Category Management in procurement needs an energy boost. That much is clear.
Windmills…not much energy, but they sure are pretty! Energy (Photo credit: Open Days – European Week of Cities and Regions)
Now, am I suggesting a call to “Dr.” Anthony Bosch? No, not unless you have a bunch of hats that are too big.
So, if PED’s are unacceptable, what can we do to give our category management projects an energy boost? Well, let’s start with the process to be followed. Step 1…have one! If you make it up on the fly, the risk is that your stakeholder group will spend too much time and energy discussing the process, and not enough time making stuff happen. You – the procurement guy/gal – need to come prepared with your process…hopefully one that, well, works.
So what makes a category management process work? For one, it’s flexible. Not all categories are the same, so it needs to be applicable to a wide range of categories. Think of the process as if it were a platform like Facebook, and the category team is a group of friends. Lots of different groups of friends – with lots of different interests – use Facebook (even you anti-system types…admit it!).
The second one is that it is simple and practical. I have seen processes that go into painstaking detail and cover every objection, but real life happens outside the graphic. Pretty diagrams may impress your friends, but rigorous application of they key points drive value.
Finally, keep up the momentum. The art of the procurement professional is motivating people to make it happen. Go forth and do great things!