Potential of Value Levers


Unlocking the Potential of Value Levers in Category Strategy

By Mark Hubbard |

When diving into category strategies, a question that frequently emerges is: “Which value levers should we be integrating?”

Here’s a comprehensive exploration of this topic, aimed at both novices and experts in the field.

The Multifaceted Approach to Value Levers

At the very foundation, our answer is straightforward: every single one of them. But let’s delve deeper.

Understanding and Maximising Value Levers

The true essence of a robust category strategy lies in the spectrum of value levers it engages. A holistic approach means we don’t just glance at these levers, we deeply analyse them. Each lever presents an opportunity, even if we’ve previously integrated it. There’s always room for enhancement. Are we harnessing its potential to the fullest? If not, what strategies can amplify its impact?

Some levers might seem irrelevant to a particular category. Here’s where being curious will be beneficial. Challenge the norms by questioning: “What prerequisites are needed to make this value lever relevant?” Such queries can offer insights into areas that might initially appear rigid or unyielding.

Strategic Implementation: Timing and Scale

After identifying potential value levers, the next step is to determine their implementation. Effective category strategies weave in ideas gradually. Recognise that profound change requires meticulous planning, resources, and time. It’s impractical, if not impossible, to roll out all changes simultaneously. Weigh the opportunities to ensure the outcome justifies the effort.

While the allure of ‘Quick Wins’—short-term activities with immediate benefits—is undeniable, they must be approached with caution. Their appeal should not overshadow long-term strategies that might require patience but promise greater rewards.

Beyond Procurement: Embracing Diverse Value Levers

A pivotal realisation for those in the procurement sphere is understanding that category strategies extend beyond just sourcing. True excellence is achieved when strategies tap into a broader range of value levers. This demands profound support from senior procurement teams. It’s crucial to recognise that a category’s highest value might stem from areas unrelated to sourcing.

The challenge, then, is to reshape perceptions. Category management isn’t just a procurement task. There’s a pressing need to foster awareness, particularly among stakeholders and leadership teams. In recent dialogues across various platforms, this perception shift is often highlighted as one of the most pressing challenges.

Which naturally segues to our next focal point: Stakeholder engagement is paramount to optimise the value levers we deploy.

Stakeholder Engagement: A Catalyst for Leveraging Value

Engaging stakeholders doesn’t just facilitate smoother implementation; it’s instrumental in understanding the broader impact of decisions. By fostering a collaborative environment, we can ensure the seamless integration of value levers into category strategies.

Potential of Value Levers

Final Thoughts

The realm of category strategy is expansive, and while value levers play a pivotal role, it’s essential to use them judiciously. I invite you to share your insights: What, in your experience, limits or enhances the application of a diverse set of value levers?

Remember, the journey to mastering category strategy is ongoing, and with every lever we pull, we step closer to unlocking unparalleled value.


In the realm of procurement and strategic sourcing, understanding how to optimize value is pivotal. While diving deep into procurement strategies, two resources stand out for their comprehensive insights. Spend Matters sheds light on pivotal aspects in their article Public Spend: A Look at 4 Value Levers for Public Procurement (spendmatters.com). Similarly, the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply provides actionable guidance in their piece on Eight ways to create procurement value – Supply Management (cips.org). Both resources offer profound perspectives on deriving maximum benefits from procurement strategies. I encourage enthusiasts and professionals to explore these articles, drawing inspiration and insights for a holistic approach to sourcing excellence or simply contact us to understand more.

Further reading

Blog post: How well are value levers used

About Mark Hubbard


30+ years experience in procurement and supplier management, in line and consulting roles
Previous employment: Positive Purchasing Ltd, SITA,
QP Group, BMW, SWWS, Rover
Education: BSc in Engineering Metallurgy, MBA University of Plymouth
CIPS: Current Member