Collaborative Category Management ala commissary Roundtable

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Collaborative Category Management ALA Commissary Roundtable

  • May 1, 2014
  • Blaine Ross – EVP Global Sales & Marketing CMA
  • Adjunct Professor – DePaul University
  • s

Blaine T. Ross

  • Currently Executive Vice President Global Sales & Marketing
  • Category Management Association
  • Adjunct Professor - DePaul University
  • 25 years experience in Sales, Marketing and Category Management consulting working with leading retail and manufacture organizations


  • Category Management Association Overview
  • Collaboration Partnership CMA / ALA / DeCA / Suppliers
  • What does DeCA expect from suppliers?
  • Best Practices and how to use customer insights
  • Global Certification Initiative
  • Talent Acquisition / College Recruiting
  • Future of effective Category Management 2.0

CMA Overview

    • The CMA is a global community of professionals
    • Our purpose is to deliver a compelling ROI on Cat Man by improving the overall shopper experience to include:
      • Sharing Industry Best Practices
      • Encouraging Member Interaction
      • Providing Thought Leadership

What is the Category Management Association?

  • The CMA is an association for companies who want to improve the capabilities of their professionals in:

  • Category
  • Management
  • Shopper Insights & Shopper
  • Marketing
  • Planogram
  • &
  • Space
  • Management
  • In-Store Execution
  • &
  • Merchandising
  • The only organization that:
    • Certifies CatMan professionals through industry-wide standards
    • Serves as an unbiased central resource for
    • industry information and best practices

Sample Companies working with CMA

Retailers Care about Category Management

  • Industry Initiative
  • Percent of Respondents
  • Category Management
  • 66.5%
  • Sustainability
  • 38.5%
  • Diversity
  • 31.1%
  • Promoting Your Company as an Employer of Choice
  • 31.1%
  • On-pack nutrition labeling
  • 26.1%
  • Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI)
  • 19.9%
  • Geographic Expansion
  • 13.0%
  • GS1 DataBar
  • 9.3%
  • Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research 2012

CMA Membership benefits include…

    • Share Groups
    • Certification
    • Best Practice Coaching
    • White Paper Availability
    • Private networking
  • Membership rate for events
    • Access to CMA’s e-Newsletter

Weekly newsletter

  • Delivered Wednesday afternoons
  • Upcoming industry events and Web seminars
  • Global focus
  • Tips from solution partners
  • Share Group meeting agendas

Monthly Share Groups

  • Insights &
  • Analytics
  • Shopper Marketing
  • Space Mgmt.
  • IP Sessions
  • Military
  • Solutions Demos

Global Industry Events

  • CMA Annual Conference Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2014 - Orlando, FL
  • LatAm Conference
    • May 21 – 22, 2014 – Monterrey, MX
  • Definition of Category Management?
  • “A Retailer or Distributor/Supplier Process
  • Of Managing Categories As Strategic Business Units,
  • Producing Enhanced Business Results
  • By Focusing On Delivering Consumer Value
  • Manufacturer
  • Consumer
  • Retailer

Category Management is …

  • Page
  • A business planning process
  • Consists of key elements
    • Manage the category with a consumer focus
    • Manage the category as strategic business unit
    • Develop strategic category plans based on mutual category goals and consumer behavior
    • Collaborate between retailers and manufacturers to achieve desired profit objectives
    • Increased focus on Consumer….

Category Plan Basics CMA / DeCA Working on Structure & Process

  • What products are included?
  • What are the sub-categories?
  • How important is the category to the consumers? To the retailer?
  • Who buys the category?
  • How is the Category doing?
  • What are the goals and objectives?
  • How shall we measure success?
  • How will we achieve our goals?
  • What are the elements of the plan for each sub-category or segment?
  • Who does what and when?
  • Category Definition
  • Category Role
  • Category Assessment
  • Category Scorecard
  • Category Strategy
  • Category Tactics
  • Category Review
  • Best Practice Category Management Business Process- Most Retailers Using A Process – Less important the number of steps all now with a focus on the consumer
  • Examine the Scorecard

Voice of Shopper

CMA / DeCA Collaboration

  • Strictly Confidential
  • Determine how vendors can best help DeCA?
  • Assortment?
  • Consumer Decision Tree
  • Clustering?
  • Shopper and need state marketing?
  • Category Management planning?
  • What Systems and Technologies are needed?
  • Category Tactics

How Will CatMan Excellence Help DeCA?

  • Strictly Confidential
  • DeCA will strengthen its position as retailer of choice for your target consumers.
  • DeCA will become more competitive versus major conventional retailers
  • Performance against major scorecard goals will improve
    • Shopper satisfaction measures will improve
    • GMROI will improve
    • Transaction size will increase
    • Margins will increase
    • Shelf sets will become easier to shop
  • CMA will help DeCA Be Your Customer’s” First Choice”

What Does DeCA Expect from Suppliers?

  • A knowledgeable Account Team or Rep
  • Organization Commitment from Suppliers
  • Armed with relevant data and research
  • Providing Key Facts and Shopper Insights
  • Offering “ Success Models”
  • Persuasive justification for new items

DeCA first questions to Sales & CATMAN Teams

  • Please tell me the five most important facts or insights that I should know to plan our business together?
  • Please tell me the most important changes that have occurred in your category since we last talked?

Retailers Focus on Answers to the Really Big Questions:

Report Executive Briefing

  • Category Management Industry Survey conducted by The Partnering Group (TPG) in conjunction) CMA
    • Research Objectives & Methodology
    • Review of the Key Findings
    • What Leading Companies are Doing

Skills & Competencies Perspective

  • These differences may account for some of the disconnects in the supplier-retailer relationships

CMA working with DeCa Leadership Team on Category Management Structure & Process Providing Key Metrics for Success

  • Competency defines the characteristics (knowledge, skills, abilities)
  • required to enable success in performing a specific area of work

Thought Leadership Category Mastery

  • 3 Trends Affecting Cat Man
  • The growing power of the retailer
  • The (digital) empowerment of the shopper
  • The impact of big data

CatMan Maturity Curve

  • Data
  • Analytics & Software
  • Org. Skills
  • Process & Culture

Maturity Curve Components

Collaboration E


How do you refer to category management in your company?

  • Multiple Forms

Category management is … “a platform”

  • Knowledge platform
  • Relationship platform
  • Process platform
  • Communication platform
  • Supports all participants – a site for communication and the integration of information and divergent perspectives

Category management is … “a funnel”

  • Category management synthesizes information and knowledge within, and across organizations
  • Information from data,
  • Insights from information
  • Direction from insights

Category management is … “a wheel hub”

  • Enables business performance of each partner and facilitates interaction among partners - and particularly amongst functions within a single organization.

Collaboration has two meanings relating to category management

  • Integration of Knowledge
  • Shared
  • View
  • Shopper
  • Focus
  • Trust
  • Multifunctional/ Multilevel
  • Pre-planning
  • Harmonization
  • Barometer
  • Collaboration

Collaboration Research Harminization Meaning…

  • The ability for manufacturers and retailers identifying common value or return to working effectively as a team toward a common goal
  • The prerequisites for team success are:
    • Respect
    • The willingness to share information
    • Strong analytical skills
    • The ability to create insight
    • The capability to direct and take decisive action

A “barometer“ of success…

  • Great teamwork indicates confidence in partners and when found always relates to relationship quality
  • Consider that partner reliance is almost always tied to planning and execution success
  • Good relationships are easily understood

The Category Management Association Certification Program For DeCA

What is certification?

  • Category Management Association
  • Certification can be attributed to people and training
    • Certification of individuals
      • Is an objective, third-party designation of professional standing
      • Is competency based and based on an individual’s experience and training minimum
    • Certification of a company’s training program means that the program imparts the necessary competencies to perform category management at designated industry professional standards

Some of The Organizations Involved In The Development and Vetting Process

Category Management Standards

  • Individual Certification:
  • Quantifies the skill level of individual category management professionals
  • Ensures the standard has been met or exceeded
  • Coursework Certification:
  • Designated course officially fulfills a requirement towards individual professional certification.

Certification Scorecard

  • Simplistic approach
    • 3 levels
    • required fundamentals
    • plus recommended skills
  • Adaptable

Personal Certification Report

3 Certification Levels

CMA Online Certification Process For DeCA Associates & Supplier Community


Learning Programs & Essay Questions:

  • John Doe
  • John Doe
  • John Doe
  • “Roadmaps” for unachieved levels:

Certified Training Providers DeCA – Primary Company Learning Evolution

Certification has the following specific benefits:

  • Industry leadership
  • Competitive advantage
  • Sustainability - Employee Value Proposition (EVP):
    • Clear message to DeCA employees that you are investing in their success
    • Provides employees with a specific roadmap for professional growth and development
    • Enhance employee morale, retention via professional development
    • Talent expansion and preparation
    • Mutually Beneficial for DeCA and Supplier Community

Costs for an Individual’s Certification

    • Initial costs $895.00 – Note Only $805.50 if CMA Member
    • Active Status Costs:
    • Renewal for an individual’s certification after year 1 is $100.00 annually
    • Includes:
      • New training programs completed
      • Maintaining certification records
      • Updating certification level

Six areas of improvement Future of Catman 2.0 Release

  • Based on a review of the major changes in the ecosystem and a consensus of practitioners, here are the primary areas of focus to upgrade CatMan 1.0 to CatMan 2.0
  • Improving internal preparation
  • Defining collaborative behaviors
  • Incorporating new data to generate insights
  • Defining the assessment pathway and tools
  • Incorporating social media and shopper marketing
  • Enhancing execution
  • These need confirmation from the CatMan 2.0 development committee

Steering Committee Stakeholders

  • Category Management Association--leadership
  • Retailers—cross channel
  • Suppliers—CPG and beyond
  • Distributors—cross channel
  • Brokers
  • Solution Providers
  • Training Companies
  • Academics

Leading edge companies deliver a compelling ROI

  • 3 sustainable Cat Man competitive points of difference:
  • Establishing a category management vision and a roadmap
  • Developing & deploying category management business processes with an infrastructure to support it
  • Determining key competencies and developing those skills in their employees to enable their success

Organizing Big Data for Insights

  • Need States Filter
  • Insight Generation
  • Need States Insights
  • Category Insights
  • Price Optimization
  • Forecasting
  • Inputs
  • Retail Loyalty Card
  • Other Retail Behavior
  • Social Media
  • Media Consumption
  • Lifestyle Behaviors
  • Filters
  • Analytics
  • Outputs

Digitally Empowered Shopper Data

  • Shopper
  • Shopper Data
  • Targeted Offers (traditional channels)
  • Basket History
  • Loyalty Card
  • Demographic Data
  • Digital Platform
  • Intent Driven
  • Targeted Offers
  • In-Store Actions & Habits
  • Responsiveness to Offers
  • Lists & List History
  • In-Store Searches & Scans
  • Shopper Location & Shopping Patterns
  • Product Details
  • Price
  • Inventory
  • Product Location
  • Store Map
  • Premium Data
  • Nutrition
  • Eco-index
  • Recipes
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Comparisons
  • Related Products
  • Product Data

Category Management

  • The Future Questions
  • Do you have the right data?
  • Do you have the right data storage?
  • Can you do on the fly analytics?
  • Do you have the right people?
  • Are you Rewarding and Recognizing them?
  • Are you developing the skills of your people?
  • Are you pushing the envelope on their needs?

Can Universities Serve as a Source of Category Management Talent?

The State Of Category Management Education

  • The standard approach to developing category management talent on college campuses has been accomplished by:
  • Instructing students in food marketing or retailing, and offering them a single course in category management
  • Having companies or partners present in-class subject lectures
  • Limited internships are offered
  • Students receive less than 30-45 hours of total category management instruction

Universities Teaching Category Management & Sales

  • University of Arkansas
  • Baylor University
  • DePaul University
  • Florida State University
  • Georgia Tech University
  • University of Miami
  • Michigan State University
  • University of St. Catherine
  • St. Joseph University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas
  • Texas Tech University
  • Western Michigan University

DePaul University Consumer Packaged Goods Track

  • Center for Sales Leadership | DePaul University
  • Retail Grocery
  • &
  • Foodservice

DePaul Category Management Partners


  • We believe the future success in retail will be driven through effective collaboration:
        • Effective communication between cat man partners
        • Effective integration of shopper insights
        • Significant investment in personal growth and development
  • Key Contacts
  • Category Management Association, 210.587.7203 Central time USA
  • Blaine Ross, Executive Vice President Global Sales & Marketing,
  • Philip McGrath, Vice President Business Development,
  • Steve Arens, Director Strategic Alliances, ,
  • For more information on member benefits and options, visit or email:
  • To learn more about individual or company certification, email:  


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