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Posted March 16, 2021

Advantage Group International is seeking a client-focused Program and Operations Manager eager to join us in our journey of helping businesses be better together.

What Matters to Us:

Thirty years ago, in Toronto, Canada, Founder Ron Pirie championed the belief that businesses work better together when they commit to actively listening and responding to each other’s feedback.

From humble beginnings and a staunch and universal belief that stronger collaboration leads to better business results in any market and any industry, our relationship benchmarking capabilities have become the gold standard for measuring business-to-business engagement in over 40 countries.

The South African business is on a growth journey building its core program, custom research and advisory capabilities. The growth path includes expansion into EA, NA, CA and WA, along with opportunities in Professional Services, Telco and Pharma Sectors. Our clients include leading local and international FMCG brands, Distributors and Retailers. We are passionate about data, analytics, insights and business transformation. The ideal candidate is someone who is a stickler for detail, loves working with data and managing programs and operations has a growth mindset and wants to work with and manage client accounts.

Who We’re Seeking to Join Our Team:

The successful candidate ideally holds 3-5 years of experience in a project management, operations or analyst role, with some exposure to client service and an aptitude for succeeding in a flexible position. Experience with or knowledge of the South African FMCG and grocery industry is considered a bonus. This role is 60% Program Management, 20% Analyst and report creating and 20% client engagement.

What Success Looks Like in this Role:

The Program Manager will support the design and delivery of key Advantage programs in the South African business. You will help to manage our annual research programs through the key stages of program specifications, fieldwork, report production and insight delivery. Advantage Group International is a global business and the Program Manager, reporting to the Program Director, will also work closely with colleagues in our global office in Toronto, the Euro/Africa region and other markets.

Program and Field Management:

  • Ensures that the Advantage programs are run on schedule and fit within the overall company-wide strategic goals to deliver high-quality added-value insight.
  • Oversees qualitative research aspects of the program.
  • Communicates with suppliers and retailers in follow-ups by phone, virtual connects, and/or email to ensure fieldwork is managed to the right quality and meets key milestone timings. Reviews ratings received to ensure the quality of the data, response rates, and coverage are tracked and targets achieved.
  • Compiles supplier and retailer intelligence from different data sources.
  • Gathers research requirements from Suppliers and Retailers; ensuring that they are captured in the program set-up and specification.
  • Monitors survey response and coverage and makes critical decisions to correct gaps and ensure fieldwork meets key milestones.
  • Collaborates with the Program and Operations Director and the Program Management team in Toronto on the preparation and verification of data processing and reporting specifications, and in assuring the integrity and quality of the data.

Insights and Client-Service Support:

  • Collaborates with the Managing Director and Program and Operations Director to ensure the delivery of insightful reports that are closely aligned with Supplier and Retailer business needs.
  • Effectively identifies the story behind the data and clearly communicates insights and findings.
  • Assists with internal or external presentation of insights where required.
  • Supports the Market Leader in servicing client relationships to build trust through a focus on what matters to them, communicating effectively, proactively helping them, and responding with a great sense of urgency and accuracy for their day-to-day needs.

Where You’ll be Located:

This role is initially to be home office based. Expected travel is low to moderate but may be higher at peak times of the year:

  • Meetings with and presentations to senior retailer and supplier clients in the African region may be required
  • Occasional meetings at our Global office in Toronto may be required
  • Use of VC, telephone, or teleconference frequently (digital communication acumen is needed)

What We’re Looking For:

  • Tertiary Qualification, minimum of relevant undergraduate University degree
  • 3-5+ years of relevant operations, project management, research, or data analysis experience
  • Strong organisational, program management skills needed, with the ability to engage with multiple stakeholders from Leadership, Sales, Finance & Procurement, at clients. And with multilevel stakeholders and business partners supporting the program design and implementation internally
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, particularly MS Excel and PowerPoint
  • Experience with Tableau or other BI tools is considered an asset
  • Proven ability to communicate in English (verbal and written)
  • Interest in the FMCG and grocery industry
  • Desire to grow with the business and develop your role

The Capabilities and Skills that Matter:

  • Numeracy and a keen eye for detail and a level of comfort with data analysis
  • Outstanding initiative with a “can-do” attitude
  • Ability to communicate effectively internally and with supplier/retailer contacts at all levels
  • Ability to reliably work with limited supervision and a high sense of urgency

The Competencies We Value:

Advantage has identified the following set of competencies that successful managers, are expected to demonstrate and develop in the role over time. Most of these will apply to the Program Manager role.

  1. Decision Making and Critical Thinking 

Making good and timely decisions that keep the organisation moving forward; ability to accurately analyse situations and reach productive decisions based on informed judgment. 

2. Teamwork 

Knowledge of the necessity and value of teamwork; experience of and ability to participate effectively as part of a team. 

 3. Accuracy and Attention to Detail 

Understanding the value of accuracy and attention to detail; the ability to process information with high levels of accuracy. 

4. Effective Communication 

Understanding and applying effective communications concepts, tools, and techniques. The ability to effectively transmit, receive, and interpret ideas, information, and needs through the application of appropriate communication behaviours. 

5. Results Orientation 

Understanding of the importance of meeting or exceeding established targets and ability to drive critical activities to completion. 

6. Accountability 

Holding self and others accountable to meet commitments. 

7. Flexibility and Adaptability 

Dealing with changes and adapting to a changing environment. 

8. Managing Multiple Priorities 

The ability to manage multiple concurrent objectives, projects, groups, or activities, making effective judgments about prioritising and time allocation.  

9. Helping Others Succeed 

Supporting others to improve performance and meet career and organisation’s goals; and the ability to motivate individuals and teams both internally and externally with clients 

10. Client Leadership and Market knowledge 

Builds strong internal and external client relationships and delivers client centric solutions.  Possesses a strong understanding of the market environment and dynamics.   

Advantage offers an attractive salary package with fringe benefits. 

Interested candidates, please submit a Cover Letter and CV to our Human Resources Team at

We thank all applicants, but only those with relevant qualifications will be contacted.