Viewpoint January 2014


Future Purchasing Viewpoint
Simon Brown

Mark Webb

Managing Director,
Future Purchasing

Welcome to the January edition of FP Viewpoint. This month Julian Allbut from our consulting team shares his experience of working with clients to build a ‘Procurement Ready’ knowledge base.

This is a gritty topic that includes spend analysis at the basic level and at its more sophisticated, links procurement activity to end products and provides visibility of supplier volumes by specific supply chains.

We often hear the “…but the data is not available in the system” comment from category managers. The reality is that no organisation has the full data “in the system” and never will do. The challenge is to build an approach that prompts category managers to obtain the right information and tells them how to get it.

Read our insight guide on Building a Procurement Ready Knowledge Base >

Get in touch with all feedback on:

+ 44 (0)778 607 8417 or email

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Category Management

We are working with a number of clients who see that applying category management principles and ways of working to their external spend is the best way to deliver significantly improved financial results.

For more details on Category Management please read our recent 2012-13 survey into Category Management best practice

“How Do Leading Organisations Build a ‘Procurement Ready’ Knowledge Base?”

Do you find that having invested millions on your business ERP system (eg SAP, Oracle etc) that it’s outputs can really only be used to generate the P&L analysis for the business?

Category knowledge sits at the heart of the category strategy and innovative category managers develop powerful ways to analyse, connect and present information – despite the limitations of existing systems.

To help all category managers achieve an exceptional standard leading organisations are adopting a systematic approach and creating ‘Procurement Ready’ knowledge bases. These have two tiers of information:

Tier 1 Category Generic Knowledge is the foundation level data that is required for all categories. These are the basics.

Tier 2 Category Specific Knowledge is more specialised data that will vary depending on the profile of the category and potential opportunities. This provides truly leading edge insight and category strategies that fully connect with the business.

How to Benchmark your capability in Category Management

FP can help you to confirm the scale of additional benefit available to your organisation by optimising category management.

We can compare you against “world class” performance and confirm what you need to change in order to optimise Category Management and advance to the next level of performance.

The process takes approximately five days and the report will identify your strengths and weaknesses and a customised roadmap to optimise Category Management in your organisation.

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