Category Management Consulting

Category Management Consulting

Barkers provide a bespoke service tailored to your needs

At Barkers we have helped many organisations implement category management.  Our experienced practitioners have delivered category management and the associated benefits as full time staff working in industry and as consultants.  We know from years of experience just how challenging it can be to deliver the change and stakeholder engagement necessary.

We firmly believe that the tools, templates and technology are only as good as the passion, skills and experience with which they are applied.  They need to be appropriate to the client’s capability and capacity for adopting a category management approach.  In our experience we rarely deploy our full suite of tools, preferring to use the minimum possible to achieve the primary client goals in the most effective way possible.

Adoption of a formal Category Management Process delivers the following benefits:

  • Aligns procurement activity with business priorities and secures business buy-in
  • Enables improvements in quality, service levels, availability and value for money
  • Increases the potential for delivery of procurement savings
  • Provides insight into, and ability to reduce, supply chain risk
  • Provides a platform for effective supplier management and continuous improvement
  • Optimises the use of procurement functional resources

Our process includes the following steps:

A market analysis is done so that you can formulate a strategy on how to develop your category. A market analysis studies the attractiveness and the dynamics of a services or goods market within a designated or specified industry. By understanding the key drivers of your market, you can identify competitive and commercial advantages, and answer key questions which will help shape your category development, e.g. How many suppliers offer similar products & services?

The key elements of market analysis are as follows:

1. Market size (current and future)

2. Market trends

3. Market growth rate

4. Market profitability

5. Industry cost structure

6. Key success factors

7. Additional criteria

Opportunity analysis is a quick and simple tool for choosing between a range of potential opportunities and helping prioritise which to tackle first.  It enables an opportunity for the procurement team to engage stakeholders in deciding what should be prioritised and where resources should be invested.

To undertake an opportunity analysis, you must assess the expected value to the business for each opportunity, and rate each option on a scale from high to low. The factors that will affect the scale of the outcome will be:

  • how valuable the business perceives the outcome to be (expressed in lifetime costs)
  • the scale of the organisation’s total spend as a percentage of the market, if this data is available
  • the quality of the current arrangement
  • the “softness” of the market (i.e. the extent to which the business can influence the market)
  • the number of suppliers

The difficulty of implementing each opportunity must then be assessed in terms of time taken, resources needed, knock-on effects etc.  The factors that will affect the ease of realising the benefits will include:

  • the number of stakeholders involved
  • the location of those users
  • the variety of different solutions currently used in the business
  • the need to involve trade unions or staff groups
  • the degree of subjectivity in the specification
  • the market difficulty, e.g. the degree of competition, entry barriers, government regulation, legislation
  • the organisation’s understanding of market dynamics
  • technical complexity
  • business impact
  • available resources

Barkers Process

One example of our experience relates to an energy client.  Reporting to their CPO Barkers helped establishing Category Management working practices and associated capabilities.  This included:

  • Advice, guidance and support to the client Procurement leadership team
  • Creation and implementation of Category Management process, procedures, tools and templated
  • Mentoring assigned client resources and affecting knowledge transfer
  • Assessing team skills and behaviours then delivery the required training & coaching
  • Supporting the recruitment of enduring client resources

We Specialize in

Leveraging digital tools for Business and Procurement Outsourcing

Global Network

Our global network of procurement and commercial professionals means we can provide professional services to the highest standards where you need them most.

Artificial Intelligence

At Barkers our Digital tools and procurement managed services all incorporate the latest AI solutions.

Business Outsourcing

Our team of experienced practitioners can provide a full managed service to help you manage those tricky tender processes.

Data Mining Techniques

Combining cleansed quantitative and assessed qualitative data, we provide deeper insights into opportunities to increase profit and improve relationships.

Our Core Digital Products and Services

Our core offerings
Digital Dashboard Subscriptions

Or £6,000 for a yearly subscription

£750.00 / month
  • Cloud-based digital tool
  • Suite of category management templates and data input sheets
  • Subscription to Microsoft Power BI for instant access
  • Category experts to get you started and map your data sources
  • On-site support to drive engagement if required
  • Remote support available if preferred
  • Available on monthly or annual subscription
Skills & Behaviour Assessments

Or £500 for 10

£75.00 / each
  • £75 each or £500 for 10 Cloud-based assessments from our digital suite
  • Category Management Skills Assessment
  • Assertion Behaviour Inventory
  • Negotiation Skills Assessment
  • Access to global results database
  • Available as one-off investment or suite of assessments
  • Tailored training and coaching solutions if desired
Full Commercial Health Check

Or bespoke packages available

£10,000.00 / one off fee
  • Expert Delivery Directors to conduct your health check
  • Results available in a cloud-based dashboard
  • Commercial Health Check Report
  • Digital Dashboard Analytics
  • Improvement Plan
  • On-site support to understand business challenges
  • Monitor improvements digitally against agreed performance measures

Register for a free 1 hour coaching session now!

If you are looking for a bespoke solution, please register your details and one of our Delivery Directors will contact you directly to understand your business challenges.

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