Don’t Call me a BUYER! So just what is a Category Manager?

June 15th, 2015

I’ve noticed a couple of job postings lately for category managers in our local market!


Todays post is from our SafeSourcing Archive, with much respect to all of the Category Managers out there!

The job postings have been in the Financial Services and the Pet Food retail area. Now, someone might point out that pet food is a category by itself within a number of retail verticals. With that said, it is also a category within a category killer format.

The good news is that many companies are getting to the point that they understand the benefit of having categories managed strategically. This takes into account the mix of the category within the scope of its contribution to the entire company from a financial, strategic and tactical perspective. It also requires specific business acumen that combines the jobs of the historical buyer, subject matter expert, marketing professional and financial business analyst. The position originated in retail but continues to evolve into many businesses with certification and education programs to support the skill sets required.

According to Wikipedia, Category management is a retailing and purchasing concept in which the range of products purchased by a business organization or sold by a retailer is broken down into discrete groups of similar or related products; these groups are known as product categories (examples of grocery categories might be: tinned fish, washing detergent, toothpastes). It is a systematic, disciplined approach to managing a product category as a strategic business unit.

The question is, are your buyers acting as category managers, do they have the skill set to do so and if not, how efficient is your procurement department.

If you lack any of these skills on your team, contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager to see how we can help elevate the performance of your procurement team.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


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