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Training - Category Management


Do you have a category plan for your portfolio:

  1. with a clear and compelling vision? 

  2. that is up to date?

  3. which is out of the drawer and being actively used? 

  4. that is meaningful and motivating for you and your stakeholders?

  5. that is being deployed to add significant value?


If the answer to these five questions is 'yes'. I commend you - crack on! Otherwise this course could be for you.


My observation is that many businesses are suffering under a formulaic approach resulting in category managers gathering far too much data that never gets used, drawing too many irrelevant graphs and having over-reliance on tools like SWOT and Porter's 5-Forces. The output is often sub-standard and deadly dull!


Every category has its own unique story. I will help you understand where your category is now, create your vision for where you want it to be in the future and devise a robust implementation plan to deliver the change. It's what I call 'getting from A to B' and I always receive positive feedback for this no-nonsense approach.

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By learning and deploying category management effectively, the benefits to your business will be:

  • A miles stronger platform to underpin the sales and growth of your business' product portfolio

  • Improved revenue and profit margins

  • Quicker adaptation to market needs

  • A strong position against your competition

  • A better understanding of potential risks and a clear mitigation plan

  • More accurate and insightful price forecasts

  • A step change in value from your supply base

  • A leaner more agile supply chain


And the benefits to you will be:

  • A feeling of greater engagement with your portfolio

  • A stronger voice in the business

  • Miles better working relationships with your stakeholders who recognise the value you and procurement are bringing to the organisation

  • A significant saving of time and effort

  • Suppliers who respond better to your needs

Other Details

Course Material

Attendees will receive a full training pack containing a summary of content from the day as well as copies of all case studies and group exercises.


Frost, Procurement Adventurer

Course length

1 day intensive, 2 days advanced


Typically, clients like to host the training on their own site. I get asked to train all round the World and I'll head to where you'd like to be. From time-to-time I run a course open people from non-competing businesses in a fixed location.  This course can be run virtually by video conference.


Depending on your specific needs and on request.

Course Prospectus

Course Approach

The course is a fun and highly interactive day blending theory, many examples and two case studies. It’s usually followed up with two further sessions – one to apply the techniques to your portfolio and the second, several weeks later, to ensure the skills are embedded in your DNA and your business.

Course Level

I tailor the training specifically to you and your team catering from junior procurement experts to senior sourcing managers. It's not unusual for Category Directors and Heads of Procurement to join too.

Sectors covered

The techniques covered work across direct and indirect spend. I tailor the course material and case studies specifically to your portfolio.


Learning Objectives

The course objective is for you to understand category management and be able to deploy it effectively to your portfolio.  We will cover the following areas:



  • What is category management

  • Understanding the concept of ‘A to B’

  • The principles and building blocks of category management

  • Different types of value and understanding the value your business needs

  • Joining the dots with Supply Chain, Sales & Marketing and R&D

  • ‘It all starts with the consumer’

  • Positioning The Procurement Function and category management to be drivers for change

  • Linking category management with the procurement process

Where you are now (Point A)

  • Trusting yourself to make a hypothesis

  • Data gathering/analysis that takes half the time and delivers twice the value

  • Selecting the right analytical tools and bringing them to life

  • A fresh approach to spend segmentation and portfolio analysis

  • Clarification of the problem, potential opportunities and prioritisation

  • Understand your business’ and stakeholders’ strategy and needs

  • End-to-end value chain mapping

  • Reading suppliers’ positions and the evolving market-place

  • Managing risk as an enabler, not a foe

Where you want to get to (Point B)

  • Creating a compelling vision and gaining buy-in

  • The value pyramid – it’s much more than cost

  • Distilling the future business requirements

  • Defining meaningful KPIs

How and when you’re going to get from Point A to Point B

  • Translating Point B into a robust sourcing strategy and meaningful initiatives

  • Project management and implementation

  • Key enablers and how to activate them

  • Defining resource requirements and deploying resource to best effect

  • Creating powerful cross-functional teams

  • Managing risk through the change process

  • Engaging suppliers and taking them on the journey

  • Locking in benefits and ongoing management of the category

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