Category Management

As procurement continues to evolve toward a strategic enterprise function, CPOs and other senior procurement leaders are routinely evaluated on their team’s strategic contributions to the overall business.

Make no mistake, cost control remains a prime objective. But cost control per se is increasingly considered “table stakes” these days, especially in the C-suite. How can you deliver impressive savings year after year and raise your game?

With category management services from GEP, procurement teams in market-leading enterprises all over the globe not only save more money, but also improve supplier performance, mitigate supply risks, and drive innovation and continuous improvement.

The Power of Proactive

Capable suppliers, good terms — the standard “punch list” only goes so far.


SMART by GEP is a unified source-to-pay platform that helps you drive your category strategies with complete visibility, oversight, control and governance in a single, intuitive category workbench.

From opportunity analysis, project planning and full source-to-pay processes, SMART by GEP’s category management workbench helps you drive value and increase stakeholder engagement across the enterprise.

Identified savings can easily leak away due to poor compliance, shifting business requirements or inadequate supplier performance.

Proactive management is imperative to ensure that the suppliers and contracts deliver real savings to the bottom line. That’s the GEP way.

  • Real-time market intelligence on commodities and suppliers
  • Best-practice methodologies across industries and categories
  • Accurate category planning, including forecasting and budgeting
  • Real-time visibility into supplier performance and scorecards
  • Proactive contract reviews, renewals and contract compliance
  • Reduced maverick buying and more spend under management
  • Real-time measurement and tracking of identified savings vs realized savings
  • Continuous annual cost reductions driven by process improvements and innovation

GEP's consulting background has enabled it to develop expert capabilities in strategic sourcing and category management, allowing it to focus on relationship building and change management. GEP has developed a multi-shore model … and is a global leader in procurement transformation, sourcing and procurement BPO.
– NelsonHall

GEP's Category Management Outsourcing Services:

GEP knows the importance of right information at the right time as only sourcing specialists can.

Access to timely, accurate information is a huge strategic advantage. And its absence is a sizeable risk.

In addition to tracking commodity markets and suppliers, we provide highly customized market intelligence to help procurement professionals make informed decisions with confidence. You get actionable insights that give your team a decisive competitive edge.

GEP’s dedicated market intelligence team supports CPOs and category managers from market-leading enterprises worldwide, as well as our procurement consultants, through custom-configured engagement models. Learn more about supply market intelligence from GEP.

A focused approach to planning and budgeting lays the foundation for evaluating opportunities and managing risks. This is even more critical for volatile commodities like raw materials and energy.

Our category management consulting teams help our clients in the annual budget development process, to plan spending in key categories by analyzing market trends and impending price fluctuations. Our market intelligence teams constantly track key markets to anticipate these variances and help plan accurately.

Moving from an agreement on business terms with a supplier to a signed contract requires special skills. If not managed effectively, the process can drag on for months.

And the longer it takes to finalize the contract, the longer it will take your company to realize that contract’s value and benefits.

GEP’s contracting support teams help compress the time from agreement in principle to a signed contract, reduce contract risk and ensure you get the best possible terms. Our specialists support the seamless execution of supply agreements, master agreements, statements of work and NDAs by working directly with your procurement and legal teams, freeing up your category managers to address more spend, and driving deeper savings in the process.

In addition to providing contracting support, we maintain our clients’ contract repository, contract uploading and meta-data entry. Also, we track renewals and rebates, and manage contract compliance and reporting.

SMART by GEP® simplifies and automates the entire contracting and contract administration process. Purpose-built for procurement professionals, SMART by GEP features collaborative authoring, template and clause libraries, alerts and event reminders, intelligence repository, and superior reporting. Learn more about contract management with SMART by GEP.

As companies increasingly focus on core competencies, they depend on suppliers more than ever. Supply chains are more integrated, more complex and faster. Poor supplier performance impacts both the top and bottom lines.

GEP helps companies dramatically improve supplier performance, driving up efficiency and value, and driving down risk.

We provide real-time visibility into supplier performance, using a comprehensive range of category-specific metrics. But metrics and scorecards are just one element in a rigorous holistic approach that combines analytical rigor, process discipline and best-in-class, proprietary software.

  • Supplier registration and onboarding
  • Supplier repository maintenance
  • Supplier segmentation and risk assessment
  • Category specific metrics and scorecards
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Sustainability, diversity and CSR surveys
  • Tracking and reporting
  • Performance improvement plans

SMART by GEP is a proprietary, cloud-based platform that makes the entire supplier performance management process highly streamlined, transparent and collaborative.

With SMART by GEP, everything you need to know about your suppliers is managed in one user-friendly system. From a single repository, you can continuously monitor thousands of suppliers simultaneously; use custom or pre-configured scorecards, surveys, alerts, status and summary reports; and track, measure and better understand supplier performance.

Your tail-spend is one of the biggest sources of incremental savings available. In fact, if you stacked up the individual spend on each supplier in that tail, you might find that, taken together, the tail is your biggest supplier.

In an economic and business environment where CFOs are leaving no stone unturned in the quest for cost reduction, no doubt tail-spend management can help you make your numbers.

In contrast to abstruse conceptual and theoretical frameworks, GEP brings field-tested methodologies to bear on tail-spend – proven methodologies that bring real results. Our approach is iterative and leverages our industry-leading strategic sourcing and transactions management capabilities, and proprietary tools, to deliver sustainable results.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it — and you certainly can’t fix it. With hundreds of categories and sub-categories, numerous baseline assumptions and savings formulas, limited control on end-user behavior and limited visibility into contract compliance, it is easy to lose hard-earned savings from sourcing efforts by the time goods and services are actually purchased.

GEP provides comprehensive savings and compliance tracking that enables CPOs, CFOs and category managers to track identified potential savings against realized savings at any given time; to see variance drivers and measure non-compliance drivers; and to reduce maverick buying. We offer customized dashboards for client-specific spend categories and procurement processes to provide insightful, relevant and actionable procurement performance tracking.

We use innovative technology and analytical tools to capture spend data from client ERP systems, measure deviation against identified savings and identify root causes for non-compliance (vendor, price, demand, errors).

The reporting is provided via an interactive and customizable procurement dashboard that allows drill down to non-compliance causes at a category, BU or supplier level and enables timely corrective actions.

Category management services from GEP are distinguished by highly effective, continuous improvement initiatives that drive significant year-over-year cost savings and value enhancement.

We combine our deep category expertise, strategic sourcing best practices and process expertise along with best-in-class category management tools to implement specific cost-reduction initiatives for every category. These could include demand management, product or service rationalization, value engineering, transaction cost reduction, catalog implementation, policy benchmarking and improvement, inventory management, logistics optimization, and low-cost country sourcing, among many others.

We also support clients on bespoke projects, such as shifting to "green" products and services, reducing total cost of ownership, boosting product output or value, and finding innovative products and suppliers.

Delivered by Seasoned Industry Experts

Expect GEP to bring together some of the most accomplished professionals in procurement – many of them recognized thought leaders in their respective specialties. Our category managers are commodities and materials specialists, highly focused on the particular requirements and realities of distinct markets.

At the same time, they actively share knowledge with GEP colleagues across a broad range of commodities and, in turn, receive timely insights from them. This continual intelligence gathering and sharing creates a high degree of market and trend sensitivity that delivers uncommon value to clients.

Portfolio & Risk Management

For volatile commodities such as raw materials and energy, hedging — what, how much and how long — presents some of the most challenging questions that procurement managers face.

We work with our clients to identify opportune times and hedge future contracts to secure better prices for their current and future requirements.

Further, we incorporate these insights and strategies in the contracts we negotiate on behalf of our clients by incorporating the right terms and conditions to secure our clients’ position under unforeseen circumstances.

Why Choose GEP?

Market intelligence infrastructure purpose-built for procurement:

  • Hundreds of category experts in-house
  • Extended network of subject matter experts
  • More than 35 million suppliers in proprietary database
  • Access to numerous third-party research resources
  • Spend, savings and best-practice benchmarks from thousands of sourcing projects
  • Rich repository of analytical tools and templates