Global Head of Category | Life Saving Technology | West Sussex

This world-renowned, global company is looking for a Global Head of Category to add to their successful team. You will be responsible for a new category, offering a greenfield opportunity to put forward a strategic, long-term and sustainable plan to reduce cost and add value. The role will require international travel and a desire to succeed.

The role of Head of Category Indirect sits within the Indirect Purchasing team and is structured around a Category management approach, however, you will be required to be flexible with the types of suppliers you work with.

The purpose of the role is to actively participate in the strategic sourcing activities for one or more categories of spend, with the goal of achieving significant cost reductions, while maintaining/improving product quality and vendor service levels.

You will lead a global team and control directly the results achieved, working closely with key stakeholders in member organisations and in corporate functions to develop effective cost reduction strategies and implementation plans.

The Global Head of Category role has responsibility for developing a global category strategy for one or more significant element of indirect spend. 

Using expertise in that spend area, you will identify company requirements and work with colleagues in all regions to identify the best way of using third parties to meet those requirements.  Savings and project plans will be implemented either directly or by working closely with procurement peers in other regions.

As Head Of Global Category your key responsibilities will be: 

  • Drive annual productivity improvements in each spend category.  Will develop, champion, and ensure implementation of ideas that will optimise total cost of ownership year-over-year for assigned spend categories 
  • Capture and validate real savings. Measure and track performance within each spend category and define budgetary impact 
  • Establish key performance measures for each spend category (e.g., cost per unit, total product expense); define the data collection process; forecast budgetary impact and track actual savings; broadly communicate performance against these performance measures and work with stakeholders to ensure savings are incorporated into annual operating plans 
  • Take ownership of the vendor selection and negotiation process ensuring best value received from suppliers with demonstrative competency 
  • Manage strategic sourcing projects applying relevant methodology.  Provide team members with direction and support throughout the steps and activities of the strategic sourcing projects, applying appropriate and defined methodology and tools 
  • Lead supplier selection.  Define the optimal supplier selection process, and lead supplier selection process, considering supply market specifics. Screen and select potential suppliers. Develop negotiation strategy. Participate in/lead fact-based negotiations 
  • Monitor strategy implementation and contract compliance 
  • Ensure strategies are implemented and TCO reductions secured according to implementation plans 
  • Provide global leadership for one or more significant spend category on a global basis.  Ensure that there is a comprehensive category strategy in place that ensures all regions deliver significant savings, and have a program of continuous improvement.  This should be based on industry-leading expertise in the procurement of the spend category or categories in question.
  • Develop expertise and allow talent development in the assigned spend categories 
  • Remain current with market trends through relationships with vendors and market experts; identifying and communicating new technologies and solutions to key problems in the assigned spend areas 
  • Uphold internal and external policies, regulations and laws

Skills and experience required:

  • BA required with MBA preferred; other graduate degrees potentially acceptable or equivalent combination of education and work experience 
  • Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) certification desirable 
  • Previous experience within Procurement at a senior level essential, ideally for indirect materials
  • For the selected global categories, deep global industry knowledge, and understanding and experience of implementing best practice procurement
  • Successful, track record in a procurement organisation 
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of developing and deploying sourcing strategies, financial concepts and the ability to create business cases  
  • Exceptional problem-solving and analytical skills – able to construct/execute multiple complex analyses (e.g TCO, NPV; cost-price analyses) simultaneously 
  • Good planning/project management skills –  able to develop comprehensive workable issue sets in complex situations 
  • Ability to gain a fact-based understanding of current supplier base, supplier economics and major trends in relevant markets 
  • Exceptional experience in contract management and extensive awareness and understanding of contractual law  
  • Well-developed IT skills and fluent in English, preferably with a second language 
  • Passion for reducing costs – exhibits high energy and the enthusiasm to establish a new approach of sourcing 
  • Distinctive leadership – willing to make tough/unpopular decisions, but well respected by internal and external business leaders. 
  • Comfortable with conflict – a willingness to challenge “conventional” thinking 
  • Self-starter and independent worker – able to juggle priorities 
  • Able to work and lead in a dual reporting matrix environment and aggressively take the lead on the implementation of savings opportunities that affect numerous lines of business

Benefits of the Head of Global Category role include: 

  • Competitive salary 
  • Bonus scheme 
  • Medical insurance 
  • Life insurance 
  • Pension 
  • Annual salary review 
  • 25 days holiday 
  • Onsite parking

To discuss the Global Head of Category role in more depth please contact Sophie Cook at Procurement Heads by emailing your CV to or call +44 (0) 7387103143| +44 (0) 1962 869838. Enquiries are all handled confidentially.

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