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[Pod] Can Digital Help Scale Category Management Best Practices? w/ Remko Van Hoek and Gary Levitan

By May 9, 2022May 3rd, 2024No Comments

“Category management is where so much of the fun in procurement resides. You have the opportunity to lead with intelligence, to surprise your stakeholders with data, to think through what might be new and interesting ways to get the best out of the market – and you’re never done with it.”  –Professor Remko Van Hoek, Full Professor of Practice at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas 

“Offloading the tactical rote support pieces [of procurement work] but keeping the strategy – to me, that’s going all in. If it gives you more bandwidth to be more strategic and to really zero in on the value that you can provide, that’s going all in.”  –Gary Levitan, Head of Global Procurement at WeWork

Far more teams talk about category management than successfully carry it out, but is the challenge one of talent or scale? It is certainly one of the more creative processes procurement engages in, which opens the door to more value creation – as long as procurement has the right metrics and KPIs guiding their work.

In this week’s episode, we bring you a session from our recent AOP Digital Outcomes 2022 virtual event. Kelly Barner was joined by Gary Levitan from WeWork and Remko Van Hoek from the University of Arkansas to discuss whether or not category management initiatives can be executed at scale.

Key takeaways from the interview include:

  • Category management processes can facilitate stakeholder collaboration when products, services, and/or suppliers overlap
  • How the automation of rote and even ‘boring’ procurement tasks can make it possible for procurement to invest more time and effort in strategy 
  • Why it is important to consider automation part of a process or a subset of spend categories instead of waiting to include 100% at the same time

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