What Procurement & Supply Chain Professionals Need to Know

YouTube1 - What PSCM ProfessionalsIIAPS Masterclass in ‘Principles of Category Management & Strategic Sourcing’ is Free on YouTube.

In a recent blog I explained what the CEO needs to know about World-Class Procurement and Supply Chain Management (PSCM) and how to implement it in their organisation.

In our experience, while most CEOs do not really know what this is, or understand how to implement it, there are also many practising PSCM professionals who are not fully aware of leading-edge thinking or practice (see the blog on Competence Development & Value Delivery for more details). To rectify this IIAPS has recently decided to offer a free Masterclass, explained briefly below, to aid competence development in the profession.

Why is there a need for the IIAPS Masterclass?

Many current practitioners, while fully qualified to basic professional standards, do not fully grasp the more advanced tools and techniques that have been developed to assist managers with the development of category sourcing strategies.

book-rtThis should not be surprising because in a recent study of 122 organisations world-wide, and across many sectors, it was discovered that the uptake of 65 PSCM tools and techniques, created to aid competence and decision-making, was severely limited.

This study revealed that while 42 of the 65 tools were in use in at least one company or other, most managers tended to rely only on the use of 10 traditional tools. There was only limited evidence of the use of more advanced tools and techniques, with less than 1% of companies demonstrating any awareness or use of these more advanced approaches to category management and/or strategic sourcing.

This leads to two fundamental questions:

  • Why is this limited awareness and usage occurring?
  • Why are most managers still reliant on tools and techniques (like Kraljic’s Positioning Matrix and the Purchasing Chessboard) that have been shown to be seriously flawed guides to action?

book-spaIn our view the reason why this malaise is occurring is largely due to the following factors:

  • A lack of adequate resourcing to finance advanced training and competence development – largely due to the low status of the PSCM function within many organisations.
  • A lack of knowledge and understanding of the utility of all currently available advanced PSCM tools and techniques by many senior PSCM managers organisations.
  • A tendency by some senior PSCM professionals to only train their staff in what they have historically been trained in themselves.
  • A tendency to focus training on basic competencies that limits most activity to the short-term tactical market test, negotiation and contract award phases of the category management and strategic sourcing process.
  • The necessity for all advanced tools and techniques to require cross-functional engagement and participation in training, creating additional problems of internal buy-in and resourcing

The IIAPS Masterclass in ‘Principles of Category Management & Strategic Sourcing’

Given these problems IIAPS has decided that advanced competence in PSCM will only be achieved if more and more managers cross-functionally are made aware of the latest tools and techniques that are available to improve the delivery of value for money from category sourcing strategies.

To this end the Institute is launching a free YouTube Masterclass explaining the ‘Principles of Category Management and Strategic Sourcing’. The structure of this 24 Module Masterclass is shown below.

Consolidated-ModuleBreakdownAs the structure to the right shows the aim of this Masterclass is to explain:

  • Introduction (1 Module)
  • Part A (6 Modules): The Strategic and/or Tactical Role of the PSCM Function
  • Part B (2 Modules): How to Understand and Benchmark World-Class/ Best-in-Class Approaches to Category Management and Strategic Sourcing
  • Part C (1 Module): The Key Activities and Tasks in a World-Class Category Management and Strategic Sourcing Process
  • Part D (14 Modules): The Principles of Buyer and Supplier Exchange Pre- and Post-Contractually

Each of the modules can be watched and studied individually, but it is advisable to take the full set of modules sequentially to obtain the maximum value from the experience.

For those interested in advanced professional accreditation studying these Modules is the starting point for enrolment in, and subsequent award of, the Institute’s International Green, Red and Black Belts in Advanced Purchasing and Supply.


Potential candidates must study all of these 24 free Modules before entering into additional training and examination with the Institute. Further details are available from our website or by contacting us.

Finally, since the Masterclass is free, we recommend that far-sighted PSCM managers encourage their cross-functional colleagues to also study this material in order to stimulate cross-functional engagement and understanding in their organisation.

How to Access the IIAPS Masterclass on YouTube

The 24 IIAPS Masterclass video modules will be provided on YouTube, and are also supported by a short blog, explaining the thinking behind each of the 24 modules as they are uploaded throughout 2017.


To access Module 1 – Introduction to the Principles of Category Management & Strategic Sourcing and the other Masterclass Modules please access and subscribe to the IIAPS Media Channel.

For more information on IIAPS thinking please visit the IIAPS website.

The International Institute for Advanced Purchasing & Supply (IIAPS) is dedicated to the raising of international standards in purchasing and supply management so that real business value - improvements in the quality, cost and delivery performance of supply - is delivered to organisations.