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6th Annual East Coast Forum

Executive Briefings: 12 September, 2017

Forum: 13–14 September, 2017

The Seaport Hotel, Boston

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12th Annual Europe Forum

Executive Briefing: 4 October, 2017

Forum: 5-6 October, 2017

Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

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Shining A Light On Indirect Category Strategies.

Category managementMarket IntelligenceCategory StrategiesBlog+-

Procurement Leaders has just launched its latest category planning survey. This is a survey designed to gauge the views of leading category managers. The main focus is the predicted price changes for a range of indirects at the sub-category level, totalling 49 targeted markets.


Last year, the research found a number of dynamic changes in the behaviour of important categories, which provided valuable insights into markets that don’t tend to have a light shone upon them.


Marketing, for instance, recovered in many economies last year but what we found was an anticipation of price drops.


We also uncovered an interesting relationship between the balance of power within different categories and the way in which influence is used in buyer-supplier relationships. We found that, contrary to expectation, where buyers enjoyed strength in negotiations, this often resulted in more innovation from the supplier than price drops.


This suggests that many organisations are maturing into a value-oriented understanding of trading relationships. Buyers are starting to move away from their traditional focus on cost reductions and negotiated price drops to a broader range of measurements.


We hope this latest research will continue to track and show the ways in which procurement is developing. But, the key output of the report is consolidating a variety of highly complex and nebulous markets, and providing a key indicator for the future environment for category managers.


There are ample forecasts within direct categories. Commodity markets in particular enjoy a huge number of experts and analysts who provide regular insights into the markets. Even items relatively high in the value chain, such as cars, are watched by a panels of specialist observers.


Indirect categories, however, have relatively few benchmarks and tracking mechanisms to guide buyers in their buying and pricing decisions. As a consequence, Procurement Leaders has developed its annual Category Planning Guide to provide detailed market intelligence in this area.


If you would like to participate in the research please click here.


Members of Procurement Leaders will be able to read the full report in September.




Jon Webb
Posted by Jon Webb