Those of us who have been in the procurement profession for a while know that other departments within our organization don’t always hold the purchasing department in the highest esteem, regardless of the quality of work that the Procurement Department has done. It’s not uncommon to learn that the Procurement Department was the topic of a complaining session at the water cooler.

In the worst cases, personnel from other departments may work in opposition to the Procurement Department, seeking to contribute to the failure of Procurement Initiatives. While it is never acceptable for another department to try to derail the work of our brethren in the field, some of the criticism of procurement has been rightfully earned. (NLPA, 14 Purchasing Best Practices, 2020)

Category / Commodity teams ensure that efficient and effective decisions are made regarding all critical aspects of cost, quality, delivery, reliability, and service related to the procurement of mission-critical inputs, products, and services. Team members are representative of different departments within an organization.

Note: Unfortunately, some of the less skilled and trained in the procurement profession focus on price and cost savings while compromising quality, delivery, and reliability.
Strategic Category / Commodity Teams are led by Procurement Leaders

Step 1, Conduct Pre-Team formulation work by meeting with each department head and stating the purpose of the team and your vision

Step 2, Call a meeting to form the Category / Commodity Team

Step 3, Ensure a simply focused agenda by using Project Charter for Category / Commodity Team Initiatives

Step 4, Collaborate to create a Team Mission and Guiding Principles

Step 5, Collaborate on a calendar for future meetings

Step 6, Manage the team forming, storming, norming, and performing phases
Strategic Category / Commodity Teams are led by Procurement Leaders

Organizations can realize the following benefits from the Leverage Strategic Category / Commodity Teams:

  1. The Leverage of Strategic Category / Commodity Teams enables Procurement and Supply Chain Leaders to “see the whole picture.”
  2. Strategic Category / Commodity Teams pave the way for effective problem solving and critical thinking
  3. These teams enable a Culture of Innovation and Synergy
  4. Enhanced New Product Development

NLPA Library: Looking for authoritative procurement templates, tools, webinars, and more?  Stop trying to create resources from scratch and start taking advantage of having exactly what you need right at your fingertips in the NLPA Library.

David Millington

David Millington M.Sc.QSM, NPDP, CL6σBB, SPP, SPSM3®, CM® Director of Education (Next Level Purchasing Association) A Certified Strategic Planning Professional, David Millington brings over 18+ years experience in the Strategy Execution, Product / Service Development, Organizational and Supply Chain Excellence Arenas. He is a Certified Supply Chain Professional, Certified New Product Development Professional, Certified Strategic Planning Professional, and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. David holds a master’s degree in Quality Systems Management, from The National Graduate School of Quality Management, Falmouth MA, USA. This equips him with mastery of vast bodies of knowledge and best practices. David Millington brings hands-on experience at VP, Director, and Manager Levels, guiding and facilitating the development of strategic and tactical solutions to intricate organizational, product, and service challenges.

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