Is Category Management a Prism? Or a Telescope?

Over on Procurement.World, the procurement dynamo tells us that category management is a prism. More specifically, the procurement dynamo tells us category management is about looking at spend through the prism of

  • company strategy
  • internal customers’ needs
  • supplier/supply market

Through these lenses, procurement will determine if it should be focussing on categories, value drivers, required supplier capabilities, and supply assurance. How?

According to the procurement dynamo, by going through the key components of the category management checklist and seeing where they lead.

So what are the components? You can download the checklist [registration required] and review them yourself, but, needless to say, they revolve around:

  • taxonification
  • supplier classification
  • category strategy from an organizational, stakeholder, and procurement perspective
  • sourcing strategy
  • ROI calculations
  • action plans
  • governance
  • measurement

But is it a prism, or a telescope — a linear sequence of lenses that serves to sequentially focus in on a particular category definition, strategy, execution plan, and return. By the time you go through the incremental category evaluation and strategy and execution, you typically have one view, one color on the problem — not a rainbow. Traditional category management typically ends up with one way to look at the category, not multiple.

It probably should be a prism — as the strategy should change with the market conditions, the customer needs, innovation capability, and so on — all features not considered in a fixed plan and linear workflow. But will it be? And how do we make it one? Thoughts?

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