Is your category management delivering?

25 June 2012
We are strong advocates of procurement embedding modern, robust business processes that are capable of delivering superior value. Category management is still one of the most important of these, but is it succeeding? What are the enablers of success and what are the major blockers and barriers? Despite the prominence of category management procurement, limited research has been undertaken on the practicalities and value of implementing it (category planning/sourcing/SRM). This is an area that most CPOs and procurement leadership teams are very interested in – especially if it provides insights into driving greater savings or team productivity. We (Future Purchasing) are conducting a survey into the current state of category management to understand whether it is a core business discipline or a bureaucratic procurement process for most organisations. The specific objectives of the survey are to: 1. Identify and quantify the level of value delivered from category management. 2. Understand the specific approaches and practises used to design, educate and implement category management. 3. Identify the resource requirements to deliver significant category management value. 4. Assess the similarities and differences in category management approaches and benefits across sectors. Early results indicate that 47 per cent of respondents think optimizing their category management approach could deliver as much as 4 per cent more additional savings. We have created an easy to answer 20-minute online survey to gather this data that is structured around our ‘Five Building Blocks of Best Practice Category Management’. These are: 1. Build - design a fit for purpose category management process that will work within your organisation. 2. Learn - educate your team to work with the new category management approach. 3. Apply - use the category management tools and techniques on real life projects. 4. Lead - set up the correct governance around the category management projects to ensure they are driven through to successful completion. 5. Deliver - quantify the benefits that have been delivered through the use of category management. We will compile a report from our findings and circulate it to respondents in August. If you haven’t already done so please take the time to complete our survey online. It will help us to assess the current status of category management within different sectors of the economy. ☛  Simon Brown is a director at Future Purchasing responsible for category management
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