Public sector needs fresh take on category management

28 October 2010
Chancellor promises £6 billion Whitehall cuts
Green slams wasteful Whitehall procurement
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28 October 2010 | Angeline Albert

A modern approach to category management is needed for UK public sector bodies to achieve Comprehensive Spending Review cuts, according to consultancy Positive Purchasing.

Director Jonathan O’Brien said many of those working in procurement departments have “never been given the opportunity to develop a category management approach”.

He believes commercial awareness is “often lacking” and the drive to succeed dulled through years of “unimaginative and ineffective practice”.

“If there is the will, results-driven procurement based on a category management strategy can be learnt and put into effect. The key to success is for public sector organisations to take a different view of what excellent procurement means in practice,” O’Brien said.

Public sector bodies must adopt category management with full data collated and analysed on bought goods and services, he argued.

The firm stressed the need for supplier markets to be properly researched and said contracts should be negotiated for items aggregated across disparate parts of the public organisation, or even several different public bodies.

“The [Sir Philip] Green report provides the latest boost to the mission to modernise public sector procurement. By adopting category management, the goals of reducing inefficiency and saving taxpayers’ money – concepts that everyone surely supports –- can be achieved.”

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