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.
Home to a number of cities and towns, including Birmingham - often called Britain's Second City - as well as Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton, the West Midlands has long been a centre of industry and commerce for the UK and it's an ideal location for anyone seeking Category Lead jobs.
During the Middle Ages and throughout the Industrial Revolution, Coventry was known for producing wool and cloth. Meanwhile, other parts of the region were known for their metalwork - Birmingham for its small arms and Wolverhampton for locks, ironmongery and brass work.
In addition, the West Midlands region was a prime source of raw materials like coal and iron ore, something that became increasingly important throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
As time moved on, the focus of the region shifted and car manufacturing overtook the other industries, while bicycle production was also a large part of the local economy for many years.
Today, the West Midlands area is home to a number of tech companies, as well as food and beverage manufacturers, with Nikon, Hitachi maxell, Fujitsu, Muller Dairy Ltd, Bulmers Cider, Cadbury UK, Marmite, Coors Brewers and Bird's Custard just a few examples.
Other brands that call the area home include Michelin Tyres, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Volvo Group UK and the National Express Group.
If you're seeking Category Lead jobs in the West Midlands, look no further than Cast UK. As one of the country's leading recruitment specialists for procurement, supply chain and logistics roles , we can help you find a vacancy that suits your skills, qualifications and career objectives.
In addition, our team of regional experts have significant knowledge about their areas of expertise, and can provide you with advice about the job market and potential employers in a particular place.
To find out more about how Cast UK can help you find and recruit candidates within the West Midlands or source a new job in the West Midlands then contact one of our consultant team on 0161 825 0825.
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