Category Management

Procurement departments in the 21st Century have evolved from the deal-making, tough-negotiating, exclusively price-focused adversarial operators of the past, into custodians of supply chain value for their organisations. The modern-day procurement leader is more strategic in their outlook, they embrace the challenge of working collaboratively with their internal stakeholders, and are more systematic in creating and capturing value from supplier relationships (large and small) and across all categories of spend. The age of professional procurement has truly arrived.

Category management is the vehicle used by the brightest and the best procurement organisations wrestling with the challenge of delivering continuous improvements in value from the supply chain, be that cost reduction, quality improvement, delivery reliability, risk mitigation or innovation capture.

Four Pillars views category management and supplier management as being parallel processes; separate yet integrated. Thankfully, this is being recognised by more and more organisations as they invest in up-scaling their supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities. Nevertheless, category management remains at the core of procurement practice and Four Pillars’ procurement specialists bring their 30 years of experience in providing training, coaching and negotiation support to clients determined to secure better results.

Our tailored to client training and strategy workshops include:

  • The importance of leadership and organisational development in creating the foundation for excellent category management
  • Stakeholder engagement and cross-functional team working
  • Business requirements and value levers
  • Supply market analysis through the use of the suite of proven tools
  • Cost modeling techniques
  • Value opportunity analysis and strategy development
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Tendering, negotiation and contracting
  • The supplier’s view (bringing our extensive knowledge of sales and strategic account management approaches used by supplier organisations)
  • Post-contract performance management and continuous value improvement

Delegates on our training programmes are typically from the ranks of Procurement but, as true category management is a cross-functional endeavour, we encourage clients to select key stakeholders to undergo training alongside their Procurement colleagues.

In working together, category teams will build a shared understanding of what excellent category management looks like; will apply the category management tools to their own categories; identify opportunities to capture more value and plan the harvesting of that value with a focus on practicality and persistence.

Category Management is the beating heart of procurement in today’s organisations. Take steps to ensure your category management process and practitioner skills continue to meet the needs of your organisation.


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