A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 4)

In the last few weeks we’ve looked at some of the drawbacks related to what we might call “traditional” category management (Part 1Part 2Part 3). However, we should stress that they’re all aspects of the process that can be overcome by appropriate thought and management effort. The lack of stakeholder involvement we’ve sometimes seen – the overly procurement centric approach – can be addressed by ensuring that the right engagement takes place. The risk of over-standardisation an approach can be mitigated by being aware of that issue and ensuring it doesn’t happen.

But today’s discussion will consider an alternative approach that perhaps challenges more fundamentally the conventional steps in the category management process.

Market Informed Sourcing, (or MIS), as I’ve called it (or optimisation, expressive bidding, collaborative sourcing as various software providers term it) is a different approach to sourcing compared to traditional sourcing or category management. (We’ve written about it in a couple of research papers, so if you’re interested, there is a lot more here and here).

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