Category Archives: Category Management

Bringing Innovation and Flexibility to Category Management – Category Management 2.0 (Part 3)

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This third and final installment of an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoyed it. Please contact me if you have any questions on the topic – and be on the lookout for the full version of the pending series. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced Category Management 2.0 as “The lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and why it’s superior to category sourcing processes locked inside of an n-step sourcing process. In Part 2, we also began discussing some approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and wrap up with a few closing thoughts.

What is Category Management 2.0?

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As Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer, wrote in Part 1 of his Spend Matters PRO series on the subject, category management 2.0 is "the lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance." Earlier today, we published Part 2 of this series: How Technology Helps Take Category Management to the Next Level – Category Management 2.0 (Part 2). As the title suggests, Pierre takes us through some approaches to elevate and improve your category management processes. How does a procurement professional do this? Pierre offers some suggestions such as using market informed sourcing and "micro" segmenting your spend into logical categories.

How Technology Helps Take Category Management to the Next Level – Category Management 2.0 (Part 2)

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This second part of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoy it. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced category management 2.0 as “the lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and began discussing approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and introduce some approaches to make this happen.

Category Management 2.0 – Breaking Out From Sourcing Silos to End-to-End Supply Management

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This is Part 1 of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that’d be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. I’d like to thank BravoSolution for giving me free reign to really explore this topic in the detail it really deserves (and also a shout out to my peers who helped in developing it). OK, let’s get on with it… Procurement organizations, like the stakeholders they serve, are continually tasked to do more with less. They need to reduce complexity and squeeze out costs, both internally and within the supply base, and also address broader issues such as innovation, customer engagement, risk management, globalization, sustainability and various industry-specific mandates. Unfortunately, procurement’s toolbox isn't always full of the tools needed to get these other jobs done. In this Spend Matters PRO series, we’ll address how to free category management from the shackles of strategic sourcing to unlock broader procurement value creation. It’s more than the usual “yada, yada, yada,” and we hope that PRO members gain value out of this series.

Solving the Global Process Ownership Puzzle: Tying Up Loose Ends

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We kicked off this series on global process ownership (GPO) last month over on our Chief Procurement Officer website. The first parts of this series discussed the concept of global process ownership and its relevance to procurement and then dove down into 2 of the 3 key aspects of GPO: process scope/breadth and organizational scope/breadth (or “reach”). So, you may define a process such as category management to be very broad, and you may adopt it globally across all your business units (and across multiple spend categories), but you may not manage that end-to-end process very well in terms of the “quality” of the process ownership. I'm not talking about process quality in terms of defect rates and such, but more broadly. Let me explain...

Examining Current and Future Supply Chain Capacity – 10 Services Procurement Secrets (No. 7)

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When Ford pursued a light-weighting program on its popular F-150 line of trucks, it had to understand both the existing and potential supply chain and capacity of the supply market (and different alternatives) years in advance of actual production. Yet when it comes to how companies consume and use third-party services, including contingent workforce management, few organizations formally translate and compare these forward-looking requirements to existing "supply." 


Category Management: Strategic and Tactical Benefits

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Becky Partida, research specialist, supply chain management at APQC. Many organizations have looked to the strategic development of supplier categories to align procurement efforts with business goals and provide value to the enterprise. APQC has found that organizations with category management programs in procurement have significantly shorter supplier lead times as well as faster purchase order processing.

Solving the Best of Breed vs. Incumbent Sourcing Problem – Beyond Selecting Technology

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I was talking to a category manager in the marketing space who I’ve known for decades about his category management plans for 2015. He had a successful year in 2014 driving value in the public relations category but was now looking at broader marketing promotions and, of course, the impact of digital marketing. His stakeholders are in multiple business units and regions, and his expanding “market basket” is becoming highly multivariate in terms of how you break it up by business unit, region and type of service (by process/sub-process; digital vs. conventional, etc.).

Ask the Expert Webinar Tomorrow: How to Build a Category Workbook (For Sourcing and More!)

In this week's Ask the Expert webinar tomorrow, Dec. 12, 2014 from 11-11:30 a.m. CST, Spend Matters Plus/PRO members will be treated to a talk from Xavier Olivera of Spend Matters Mexico/Latin America. Xavier will guide you through the creation of an MRO category workbook to illustrate how rich this type of practice could be for any sourcing and knowledge management effort. Specifically, he'll walk through category scoping, opportunity assessments, how to profile internally and externally, how to develop a strategy, and finally, the role of supplier management in all this. Plus/PRO members, click through to register.

Procurement Lessons for Small Businesses and Large Multinational Corporations

In the world of procurement, there is a handful of strategies that can be adopted and reused across categories and clients. This can create a redundancy that slows innovation and prospects of future growth. GEP's Sanyam Khurana recently met and talked with the owner and staff of a small bakery in New Delhi and observed that there are many parallels between how this small outfit operates to what is and should be practiced at larger organizations

Accenture Spend Trends Report: Energy Prices and Upward Cost Pressure

As we continue our coverage of Accenture's Spend Trends Report, we turn our attention to the topic of energy prices and cost pressure. A number of Accenture’s findings are actually quite similar to a longer-term perspective we presented in a recent Spend Matters PRO research brief titled "Will the Cost of Energy Increase? On Statistics from the US Energy Information Administration." As Accenture notes in their analysis, energy prices are continuing on a long-term up-trend with short-term pullback and volatility along the way, albeit with a underlying long-term inflationary undertone.

Where Lower-End Sourcing Tools Strike Out Quickly (Part 2)

Basic sourcing tools, especially those integrated with broader source-to-pay suites or the stand-alone capability of ERP providers (and those ERP providers have acquired), tend to come up short with specialist providers in a range of areas on a functional basis. But from a pragmatic perspective focused on business requirements, there are a number of areas where lower-end tools tend to strike out fairly quickly. These include the ability to support centralized procurement efforts – including those organizations with centers of excellence (CoEs) – along with decentralized execution mapped to centralized requirements and processes.