Job description Posted 13 September 2022

Category Manager

London/ Hybrid

£605 PAYE / £779 Umbrella per day

6 Month Contract – possibility of extensions


Our client HSBC are currently seeking an experienced Category Manager to join their team in the London office/remote working, this contract will be for 6 months with a review to be extended.


Role Purpose

On a global basis, lead strategy and planning for a Procurement sub-category to deliver competitive advantage for HSBC business through cost savings, lifecycle value generation, demand management and innovation.


The role will support the Global Category Manager in a specific sub-category area, covering all commodities within their respective sub-category. With specific category knowledge, this will be achieved through the creation and continual review of robust and forward-looking category plans that use the full range of supply and demand-side levers.


The role will develop influential senior level relationships (generally at a level below those held by the Global Category Manager) with designated businesses and functions on behalf of all of the Procurement sub- functions including ownership of both Buying Channel and PSL compliance.

Whilst not always responsible for the execution of Category plans, the role will support the country Heads of Procurement and their Sourcing Execution Leads in the execution of these plans and the achievement of savings.


Key to success are advanced skills in analysis/synthesis, category planning and managing and application of a range of commercial models, with a focus on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).


Key Accountabilities

Impact on Business

•            The Category Manager will sit on relevant stakeholder committees and positively influence appropriate forums of the businesses/ functions.


The Category Manager will also be responsible for the following:

•            Supporting the creation of sub-category strategies and plans to achieve or exceed agreed savings targets for the category.

•            Driving business outcomes and behaviours with subject matter expertise to drive value through the category planning lifecycle.

•            Constantly monitoring supplier market and identify opportunities resulting from new product offerings and/or market shifts (e.g. entry or exit of suppliers, changes in pricing, risk on category).

•            Seeking alternatives to current category specifications/ demand parameters.

•            Continually monitoring buying channel compliance for the business/ function with whom they own the Procurement relationship and driving corrective action as necessary.





Customers / Stakeholders

•            With the relevant Global Category Manager and businesses, develop and continually review robust, forward-looking category plans based on business and product needs, supply market dynamics, and technological changes in marketplace.

•            Influence the businesses and drive the application of a variety of commercial models to drive the most appropriate business outcomes.

•            Ensure alignment with all key stakeholders within Procurement and the businesses/ functions on category decisions.

•            Support the GCM in influencing category policy thinking, provide timely responses to audit reports and report category costs as appropriate.

•            With the support of Operations, implement or maintain an appropriate buying channel strategy within the category and, with the support of country Heads of Procurement, manage compliance to contracts. Drive enhancements to the channels to support this.

•            Support Supplier Management in the classification of new suppliers to determine the most appropriate SRM treatment.

•            Work with Heads of Procurement, their teams and Procurement Operations (Resource Management) to manage dynamic resourcing within the category to deliver sourcing projects.



Leadership & Teamwork

•            Be a role model and demonstrate a positive attitude and inspire confidence when faced with uncertainty and change.

•            Provide clear direction and constructive challenge to business stakeholders in the creation and execution of Category and Commodity plans.

•            Bring drive, energy and pace to category activity.

•            Display excellent influencing skills.

•            Demonstrate importance of subject matter expertise through example.

•            Market and communicate category guidelines into the business.

•            Act as an agent of change for the Procurement Transformation and beyond into future change initiatives.

•            Role model in the adoption and leverage of agile ways of working


Operational Effectiveness & Control

•            Lead/ support as necessary the creation and maintenance of a pipeline of projects to achieve or exceed agreed savings target for category.

•            Understand complex business problems, apply advanced analytical thinking / market knowledge and drive the most appropriate business outcome.

•            Communicate category concepts in a way that is relevant to the business

•            Ensure category and project data (savings, pipeline, milestones, risks, issues, taxonomy) is accurate and reflective of reality

•            Ensure quality of content and compliance with relevant sourcing and category planning governance forums (challenge boards, category planning boards, fortnightly status meetings)

•            Monitor the status of the category, and drive corrective action to ensure savings targets are achieved or exceeded  

•            Work with the Category Director, GCM, Heads of Procurement, country teams and Procurement Operations (Resource Management) team to prioritise and schedule all strategic sourcing initiatives for the year, in alignment with business milestones

•            Drive embedding of best practices and compliance to all Source to Pay processes through personal performance

•            Thought leadership in the development and enhancement of Source to Pay processes


Major Challenges

•            HSBC large scale programmes that move at pace and need procurement person to move at pace with them. 

•            Maintain credibility and relevance with businesses so that the category management team becomes true business partners and acknowledged as a clear benefit.

•            Develop a reputation for delivery that quickly earns credibility in the business community, but also has clear strategic direction.

•            Develop the category, but balance with not undermining businesses' operational accountability for supplier relationships.

•            Develop and maintain a global stakeholder network in a complex and dynamic business environment.

•            Understand the internal dynamics of supply base and how this impacts interaction with HSBC, particularly where suppliers are also HSBC customers.


Role Context

•            The Procurement function provides a professional service to every division of HSBC, to HSBC Holdings, to all HSBC Group companies in the local country, and increasingly to HSBC.


Procurement has continual challenging cost reduction target ($350m) and this role is critical to track the procurement’s performance, savings delivered and future pipeline. The Category Manager is expected to support the GCM in managing the category like a business within a HSBC, but must earn this authority through an outstanding track-record of delivery. The Category Manager is directly responsible for the delivery of category strategy and planning components of the sourcing cycle as directed by the GCM and, for the relationships owned by them on behalf of the Procurement function, is indirectly responsible for the full end to end source to pay cycle (all geographies). This includes all 3rd party spend and internal costs associated with the provision of those products/ services.  In this context the Category Manager has the authority to develop the category, but must not undermine businesses' operational accountability for supplier relationships. There is a need to significantly uplift the Procurement functions category management and sourcing capability through a comprehensive strategy including intervention in sourcing activities, rigorous governance processes and people development.


•            It is expected that the Category Manager will sit on relevant leadership committees and positively influence appropriate forums of the businesses/ functions.

•            The Category Manager should follow the Strategic Sourcing and Category Planning (SSCP) process and governance, but is expected to adapt the approach where relevant to their category.

•            Provide, as a part of a team in a matrix management environment, timely responses and solutions for numerous diverse and complex purchasing, contractual and logistical issues.


Role Dimensions

•            The Category Manager will be responsible for one procurement sub-category within IT Solutions category.

•            The spend managed by the Category Manager range between $120m USD per annum.

Number of supplier’s = c40-80.  However new spend on programs are significantly higher.


Management of Risk (Operational Risk / FIM requirements)

•            Continually reassess the operational risks associated with the role and inherent in the business, taking account of changing economic or market conditions, legal and regulatory requirements, operating procedures and practices, management restructurings, and the impact of new technology.

•            Ensure that global agreements are established in accordance with the Global Procurement Policy (GPP).


Always ensures an appropriate balance of risk with the cost of control


Observation of Internal Controls (Compliance Policy / FIM requirements)

•            Demonstrate adherence to internal controls. This will be achieved by adherence to all relevant procedures, keeping appropriate records and, where appropriate, by the timely implementation of internal and external audit points, including issues raised by external regulators.

•            Implement the Group compliance policy by containing compliance risk in liaison with Global Head of Supplier Management and Control, Global Head of Compliance, Global Compliance Officer, Area Compliance Officer or Local Compliance Officer. In this context the term ‘compliance’ embraces all relevant financial services laws, rules and codes with which the business has to comply.


Knowledge & Experience / Qualifications

Has up-to 15 years of IT Procurement/Sourcing roles

At least 5 years of experience in Category management/Portfolio defined roles

Experience in leading large, complex negotiations on software applications and implementation services with key Supplier’s such as of Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP etc.

Experience in leading Supplier Management and third party risk frameworks for the above large Suppliers’

Demonstrates delivery of category plan and meeting savings targets 

Understand wide range of licensing applications and negotiating best in class

Has degree or CIPS related qualification


We are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to creating a diverse environment.


Please also see below link to our HSBC Career hub:


If you are relevant or interested please don’t delay, contact me on 0161 503 5558/