in a professional manner + Proficiency with standard office computer software: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Acrobat, and Outlook Preferred: + MBA or master’s degree in supply chain, procurement, engineering, operations, system dynamics, or related field + Experience with print manufacturing technology and workflows (offset and digital), print buying and planning, inventory planning, global supply network planning, and/or supply chain logistics (distribution) + Experience with content creation and production workflows for both print and digital education products + Experience at handling vendor contracts including pricing and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) + Advanced skill with text and numeric data in Microsoft Excel + Experience working with both U.S.-based and international (offshore) service providers + Experience with standard sourcing-related contracts (MSAs, SOWs, RFPs) + Willingness and ability to travel to Cengage businesses and vendors as needed Cengage Group is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, marital status, parental status, cultural background, organizational level, work styles, tenure and life experiences. Or for any other reason. You may view Cengage’s EEO/Affirmative Action Policy signed by CEO Michael Hansen (https://p.widencdn.net/pdvq6j/EEO_Policy_Statement_January_2017) and Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law notice (http://embed.widencdn.net/pdf/plus/cengage/ybs5gt19ik/eeopost-merged.pdf) by visiting their corresponding links. Cengage Group is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in our job application procedures. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at accommodations.ta@cengage.com or you may call us at +1 (617) 289-7917. If you are a Colorado state or New York City resident, please email jobpostinginquiries@cengage.com to receive compensation information for this role. Please be sure to include this posting’s job ID in the subject line of the email to help ensure a timely response. About Cengage Group Cengage Group, a global education technology company serving millions of learners, provides affordable, quality digital products and services that equip students with the skills and competencies needed to be job ready. For more than 100 years, we have enabled the power and joy of learning with trusted, engaging content, and now, integrated digital platforms. We serve the higher education, workforce skills, secondary education, English language teaching and research markets worldwide. Through our scalable technology, including MindTap and Cengage Unlimited, we support all learners who seek to improve their lives and achieve their dreams through education. #LI-remote