Future Purchasing – first look at their Category Management study results

Future Purchasing, procurement consulting firm and all-round stimulating thinkers about procurement, are giving us a teaser ahead of their full Category Management survey results being published in November. They got a good response – over 200 firms, with average sales revenue of over 2 million Euros, so substantial organisations in the main. 75% were European, 12% North American, 13% ROW.

So they’ve issued a very nicely designed one-page summary of key findings, which you can get here on registration.

Here are a few key points from it –

  • In terms of Category Management, 73% of the 200 organisations who responded to the survey still categorise themselves as “basic” or “improving”, with only 27% “adopted” or “optimised”
  • 40% said their process and toolkit was either “poor” or “not available”.
  • 89% said there stakeholders had no training in Category Management (that’s a great question and a very interesting finding isn’t it? A big factor in explaining why success is so elusive for many organisations perhaps).
  • 65% said more savings could be achieved through optimising Category Management.

Category Management is probably the most prevalent, implemented and core procurement process – central to our entire professional being, one might argue. It’s also been around for over 20 years now. So why do so many organisations feel they aren’t very good at it? We aren’t we more successful at implementing it and capturing the benefits?

Clearly, one of those findings suggests that we don’t habitually engage stakeholders to get them to understand what we’re doing. Tools and processes also seem to be an issue, and I’m sure we will find out more when all the results are published.

Personally, I wonder whether measuring savings and benefits comes into play here as well – we’ll be wiring more about that soon in the context of our next BravoSolution Real World Sourcing session. But the issue of savings credibility does I believe impact on procurement’s ability to implement real strategic and organisation-wide programmes, such as Category Management.

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