Viewpoint October 2017


Future Purchasing Viewpoint
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Why is it Critical to Build Stakeholder Understanding of Category Management?

Mark Webb

Mark Webb
Managing Director
Future Purchasing


Welcome to this month's FP Viewpoint. In this issue we focus on the key task of building stakeholder understanding of category management. Clients at all levels of maturity tell us that they need a more focused and professional approach to stakeholder communications and engagement to help achieve better understanding.

This is not a “nice-to-do” activity, but a crucial step to secure participation from business stakeholders in cross-functional category teams. We are also seeing an increased demand for training category directors and managers in behavioural skills such as committed listening and consultative selling to help them improve their communications.

To support communication of the value of category management we have summarised the executive level findings from our recent category management report in a simple infographic – see lower down in this newsletter.

We really do appreciate all of the feedback that we get on Viewpoint content as it shapes future research and blogs with practitioner input – get in touch with all feedback on:

+44 (0) 7974 018022 or email

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Building business stakeholders understanding of category management through effective communications

Category management is a cross-functional way of working and requires support, commitment and time from business stakeholders. It is vital that stakeholders understand what category management is all about, the value it will bring and their role in applying it. Without understanding, stakeholders will not provide the support, commitment and time required to make category management work.

In this month’s extract from our 2016-17 category management report we look at this fundamental cornerstone of stakeholder communications:

  • Do stakeholders have an excellent understanding of category management as a result of our communications?
  • Are Leaders much better at building stakeholder understanding of category management?
  • What practices are used by Leaders to build understanding?
  • Which are the stakeholder groups that require specific communications?

Insight Guide Communicate with stakeholders to build  their understanding of category management

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Infographic - The Impact Of Being Great At Category Management

We have summarised the business case for category management using the key findings from our 2016-17 category management survey.

FP Category Management Infographic

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September's most popular blog

The most popular blogs we posted in September were:

  1. How Personality Affects Your Negotiations And What You Can Do About It – where Mark Hubbard advises that although our personalities follow a certain direction, awareness of how we are wired does allow for a degree of modification of approach to suit the particular negotiation.
    Negotiation blog
  2. Brexit – What If The Negotiators Can’t Agree? – where the concept of the BATNA, the Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, is explained in the context of Brexit.
    Brexit Blog

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