Merchandising Assistant - Johnston, IA

Job Description:

Furst-McNess Company is seeking an Merchandising Assistant to join our Johnston, IA team.  This individual will be responsible for the coordination and distribution of commodities within the region.  This individual will also be responsible for the entering and maintaining of sales and purchase contracts and orders.  Additionally, may assist in credit and collection activity of region and provide other support as required.

Responsibilities Overview:                                                  

  • Direct responsibility for the coordination and distribution of commodities for the region.
  • Initiate regular customer contact to determine the next delivery requirements, identify new sales opportunities and set up schedules accordingly.  Coordinate customer contact with assigned field personnel.
  • Communicate with suppliers, mills, truckers and railways as required to ensure that each delivery arrives at the farm on schedule.
  • Responsible for inventory management of assigned contract supply points.
  • Initiate calls to prospective customers.
  • Enter sales, purchase orders and contracts and communicate with merchandising staff applicable information.
  • Work with Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable staff in Freeport, IL to clarify questions and follow up on outstanding issues.
  • Regularly update position sheets and information sheets maintaining accuracy.
  • Assist with entering of daily purchases into system and communicate relevant information with staff.
  • Complete and send sales and purchase contracts promptly.
  • Assist in credit and collection activity within region.
  • Provide support to other regional functions as required when colleagues are absent due to vacation or illness.
  • Participate in Company meetings in a sales and merchandising capacity as required.
  • Maintain contact with customers in relation to their existing and potential volume for business.
  • Keep a pulse on competitive activity and communicate appropriately within the group.
  • Participate in industry tradeshows and associations as is reasonable.
  • Submit required cycle reports, expense accounts, etc., as dictated by Company guidelines.
  • Perform other work-related duties as requested or required.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Be able to succeed within and adhere to the culture of the Furst-McNess Company.
  • Ability to perform essential job functions with or without accommodation.
  • Associates' Degree from an accredited college; Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college is preferred.
  • Proficient in the use of all office equipment.
  • Working knowledge of computers and Microsoft Office products.
  • Ability to read, write and speak English.
  • Achievement oriented; commitment to learing; innovation.
  • Customer service oriented.
  • Display a commitment to improve performance in current position as well as future development.
  • Entrepreneurial.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written, and is capable of utilizing these skills within all levels of the Company as well as externally.
  • Ability to provide outstanding customer service to all associates and management staff, showing a sense of urgency relative to solving problems, performing assigned tasks, employee concerns, etc.
  • Ability to effectively organize work schedules and manage multiple assignments by utilizing time management skills to ensure day-to-day assignments and special proejcts are completed within guidelines agreed upon.
  • Ability to work as an effective team member within the commodity department and company, as a whole.  Willingness to pitch in and do work that may not be a specific part of the job description for the overall good of the department and company.
  • Ability to be flexible and be willing to change along with recommending changes that can enhance our ability to serve both internal and external customers more effectively and in a professional manner.  Respect other peoples' points of view and able to take constructive criticism.


  • Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Comprehensive health, dental and vision plan.
  • Paid vacation/floating holidays/company holidays.
  • Competitive 401(k) program. 


Please submit your resume to our Human Resources Dept. via email to, via fax at 815-232-9705 or send via mail to Furst-McNess Company, Attn: Human Resources, 120 E Clark St., Freeport, IL 61032.