Category Manager - Professional Services

Location UK-Newcastle upon Tyne | UK-Winnersh
Job ID
Position Type


Category Manager

Location: UKI

As a senior member of the Procurement team which will comprise several Category Managers and Category Buyers, the Category Manager is accountable for the leadership of specific, significant spend sub-categories (such as Media, Consulting, Telecoms) across the Sage Group. The Category Manager will regularly engage with and influence senior internal stakeholders up to and including VP and occasionally EVP level. The Category Manager will also be responsible for the deployment of Sourcing strategies, including leading all RFP activities for their category and all supplier negotiations - both commercially and contractually - to ensure that savings targets are met, risk is understood and managed, and supplier performance meets or exceeds business needs. The Category Manager will keep all internal stakeholders engaged, ensure buy-in and conclude competitive terms with selected suppliers in line with company governance



 Key accountabilities and decision ownership:

  • Spend accountability up to £50m per annum
  • Accountable for the development of category strategies that
  • Align with the overall company strategy
  • Ensure that Sage secures the optimal supplier base to meet long term business needs
  • Secure buy-in of key stakeholders in formulating these strategies
  • Ensure relevant market trends are understood by the business stakeholders and integrated into each category strategy
  • Accountable for ensuring the strategy is deployed & adhered to in all countries and regions by
  • Communicating the category strategy through the appropriate chain of command including to regional procurement teams
  • Driving strategy implementation through education, selling, and influencing of the benefits to the wider business
  • Advise others on appropriate market approaches, including approaches other than tendering, to include direct negotiation, competitive dialogue and supplier development
  • Deployment of the agreed sourcing approach
  • Establishing appropriate controls and metrics to ensure sourcing strategies and actions are aligned to the category strategy
  • Experienced in reading and interpreting terms and conditions and applying significance to terms which vary from the organisation's default position
  • Implementing supplier performance and relationship management to ensure improved and sustained supplier performance
  • Thorough understanding of all relevant procedures and policies including Procurement Lifecycle Policy, Delegation of Authority, Delegation of Signing Authority, and associated documentation.  Ensures stakeholders are aware of and fulfil their obligations


Key performance indicators:


Category strategies developed and implemented
Savings achieved in line with business targets (circa 10% per annum)
Control of third party spend for category through 100% adherence to Sage policies and procedures within 2 years
Improve key supplier performance scores to an average of 80%

Key stakeholders:


All users and budget owners of specific sub-categories up to and including EVP, Finance Business Partners, wider Procurement team


Technical / professional qualifications:


Degree as a minimum

MCIPS or equivalent preferred


Skills, know-how and experience:

Must have:

  • The gravitas and presence to influence the wider business and drive compliance through personality
  • Ability to be effective in a global environment
  • Good team player but also able to act autonomously
  • Dynamic leadership capability
  • Ability to develop strong relationships; someone who can influence to achieve results regardless of seniority within the business and with suppliers
  • Capable of articulating complex sets of information in an energising manner and building rapport at all levels
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding across the key sub-category areas, seen as a Sourcing Subject Matter Expert within these sub-categories
  • Ability to compute complex data/information and formulate sound commercial judgements
  • Commercially savvy, and a strong negotiator
  • Capable of devising stretching initiatives and formulating plans for teams to deliver
  • Excellent planning/organisational skills and complex decision-making skills
  • Sound understanding of project management principles and capacity to manage project milestones, timelines, resources, and costs;
  • Sound logical, analytical, and quantitative skills



  • Basic understanding of SAP/Sage X3

Company Information

Our Story

Sage is the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs.


Like many of the businesses we serve, Sage began as a small business and has grown beyond what seemed imaginable. Today over 13000 colleagues now support millions of entrepreneurs across 23 countries as they power the global economy.

It is these entrepreneurs who are the drivers of prosperity and it’s our privilege and honour to serve them. We take real pride from how many of our customers have flourished and, that our products have grown with them as they moved from start-up to successful, international businesses.

In a world where only the voices of the biggest are heard, we will always fight to hear the voice of the entrepreneur.


An innovator today and tomorrow     

Our smart people use the smartest technology to reinvent and simplify business accounting - working with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners and developers. 

We enable our customers to focus on their business and help them to leapfrog to the future.


Inventing the future 

We are changing the way that millions of businesses track the movement of money through their business. We are also changing the way we do business. And as a FTSE 100 business we believe in a socially-responsible world and we are active in supporting our local communities and invest in making a real difference through the philanthropy of the Sage Foundation. Our Sage Foundation is based on the 2+2+2 model - 2% of free cash flow, 2% of colleagues' time and up to 2 free products each year to charitable organizations. Colleagues are empowered to give to the causes that matter to them.

Our customers make life-sacrifices. They take risks to follow their dreams and pursue their passions and, on this, global prosperity is built. They deserve a bigger voice and we will always work hard to champion this noble cause.


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