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Category Management

Next-Generation Supply Chains Will be MRO-Powered: The Value of MRO as a Service (Part 4) [Plus +]

MRO as a service

Maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) is not just about managing parts to keep things working. It's about managing assets that have an impact on organizational performance. When you get down to it, the entire procurement function is about managing assets for organizational performance. Just replace the word “asset” with the word “resource” and consider a definition for supply management used by the Institute for Supply Management: the identification, acquisition, access, positioning and management of resources and related capabilities the organization needs in the attainment of its strategic objectives. Machines, spares, facilities, trucks, IT equipment and other items are clearly assets, but direct materials and purchased finished goods are also assets. Indirect materials, such as pencils, papers and laptops for the data crunchers, are assets. So are key employees and the IP they create. The bottom line is that as physical assets increasingly get wrapped with sensors and software, they can become much more valuable.

MRO as a Service (Part 1): Embedding Procurement as the Value Engine

MRO

Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) is a very important and overlooked business function that is an integral part of the supply chain. It not only keeps critical internal assets running efficiently but is also a gold mine of opportunities to reduce costs of MRO services and inventories of purchased supplies (spare parts and consumables). MRO is heavily reliant on an ecosystem of third parties (large equipment suppliers, local suppliers, distributors, facility services suppliers, etc.) to keep it optimized, and this is why procurement and supply chain groups should manage it as a critical spend category that is part of the core supply chain, not just a plant-specific tactical spending area. The problem, though, is that most procurement organizations simply do not treat MRO strategically. They tend to source “low hanging fruit” spend categories like basic industrial supplies (e.g., safety products, lubricants, solvents, etc.), electrical components, facilities supplies and so on, and then use a hodgepodge of e-procurement and e-catalog tools that they bolt onto their local ERP and maintenance systems. So, what is an organization to do?

Advanced Approaches: Getting a Grip on Category Management (Part 3) [Plus +]

category management

In the first part of this series, we introduced category management, which is much more than just grouping products into categories and category sourcing. Proper category management, we concluded, is a strategic approach to managing supply that transforms the procurement organization from a cost saver to a value generator using advanced strategies and workflow processes that connect external customers to internal customers and collect all of their requirements, connect internal customers to sourcing and work with them to develop the best strategy for the category, as well as connect sourcing to downstream procurement to make sure the contract, and the execution plan, is followed and the identified value retained. And that's just the beginning. That's why, in our last article, we defined some of the many facets of modern category management, which some may call category management 2.0, in an effort to illustrate that proper category management is not a one-size-fits-all process or strategy but an evolving strategic mindset that takes into account the organizational needs, market conditions and results of the category analysis and adapts to provide the organization with the best overall value each time the category is sourced. We also talked about the multidimensional nature of modern categories, the need for customization on a category basis and category intelligence. But even though these are pretty advanced approaches, they are still simple compared with where a modern sourcing organization needs to go. In this article, we explore a few of these (advanced) approaches.

Some Basic Approaches: Getting a Grip on Category Management (Part 2) [Plus +]

category management

In the first part of this series, we introduced category management, which is much more than just grouping products into categories and category sourcing. Proper category management, as we concluded at the end of the article, is a strategic approach to organizing activities around supply that transforms the procurement organization from a cost saver to a value generator using advanced strategies and workflow processes that connect external customers to internal customers and collects all of their requirements, connect internal customers to sourcing and works with them to develop the best strategy for the category, and connect sourcing to downstream procurement to make sure the contract, and the execution plan, is followed and the identified value retained. And that's just the beginning. In this article, we define some of the many facets of modern category management, which some may call “category management 2.0,” as we illustrate that proper category management is not a one-size-fits-all process or strategy but an evolving strategic mindset that takes into account the organizational needs, market conditions and results of the category analysis and adapts to provide the organization with the best overall value each time the category is sourced.

Getting a Grip on Category Management (Part 1): A History Lesson [Plus +]

complex sourcing

Category management is broader than strategic sourcing. For example, while strategic sourcing has been a useful methodology for procurement to proactively rationalize the supply base in recurring spend categories, the traditional strategic sourcing methodology has had a strong bias toward purchase price reduction to meet savings goals, because despite all of the talk about the importance of sustainability and supplier development, procurement is still predominantly measured on purchased cost savings rather than a truly balanced scorecard of supply that optimizes the total value of the purchase. As a result, chaining category management to traditional strategic sourcing shrinks its scope to within the sourcing silo and limits its ability as a methodology for broader organizational value creation. The goal of this series is to explain what category management is, how to best go about it, how it intersects with strategic sourcing and how it can be used to take an organization's sourcing efforts to the next level.

Last Chance to Register for Tomorrow’s Webinar and Learn Advanced Case Studies in Smarter Catalog Management

catalog

This is your last chance to register for tomorrow's webinar, Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Advanced Case Studies in Smarter Catalog Management. Join us at 10 a.m. CDT as the Spend Matters and jCatalog teams walk you through how progressive procurement organizations are enticing stakeholders with more nuanced approaches to support complex category-specific supply chain requirements. The old-school catalogs that often get a bad reputation are history. Advanced smart catalogs are replacing them and promoting a guided buying process essential to the procurement and supply chain world. Register today!

Webinar Fast Approaching: High-Level Case Studies in Catalog Management

animal-dog-pet-large (1)

Out with the old and in with the new ... catalogs. Join us next Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. CDT for the webinar, Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Advanced Case Studies in Smarter Catalog Management. The Spend Matters team and jCatalog will talk trends and highlights with case studies in using smarter catalogs for a guided buying process to make procure to pay (P2P) manageable for stakeholders and the procurement function.

Last Chance to Register for Our Lively Discussion on Category Sourcing, Management 2.0

partnership

Category sourcing has been one hot, trending topic around these parts as of late. Our downloadable e-book and preview webinar on category management have been wildly popular and we are concluding our coverage with this comprehensive, must-attend webinar: Supercharging Category Management: Free Yourself from Siloed Sourcing to Unlock Breakthrough Value. Join us tomorrow, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. CDT, for what will surely be a lively discussion as Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, is joined by Mickey North Rizza, vice president of strategic services at BravoSolution, to discuss going from simple category sourcing to category management 2.0 in just nine steps. Register today!

Webinar Oct. 22: Turbocharged Category Management for Transcendent Value

category management

Webinar Thursday continues in October as we present Supercharging Category Management: Free Yourself from Siloed Sourcing to Unlock Breakthrough Value on Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. CDT. This is the concluding event on supercharging category management, following a wildly successful e-book and preview webinar held last month. From this webinar, you will learn case studies, technology support examples, specific industries and verticals, as well as participate in a closing Q&A. Register today!

How to Build a Category Workbook [Plus +]

open book

Attention category managers: This Flashback Friday post is just for you. We reached into our Ask the Expert archives to bring you a detailed presentation from Xavier Olivera, editor of Spend Matters Mexico/Latin America, about how to build a spend category workbook. Xavier walks listeners through how to create this “knowledge guide” to a spend category that can serve as a supporting document to your procurement organization and fellow category managers. Check out the full webinar, Ask the Expert: Do You Know How to Build a Category Workbook, in this post!

Webinar in 2 Weeks! Category Management, Siloed Sourcing to Unlock Real Value

silo

In just two weeks, we'll present the concluding webinar from our ongoing coverage of Supercharging Category Management: Free Yourself from Siloed Sourcing to Unlock Breakthrough Value. Join us Thursday, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. CDT, as Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and Mickey North Rizza, vice president of strategic services at BravoSolution, present the nine different ways you can evolve from simple category sourcing to category management 2.0. Register today!

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!