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Category Management

Webinar Oct. 22: Category Sourcing to Category Management 2.0

supplier network

From one of the most popular e-book downloads in Spend Matters history to an equally popular preview webinar, we're now ready for the main course. Join us Thursday, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. CDT, for the webinar Supercharging Category Management: Free Yourself from Siloed Sourcing to Unlock Breakthrough Value. Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, will be joined by Mickey North Rizza, vice president of strategic services, BravoSolution, to walk you through the nine different ways you can effectively transition from category sourcing to category management 2.0. Register today!

Forget Category Management, Start with Customer Management and Context Management: Part 2 – The Solution [Plus +]

starting line

In Part 1 of this 2-part series (published over on our Chief Procurement Officer website), we talked about the importance of not just having strong category management capabilities but also customer management and context management. In this second part of the series, we’ll discuss how to implement it in terms of organizational structure, roles and technology implications. Demand management is a combination of what customers want to consume and why they want to consume it (i.e., what are their goals and objectives). This Spend Matters Plus article offers advice for procurement practitioners on how to organize a customer management initiative and how to engage with your customers.

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


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.

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


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.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 1 – An Introduction [Plus +]


While contract lifecycle management, or CLM, is probably one of the most uninspiring acronyms in the procurement technology space, it is also one of the most important. That's because proper CLM not only overlaps with both the sourcing (or source-to-contract, or S2C) and procurement (or procure-to-pay, or P2P) cycles for the strategic sourcing and transactional execution of “buy-side” categories, but also provides a partial foundation for other supply management processes. CLM also influences the full source-to-settle (S2S)/source-to-pay (S2P) cycle. And, finally, it provides a partial foundation for risk management, performance management, change management and supplier management (as well as in-depth post-mortem reviews that increase organizational knowledge and effectiveness for years to come).

Will the Cost of Energy Increase? On Statistics from the US Energy Information Administration [PRO]

Of all the things procurement buys, nothing is more critical to business operations than energy – both price and availability. The US Energy Information Administration (USEIA) has just published their most recent numbers for the nation’s electricity generation, capacities, and prices. The administration defines net summer capacity thus: "the maximum output, commonly expressed in megawatts (MW), that generating equipment can supply to system load, as demonstrated by a multi-hour test, at the time of summer peak demand (period of June 1 through September 30.) This output reflects a reduction in capacity due to electricity use for station service or auxiliaries.”

However, the USEIA provides no summer/winter comparisons in their numbers, nor do they provide a comparison between existing and projected capacities with consideration given to both new and retiring plants. So are we gaining or losing power generation ground? Since the USEIA also does not provide us with a report on the realistic future power generation capacity, Thomas Kase (VP of research, Spend Matters) ran the numbers himself. This Spend Matters PRO research brief is accompanied by two downloadable detailed spreadsheets.

Designing a Spend Category Taxonomy Properly is Harder Than You Think (Part 2: Go Deep) [PRO]

Earlier in the month, we had a client ask us if we could offer specific guidelines or methodologies for creating a spend category taxonomy within the automotive and industrial markets. The question resulted in a discussion among a number of us with industry experience. And since we didn’t have any research already published on the topic, we thought we’d invest the time to document our findings. In this second installment of a two-part Spend Matters PRO research series, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores how granular procurement should go in creating a spend taxonomy and concludes with practical tips for implementing a program.

Designing a Spend Category Taxonomy Properly is Harder Than You Think (Part 1: Do This, Not That) [PRO]

We had a question from a client of ours about whether there were any guidelines or an overall methodology to coming up with a spend category taxonomy. It’s a simple question, but there isn’t a simple answer. So, we thought we’d offer some insights to help guide your efforts. But before we say what to do, there’s a quick recommendation on what not to do. In this first of a two-part Spend Matters PRO research series, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores how to think about creating a spend category taxonomy, pitfalls of incorrect approaches, and how to embrace an approach that cuts across categories and spend types.

ProcureCon and Marketing Services Procurement: What We Agree On, What We Don’t [Plus +]

Peter Smith of Spend Matters UK/Europe attended the recent ProcureCon marketing event in London and found it to be a success in terms of number of delegates, sponsors, and quality of the sessions and subsequent debates. In this article for Spend Matters Plus, Peter discusses the state of marketing services procurement and breaks down the areas where speakers were in agreement and the less clear-cut issues. Not a Plus subscriber yet? Contact us to inquire about a free 30-day trial.

ZeroChaos: Threatening the MSP Status Quo (Part 2) [PRO]

Among the MSPs we have spoken to over the years, ZeroChaos most resembles in philosophy a traditional procurement BPO or consultancy with a more granular focus on the inputs and outputs of services cost – and on how to achieve not just compliance, but also savings. Spend Matters believes that its thinking is most likely to resonate with progressive procurement, finance, and supply chain leaders than those with a more HR mindset to the services supply chain. In Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO research brief on ZeroChaos, Managing Director Jason Busch explores the company’s approach to SOW and project-based spending and offers summary recommendations on the provider’s capabilities and philosophy – while also suggesting what types of organizations are most likely to self-select the ZeroChaos approach over traditional, staffing-centric MSP models.

Direct and Indirect Spend — A Wholly Pointless and Useless Classification [Plus +]

Almost anyone in business will understand the difference between direct costs and indirect costs, and likewise in the procurement world, the terms "direct spend" and "indirect spend" are widely used. We see job titles such as “Head of Indirect Purchasing.” ProcureCon runs very successful “indirect spend” conferences, and articles are aimed at buyers of “indirects.” And yet, it is a classification that arguably not only has no value or purpose to procurement, but can also lead to sloppy and misinformed procurement strategies, activities, and approaches. In this Spend Matters Plus post, Peter Smith, Executive Editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe, explains why the "direct/indirect" split doesn't work for procurement.

Write Better RFPs – How to Get What You Want (and Need) From Suppliers [PRO]

The typical business challenge when you go to market with an RFP centers on getting ideas for what is possible, and identifying suppliers that either already have these ideas or are willing to work with you toward that end. Targeted activities are often services or complex products where quality, service, or the engineered final product will be different from each vendor responding. We've put together some fresh ideas to an old challenge: conveying your needs in ways that a supplier can relate to and that encourages them to put their best foot forward, with a proposal that goes beyond your wants, and addresses your needs as well.