Technology & Innovation

Changing with the times: category management at a crossroads

September 22, 2022

Asia

Changing with the times: category management at a crossroads

September 22, 2022

Asia
Pooja Chaudhary

Senior Manager

Pooja is a Senior manager with Economist Impact. Pooja leads both internal and public research programmes for foundations and bi/multilateral organizations in need of policy advocacy, strategy and analysis in the domain of social and international development. Her recent research has focused on technology and public policy, the intersection of technology and education, and exploring the role of sustainable agriculture in economic development in South Asia, including the issues in agriculture transformation. She is currently leading the Asian Development Bank supported Digital Education Readiness Index. Pooja has worked with PwC India and Bharti group to support multilaterals and governments in the design, implementation and evaluation of international development programs on issues including livelihood generation and education and skills development. She holds a master’s degree in business management from Xavier Institute of Management (XIM) and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi University.

This report is the culmination of surveying 430 C-level executives on the changing trends in procurement during January and February 2022 and the accompanying research and interview programme of practitioners and subject-matter experts conducted by the Economist Impact research team. This report sheds light on the road ahead for category management as a function of procurement.
This report was written by Siddharth Poddar and edited by Pooja Chaudhary and Harsheen Sethi, with support from Amanda Simms on sub-editing. Economist Impact wishes to thank the following experts for their participation in the interview programme:
 
• Alan Day, chairman and founder, State of Flux
• Pardeep Gill, chief procurement officer (CPO) and vice president of supply chain, Ameren
• Phil Ideson, founder and managing director, Art of Procurement
• Lisa Martin, senior vice president, global procurement, and CPO, GSK
• Jonathan O’Brien, chief executive officer (CEO), Positive Purchasing
• Mark Webb, managing director, Future Purchasing
 
The survey results suggest that organisations see category management as less important than other factors such as cost savings, risk reduction and inventory management, but could indicate that it is viewed more as a functional tool to deliver risk and cost reduction.
 
As procurement professionals look ahead, category management will only become more important on the other side of the pandemic, owing to fundamentally different business and macroeconomic realities. Although a large swathe of survey respondents prioritise cost savings (39.8%) and risk reduction (37.9%) as the top areas for value delivery, improving category management (18.6%) is a key way to meet these goals.
 
Procurement professionals must continue to reckon with a number of risks and challenges as their roles evolve to align with not just the external environment, but also the overarching strategies of their businesses.
 
Traditional procurement approaches are being left behind and with good reason, since there’s a need for procurement—and in particular category management—to drive business transformation at organisations.
 

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