Cost savings is the primary concern for companies utilising sourcing agencies to acquire quality raw materials and goods. However, the second most important factor that companies usually think about when choosing a good supplier is the ability to acquire value beyond savings. There is intense competition amongst the strategic sourcing companies today and the willingness to offer something extra is highly valuable to businesses.

Category managers are responsible when it comes to maintaining a cordial relationship with stakeholders. They need to engage with these people, understand their issues and resolve the problems for the long-term growth of the company. Listed below are some attributes that all category managers must possess.


Characteristics Of A Perfect Category Manager


● The Ability To Influence Procurement –

Most category managers are primarily tasked with facilitating the sourcing process. However, to ensure success, you need to influence the supply chain as well, besides managing its smooth functionality.


● The Ability To Outsource Work –

Category managers who monitor all aspects of the supply chain need to delegate specific tasks to other employees in the business. If you try to do everything, it can compromise the quality of your specific approach for strategic sourcing companies. If you are unable to delegate tasks due to a lack of trust, dealing with such internal issues should be your priority as well.

You can either restructure your team or hire skilled and talented members perfect for the delegation functionality. Doing too much on your own can undo much of the strategic progress for your business.


● The Ability To Outsource Work –

As a manager, you should maintain a proper working relationship with company stakeholders. Holding frequent meetings can help you understand their problems and address any queries they may have regarding the operations. Almost 3% of your time as a senior executive is spent trying to determine problem areas along with stakeholders and arriving at the perfect solution.


● Rapid Problem Solving –

Not only do you require problem resolution skills to become an effective business operator but also have the necessary agility to solve issues fast, before minor problems have the opportunity of wreaking havoc to your business model. The ability to foresee repercussions of business decisions can help minimise the issue by allowing you adequate time to prepare for the crunch time.

Analyse the data and facts before determining the correct solution. Rather than being defensive, you should take immediate action to neutralise all problematic factors for strategic sourcing companies.

However, even with all of these characteristics, you need reliable suppliers to run the business. Picking the perfect procurement agency requires you to consider several factors.


Features Of A Perfect Procurement Agency

When picking the supplier, here are some factors that you need to keep in mind.


● Act As Advisors To Businesses –

Procurement agencies that offer superior quality products and services also have greater involvement in the budgeting and planning of the business. Rather than acting as administrators, suppliers should play the role of valued partners in the business, encouraging clients to follow the best practices.


● Innovative Ideas From Suppliers –

World-class strategic sourcing companies can also provide excellent guidance when it comes to resolving supply chain problems for your business. When taking into account these suggestions and innovations, you can benefit greatly. You can enhance this collaboration with your supplier by engaging several procurement agencies at once. This gives rise to competitiveness amongst the sourcing organisations when it comes to quality and pricing. The top businesses in the world can drive more than double the incremental revenue due to supplier involvement.


● Useful Insight Delivery –

Suppliers possess useful information and data regarding the various aspects of the procurement market. Surveys show that such companies possess significant levels of useful info 90% of the times. This figure is double when compared to the other businesses. The best suppliers invest more time in planning and budgeting, allowing them the opportunity to provide an in-depth analysis of the supply industry. Therefore, the company you choose for procurement must provide information as a commodity as well. The data can help your business avoid traps and foresee problematic market shifts beforehand.


● Protection Against Risk –

Procurement companies face immense risks while acquiring various raw materials. Therefore, the top suppliers should have a formal risk management division and procedure to handle threats. This team of members assess the risk before the company gets involved in procurement efforts. Proper risk management can lead to an increase in the company returns by a drastic 25 percent. Strategic sourcing companies that do not have such risk identification measures can not only cause losses for you but also endangers your reputation in the market.


● Effective Employment –

Finding the right candidate for the job is trickier than it seems. Sourcing companies that are ready to transcend both the geographical and functional borders to find the best applicant are often the best procurement agencies. These companies invest twice as much time training their staff so that each worker understands the core functionalities and goals clearly. Due to these features, such supply companies are three times more likely to retain employees with perfect critical skills. This is the secret of why the best procurement companies tend to achieve much more with a handful of employees when compared to other organisations engaging a greater workforce.


As a category manager of a business, you need to study available supplier options and finalize the brand that offers all of the above features. The framework listed below should help you acquire the best possible supply chain.


  • Explain why the category of services or products you offer are important to the sector.
  • To demonstrate your category knowledge, identify at least three issues that the business is unaware of.
  • You need to establish your trust for the people working under your management. Rather than micro-managing each aspect, you should hand over the responsibility and stop monitoring their every move. Trust your team members to deliver the perfect result.
  • Inspire the company to work as a team. This unity often inspires loyalty for the brand and better quality of work.


Keep these pointers in mind to maximise the potential for strategic sourcing.

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