A new CPO and a new Head of Category Management had been recruited by a UK public sector infrastructure organisation to transform procurement into a professional, commercial, customer centric and strategic function aligned with customer priorities.
The procurement team, which managed £4bn of spend, was relatively new and consisted of a broad range of experience and capability. A previous category management process had not been successfully implemented and was no longer used.
The procurement leadership team needed to create a new identity to unify the broader organisation around its objectives and to define and embed strategic value management.
Working as coaches and trainers alongside the client’s core 20-strong category management team, Future Purchasing designed and implemented a customised category management process and toolkit. Our focus was to train and coach the new category management team on how to apply the right tools and techniques in a practical manner.
We initiated a pilot programme of six category strategies covering £900m of spend that were aligned with customer functions. Overall, more than 50 workstreams were implemented using disciplined project management techniques.
Importantly, strategies were actively co-created with and endorsed by key stakeholder groups. They demonstrated rigorous understanding of market dynamics and forensic cost analysis.
As a result of our work, engagement and alignment between procurement, business units and corporate functions was significantly improved.
Procurement capability was increased with some 15 staff becoming proficient in creating excellent category strategies using Future Purchasing’s market-leading category management process toolkit.
Within six months we had generated benefits of 6-11% of total spend and savings opportunities of over £30m per year were also identified. Crucially, key stakeholder groups supported the procurement team in achieving those savings.
About Simon Brown
30 years procurement experience in line management and
Previous employment: British Aerospace, British Airways, QP Group
Education: MBA, London Business School. BA (Hons) Business Studies.