In larger procurement operations, the sourced products and materials will be divided into categories so that they can undergo more focused purchasing, negotiating and analysis. Maintaining this focus allows the teams dealing with the products to attain a higher level of expertise and sensitivity to the markets in which they are dealing, which in turn should lead to better negotiating positions and lower prices paid.
The category lead’s main role will be to ensure the aims are fulfilled costs are minimised and profits maximised. He or she might work directly under a category manager or director, and the level of focus will depend on the size of the operation, the amounts purchased, the diversity, seasonality and availability of the sourced materials and the nature of the business as a whole. The lead might not be involved in any face-to-face procurement, but could well have a strictly overseeing role with regard to the team. Although some responsibility will lie with the procurement team members, the category lead will be the conduit between them and the senior management, so strategic decisions will have to be delivered precisely to them, and in turn, reported results and forecasts will need to flow upwards.
Category leads will often work alongside dedicated category analysts who will be deeply involved with the financial side of the operation, while the category lead gets on with running the department. However sometimes, analytical understanding and a degree of executive power might be granted to the lead.
As with any middle management role, great communications skills will stand the category lead in good stead. The ability to deliver strategic demands from the board to the procurement team, each of whom might have different specialisations, will be key to the success of the procurement operation. Dealing with those higher up the hierarchy will be just as crucial, however, and an ability to honestly and clearly communicate problems as well as successes will help keep the department running harmoniously and profitably.
Where analytical skills are required, there will be a vital requirement for IT aptitude, with spreadsheeting, word processing and digital communications solutions being the tools of the trade. The ability to gather information both by word of mouth from the procurement team and from the digital records of bidding and purchasing processes, and to put the data to good use, will be a key skill of the procurement category lead.
As a recruitment consultancy, Cast UK were founded by specialists in logistics, supply chain and procurement, and our consultants are also drawn from these backgrounds, so we know what employers and candidates are looking for. Employers often approach us to find managerial and executive candidates, so if you’re in logistics, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Whether you’re relocating for personal reasons or are simply looking for more job fulfilment, there could well be an employer who’s looking for the skills you have, so please get in touch with Cast UK if you’re looking for a job in logistics. At any given time, we have jobs all over the UK, so wherever you live, or plan to live, we are well placed to find work that suits your skills.
To find out more about how Cast UK can help you recruit a Category Lead for your business or find you a job as a Category Lead then contact one of our consultant team on 0161 825 0825.
With cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster, the North West of England has played a pivotal role in Britain's economic success for hundreds of years.
From shipping and manufacturing, through to mining and engineering, this region has historic significance for the country, and is still thriving today - good news for anyone seeking Category Lead jobs in the North West.
The area has seen its fair share of industrial and scientific innovation and during the Industrial Revolution, the steel, coal and textile industries were all big business, as well as shipping and ship building.
In 1830, the first inter-city passenger railway was established, carrying people, goods and raw materials between Liverpool and Manchester. In addition, the Manchester Ship Canal was completed in 1894, providing another connection between the Mersey Estuary and Manchester, through Cheshire and Lancashire.
Fast forward to today and the region has changed significantly. While transport is still an important part of the North West's economy, many other industries have also taken hold.
Indeed, just some of the big names you'll find based in the North West include PG Tips, Warburtons, Kelloggs, McVitie's, Russell Hobbs, Silentnight, Dulux, Lakeland and Persil.
The region is also home to a number of car manufacturers, pharmaceuticals companies, news organisations and financial institutions.
What's more, submarines and military aircraft are built in the area, Cheshire is known for its salt mines and Manchester is the new home of the BBC - as well as a number of other entertainment companies.
If you're looking for Category Lead jobs in the North West of England, or other vacancies in procurement , logistics or supply chain management, at Cast UK we can help.
Our team of regional specialists understand the job market and other unique characteristics of the area and they can provide the advice and assistance you need to get your career on the right track.
To find out more about how Cast UK can help you find and recruit candidates within the North West or source a new job in the North West then contact one of our consultant team on 0161 825 0825.
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