The Category Management Category

A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 4) [Plus+]

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on category management, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. 

In the last few weeks we’ve looked at some of the drawbacks related to what we might call “traditional” category management (Part 1, Part 2, Part 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 of 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.

A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 3) [Plus+]

We wrote in the last article about the standardised nature of category management process and practice, and the dangers inherent in approaching different categories via that standard approach. Now let’s consider another failing of much “traditional” category management methodology and philosophy. We might define this as an overly procurement-centric approach to the whole task in hand. The buyer is placed in an almost deity-like position, controlling the whole process and with other participants fitting into their scheme and doing what they are told to by the all powerful category manager.

A Critical Look at Category Management [Plus+]

category management

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on category management, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. 

CatMan’s main impact was in the indirect spending area. Procurement in a manufacturing environment was run on what we might call a category management basis for many years, even if we didn’t call it that, probably since the beginnings of the function. I was the “Raw Materials (EU controlled materials)” buyer for Mars in my first functional role, then Head of Packaging Buying. We would now see those as first a fairly junior then a more senior CatMan role, but that was well before the days of consultants such as Kearney and McKinsey popularising the approach and the associated terminology.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 4 — Sourcing Components) [PRO]

If there is a glue that binds together different areas of procurement workflow, it is the overall program management of both individual tasks and collective activities across the source-to-pay continuum. This Spend Matters PRO series is designed to provide insight into what effective program management technology capabilities encapsulate from a design, platform and functional perspective.

In the last part of the series, we focused on sourcing and the types of sourcing programs that must be enabled by a modern sourcing or source-to-pay platform a modern user experience. In this fourth installment, we explore specific program management solution components that are required to enable the sourcing programs discussed in Part 3. In particular, we describe the specific overlay capabilities on top of sourcing technology to enable category strategy and realignment, re-sourcing, tail spend management, supply base rationalization and supply base expansion.

The Healthcare Group Purchasing Organization Landscape (Part 3): Key Takeaways and Customer Recommendations [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO series explores the history and current state of the healthcare group purchasing organization (GPO) market. In this third installment, we provide key takeaways for the industry, analyze emerging trends in the market and offer customer recommendations.

For background on the GPO market, we encourage you to start here with our two earlier briefs on GPOs, An Introduction to Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Group Purchasing Organizations: Supplier Perspectives and the Evolving GPO Landscape. Then explore Part 1 (Background, History and Introduction) and Part 2 (GPO criticisms).

The Healthcare Group Purchasing Organization Landscape (Part 2): Market Critiques and Effects of Consolidation [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO series provides an introduction to the healthcare GPO market. Today in Part 2, we summarize healthcare GPO criticisms and survey the effects of consolidation in two GPO contexts (member consolidation and GPO M&A). We also discuss how models are bifurcating.

For background on the GPO market, review our two earlier briefs, An Introduction to Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Group Purchasing Organizations: Supplier Perspectives and the Evolving GPO Landscape. Then explore the first installment in this series, which provides a background, history and introduction to the healthcare GPO market.

The Healthcare Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Landscape: Background, History and Introduction (Part 1) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO research series provides both an insider’s take on the healthcare GPO market from an industry perspective and an “outside-in” analysis of the market based on norms in the procurement industry overall. For an introduction to GPO models not specific to healthcare, including how they work and ways in which the GPO landscape is changing, see An Introduction to Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Group Purchasing Organizations: Supplier Perspectives and the Evolving GPO Landscape

Part 1 of our coverage provides background, history and definition of the healthcare GPO market. The remaining installments will provide insight into how consolidation (both within healthcare systems and within GPOs) is affecting the market, lessons from other industries and an analysis of the “Big 3” national GPO providers: Vizient, Premier and HealthTrust.

We will also provide a summary of GPO criticisms — including those that are fairly levied and those that are not — and provide a perspective on what changes that we might expect as the GPO landscape evolves. Put on the flak jacket (or should we say take an intravenous sedative) and let’s delve in.

From Talent to Category Management: 4 Critical Development Areas for Procurement

Cybersecurity and access to critical talent are the top worries on CPOs’ minds, according to a Hackett Group report, The CPO Agenda: Expanding Procurement’s Influence Through Change and Innovation. The importance of cybersecurity is compounded by the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25. In addition, cybersecurity and access to critical talent are also expected to be “high risk” in the near future by three quarters of procurement professionals who took part in The Hackett Group’s annual Key Issues Study.

Sponsored Article

3 Reasons Catalogs Can’t Be Trusted to Manage Low-Value Spend

For many procurement organizations, catalogs have become the default way to manage indirect spend. It’s easy to see why. Catalogs offer a simple way to manage recurring, low-value purchases. By grouping previously sourced categories and commonly requested items into a single interface, catalogs promise ease of use, efficiency and, of course, increased savings, especially through the reduction of maverick spend. In practice, however, catalogs often create as many new problems as they solve. To help you understand why, here are three reasons why catalogs can’t be trusted to manage low-value spend — and how you can go about protecting your organization.

Afternoon Coffee: OMNIA Partners Purchases U.S. Communities GPO, Argentine Ports Stalled by Sticker Shortage

OMNIA Partners, a group purchasing organization (GPO) composed of National IPA, Prime Advantage and Corporate United, announced Monday it had entered an agreement to buy Communities Program Management LLC, the organization that staffs and manages the operations of the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. Dangerous weather and labor strikes are not the only issues that can hold up shipments at ports. Sometimes a supply disruption can be caused by something as a simple as a shortage of green stickers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Insight Sourcing Group (ISG): Provider Introduction, Summary and SWOT [PRO]

consultant

Insight Sourcing Group (ISG) is likely the largest North American boutique management consulting firm providing strategic and operational solutions for procurement. But unlike similar firms, ISG offers more than just consulting services. Beyond its core business, ISG has three additional business units that form the nucleus of its offering: SpendHQ, a spend analytics platform; InsightGPO, a group purchasing organization (GPO); and ISG Energy, an energy supply and demand cost optimization practice.

This Spend Matters PRO Provider Introduction offers an overview of ISG, including quick facts on the provider. The brief includes an introduction to each of ISG’s four business lines, an overall SWOT analysis comparing it to other procurement consultancies and a selection checklist for companies that may consider the provider.

30 Under 30 Megawatt Star Charlotte de Brabandt on Leading International Teams at Multinationals

Last month, Thomas and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced the winners of the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program, which showcases the most talented young professionals working in supply chain. Like in previous years, the accomplishments of these 30 young professionals are thoroughly impressive, and this perhaps describes no one better than Charlotte de Brabandt, the Megawatt Star.