According to the Office of Management and Budget’s memorandum M-19-10 Category Management: Making Smarter Use of Common Contract Solutions and Practices, released March 20, 2019, “category management is defined as the business practice of buying common goods and services as an enterprise to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver more value and savings from the Government’s acquisition programs.”
The Federal Government has implemented a category management approach to encourage smarter purchasing. During the rush to the year-end spend season, this approach allows agencies to streamline and complete their final purchases in time to meet the September 30 deadline.
Why is category management important?
There are hundreds of procurement departments throughout the Federal Government. Each one is buying different types of common goods and services such as, information technology, medical, security, and industrial products. In fact, in 2018 alone the Federal Government spent $4.11 trillion – and that’s why category management is so important.
Category management is brought into this process to ensure that all of these procurement departments are collaborating and streamlining their processes. By working closely with one another, they can identify the best way to purchase products and services in order to consolidate, avoid product duplicates, and save money.
Expanding Your Product Category Reach
Establishing a partnership with an organization that can help build relationships with key suppliers can help in consolidating and reducing product costs. The more product categories that your partner has the ability to serve, the more products and services you can leverage through that relationship.
With the right partner you can expand your product category reach by a number of industries, such as:
Automation - industrial automation, process control and motor control applications
Broadband communications - assist operators with broadband infrastructure
Data communications - cooper, fiber, cabling, connectivity, racks, cabinets and power supplies
Electrical - breakers, hardware, meter devices, switchgear, wiring devices
Electronics - automation, control, relays, sensors, switches
Lighting - LED, emergency lighting, indoor and outdoor fixtures
Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) - abrasives, adhesives, tools, janitorial supplies
Renewables - inverters, racking, solar lighting
Safety - personal protective equipment, signage, respiratory and fall protection
Security - video surveillance, access control, cameras
Wire, cable and conduit - fire alarm, splices, termination, traffic and roadway
The Benefits of General Services Administration Schedules
General Services Administration (GSA) schedule contract vehicles are important during year-end spend season. GSA schedules make it easier to navigate business with the federal government.
A few of the benefits of GSA schedules include:
- Eliminating the public bid process
- Fast delivery
- Fair and reasonable pricing
- Faster procurement and delivery cycle
WESCO offers three GSA schedules with different product categories to streamline your year-end purchases.
Schedule 56 - Building and Building Materials/Industrial Services and Supplies
Schedule 51V - Hardware Superstore
Schedule 70 - General Purpose Commercial Information Technology Equipment, Software and Services
Implementing category management in your year-end purchases will allow your agency to confidently buy the necessary products and services while leveraging best practices and contract vehicles throughout procurement departments in the federal government. WESCO has a dedicated team focused on the federal market ready to meet your fiscal year end needs and beyond.