A Category Management Primer!

August 9th, 2023

What is the structure of your buying organization?



Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

What is the structure of your buying organization?

Evolution to a category management structure began in the 1980’s. Many companies today have still not completely evolved to this structure. So, what are some of the elements of a category management structure and what do they do. Here are some definitions from the SafeSourcing Wiki which is free for anyone to use.

  1. CategoryManagement is a retailing concept in which the total range of products sold by a retailer is broken down into discrete groups of similar or related products; these groups are known as product Examples of grocery categories may be tinned fish, washing detergent, toothpastes, etc. Each category is then run like a “mini business” (Business Unit) in its own right, with its own set of turnover and/or profitability targets and strategies.
  2. categorymanager (CM) analyzes product brands and mixinventory levels, movement, shelf space allocation, promotions, buying, and profitability of a merchandise category. They manage the marketing for a range of related products in a way designed to increase sales of all of the products, as opposed to a brand manager who markets an entire brand of goods.
  3. Within a category, a category captain is the manufacturer‘s representative responsible for analyzing the productmovement, assortment, inventory management, promotion, buying, and profitability for a specific geographic area or an entire chain. They will be expected to have the closest and most regular contact with the retail In order to do the job effectively, the supplier may be granted access to a greater wealth of data-sharing.

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