category management transformation london image

Case study

Category management transformation programme in the public sector

By Simon Brown |


  • public sector

Areas of Expertise

  • Category Management
  • Category Group Planning


  • Coaching
  • Training

Organisation T/O

  • ££6.7 billion

Geographic Spread

  • uk

Procurement Spend

  • £4 billion

Business situation

A new CPO and a new Head of Category Management had been recruited by a UK public sector infrastructure organisation to transform procurement into a professional, commercial, customer centric and strategic function aligned with customer priorities.

The procurement team, which managed £4bn of spend, was relatively new and consisted of a broad range of experience and capability. A previous category management process had not been successfully implemented and was no longer used.

The procurement leadership team needed to create a new identity to unify the broader organisation around its objectives and to define and embed strategic value management.

Solution implemented

Working as coaches and trainers alongside the client’s core 20-strong category management team, Future Purchasing designed and implemented a customised category management process and toolkit. Our focus was to train and coach the new category management team on how to apply the right tools and techniques in a practical manner.

We initiated a pilot programme of six category strategies covering £900m of spend that were aligned with customer functions. Overall, more than 50 workstreams were implemented using disciplined project management techniques.

Importantly, strategies were actively co-created with and endorsed by key stakeholder groups. They demonstrated rigorous understanding of market dynamics and forensic cost analysis.

Benefits delivered

As a result of our work, engagement and alignment between procurement, business units and corporate functions was significantly improved.

Procurement capability was increased with some 15 staff becoming proficient in creating excellent category strategies using Future Purchasing’s market-leading category management process toolkit.

Within six months we had generated benefits of 6-11% of total spend and savings opportunities of over £30m per year were also identified. Crucially, key stakeholder groups supported the procurement team in achieving those savings.

Related Expertise

Supplier management

Our supplier management approach combines excellent tools and techniques across the full range of activity, from segmentation, through performance measurement and improvement and through to relationship strategy development.

Category management

Excellence in Category Management gives multipliers of value delivery compared to less effective programs. Our approach delivers a high performing team and process which provides sustainable value over years rather than months.

About Simon Brown


30 years procurement experience in line management and
consulting roles.
Previous employment: British Aerospace, British Airways, QP Group
Education: MBA, London Business School. BA (Hons) Business Studies.
CIPS: member