Building a Category Management Department > request for resources and content

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    • #292520

      This SIG Member is in the process of creating the vision (operating model) for a world class category management department. This model needs to include a full and clear picture of the department with respect to its capabilities, governance/structure, talent management, processes, technologies and culture.  

      The Member would appreciate any content plus related tools and templates you are willing to donate. For example, playbooks, policies, reporting tools, intelligence partners, skills training, job descriptions for ideal talent, and/or business cases. 

      SIG will gladly sanitize and remit for your approval before sharing and distributing. Please feel free to send along documents, workbooks, and/or slides that may assist in this request. 


    • #295284

      At Spend Matters, our analysts have been impressed by Cirtuo:

      Happy to chat further if it would be helpful. Good luck!


    • #295286

      1.Understand your “Why”: how this endeavor aligns with the strategy of the company, what is expected of you and your team and the time frame to achieve your goals. A conversation with the C-Suite and main stakeholders is fundamental to align expectations, nothing can be more problematic than pursue different goals. A strong sponsorship from the C-Suite will make things, not necessarily easy, but more manageable.

      2.Manage the implementation like a Project, with clear goals, milestones and metrics, everything documented, if possible, signed, with a strong sponsor and ask for regular space in the agenda to report advances, that will give you visibility and feedback from key stake holders.

      3.Understand the context: the organizational culture, key stakeholders, who’s buying now, processes and systems in place, how large and wide is the spend, if possible to have a early categorization, that will give a good sense of the size of the team; from here you can define possible routes of implementation, risk and complexities, and define how category management is going to fit into an existing organization.

      4.Sourcing is a change of culture, a new mind set, is important that the organization understand that we are not just a new process, but a new way of building value for the organization. Change management is vital.

      5.The Process + People + System/Tools approach is a good to start building the capacities for a good procurement function, in my experience, is better to start small, develop the sourcing process, find low hanging fruits and early wins, cement trust and confidence and build from there.


      Resources to start:

      •The seminal article by Kraljic Purchasing Must Become Supply Management, to understand an implement proper categorization.

      The house of purchasing and supply framework developed by A.T. Kearney has the key elements a procurement function must have, and the Purchasing Chessboard is a good tool to understand the different levers to manage a category.

      •Understand and implement the concept of Total Cost of Ownership 

      •This page from the Arizona U has some nice templates for RFI and RFPs and score sheets.


    • #295287

      We have some publicly available content (non-Sales) on our website and among our blogs.  This recent interview from February 2022 jumped out – and possibly could point your member to Erik’s soon-to-be released book on Category Management Strategies.



      Best regards,




      Arthur Raguette

      Vice President, Strategic Alliances


      Beroe Inc

      Mobile : +1 848 309-9181

      Email: [email protected] 



    • #295289

      It would be interesting to see how they include or exclude strategic Sourcing which is typically responsible for category management.

    • #295290

      In my case, when it comes to the content, we leverage the AT Kearny approach to category management:  developing an actionable understanding of the business you support, developing an actionable understanding of the corresponding supply markets, and putting those things together into a forward-looking strategy that is developed in collaboration with and has the support of the stakeholders.  Any number of consulting companies have their own flavor of category management approaches but they are all fundamentally similar.  I recommend doing a search on the ATK model and you will find ample information.


      From an organizational structure perspective, we have dedicated transactional professionals, dedicated procurement technology professionals, and dedicated contract management professionals so that the category managers may focus solely on growing close to the businesses they support, deepening their understanding of the area of spend they manage, exploring new opportunities to unlock value, and pulling all of these pieces together into a comprehensive strategy.  This role requires an ability to think and act strategically as well as the soft skills to bring their stakeholders along in a collaborative manner; skills that are higher level, more costly, and not always necessary in those other roles.


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