Future Purchasing Advent Calendar Window Nineteen

Posted 19/12/2016

“What % of organisations said stakeholders have formal objectives for category management? 20%, 40% or 60%?”

The answer will probably not surprise many of you, overall just 20% of respondents said stakeholder have formal objectives for category management. There was a significant gap between Leaders and Followers. 29% of Leaders agreed or strongly agreed this was the case, compared with just 16% of Followers.

It is really important that stakeholders have formal objectives, to make category management successful – see Advent Windows 7 & 14. At no. 16 this is one of the top 19 drivers for optimum category management performance and success, and, closely related, is no. 18 which is about obtaining joint accountability for delivering category targets with stakeholders.  Both statements are interlinked, and are fundamentally about changing a relatively passive engagement to active need on behalf of all parties to achieve team success, as all have the goal to make it happen.

In the previous survey, 45% of Leaders set formal objectives for stakeholders. This number has dropped to 29% which means procurement would appear to be fighting an uphill battle to encourage more stakeholder support for category management objectives. So why is this happening?

It is possible that Procurement teams have not been successful in persuading their business stakeholders of the value of category management and the importance of it being a cross-functional cross business way of working that benefits all parties, not just Procurement. More proactive communication is needed to reverse this damaging trend because the only way that Category Management can truly work and realise those optimum levels that all respondents universally said were possible, is for procurement and category management to be seen as a business process, and not just something those ‘procurement folk’ do.

New Year’s Resolution No. 19 . Assuming New Year’s Resolutions 1, 2 and 3 are in place (i.e. you’ve created your own vision, strategy and potential plan by engaging the business, and ensuring the functional vision and strategy beautifully aligns with the Business Vision and strategy then you’re in good shape to start to “Build a Procurement PR campaign”.  All the other resolutions can form part of your implementation plan, but this one is particularly good because in the same way we procurement folk want other functional experts to pull on our expertise, for this PR one, we suggest pulling on your PR teams’ expertise if you have a PR team.  Or Marketing, or Sales.  These professionals know what they’re doing when it comes to selling the benefits – so enlist their help.  You’ll likely build a great relationship, a further understanding of the business and get some great new creative ideas to boot.

They say that something needs to be said at least 11 times before it’s heard – so maybe it’s the same with shouting about those category management successes. So say it, explain it, show it, act it, video it, newsletter it, present it, highlight it, email it, tweet it, blog it…. yep I think I’ve done 11 !  but I’m no comms expert, that’s why I ask my Marketing and Digital Marketing colleagues for help!

You can click below to download our 2016-17 Global Category Management Leadership Report Executive Summary.

Tagged by topic: Category Group Planning , Category Management , Category Management Survey

  by Allison Ford-Langstaff

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