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Category Management Training

‘Give Your Category an MOT in 3 Steps’ is about enabling supermarket suppliers and supermarket buyers to understand how their category performs from a Category Management perspective. For examples;

  • What does great look like for ‘Data into Insight’? This tool will help you find out.
  • How good are you as a supermarket and you as a supplier, at Category Management? This tool will help you identify your current level.
  • What do the best suppliers do? This tool will help you understand what the ‘best’ level looks like.

On the ‘Free Resources‘ page you can download the Summary version and here you can download the Full version. The image below shows how the full version of this tool looks:

MBM - Give your category an MOT in 3 steps

Using this tool

Step 1: Where is your category now?

Start with Column 1 – ‘Optimising Range, Availability and Promotions’ – And identify which level your category is currently at. You cannot be at the higher levels unless you are doing everything in that higher level box. Repeat this for Columns 2 and 3. You have now identified at which level your category currently operates at, e.g. Level 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Fear of flying cartoon 'step one: try to relax' Category Management

Image courtesy of our cartoonist friend Mike Flanagan.

Step 2: Where do you want your category to be?

Firstly, ask yourself, ‘What time-scale am I working to? For example, you may wish to say that your category will achieve the higher level within 6 months, and the level after that in 12 months and so on. Start with column 1 – ‘Optimising Range, Availability and Promotions’ and identify at which level you wish this category to be operating at in, for example, in 6 months. Repeat this for Columns 2 and 3. You have now identified at which level you wish your  category to operate at on a given time-scale.

Step 3: How do you get there?

The last step is the most challenging, particularly if you do not have the experience of delivering level 4 across a category. This tool helps you understand where you are, where you wish to be and this then forms the basis of a plan. We can then help you ‘Get there’ – Just click on ‘Contact Us’ below and copy these words into the form – ‘I have just completed the scorecard and need some help moving from where we are to where we wish to get to’. Alternatively, please review our ‘Category Management’ training course product to help your team improve their Category Management ability.

Do you want an even more comprehensive scorecard?

The Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) scorecard was developed in conjunction with Sainsbury’s. A little more about the ECR scorecard – ‘A Capability Assessment Tool has been designed to give you a detailed understanding of your ECR capability and to highlight specific improvement opportunities for your company.

Further Resources:

For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.

Interested in training? See how our full Category Management Training or our e learning Category Management courses could be of help to you.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets and Suppliers for over 20 years. He began his career as a buyer at one of the big 4 UK supermarkets and after rising through the ranks he decided to leave after 13 years and set-up Making Business Matter.For the last 14 years he has run MBM, which is a training provider to the UK grocery industry. Helping suppliers to the big four supermarkets to develop the soft skills that will secure them more profitable wins.


  • Matt Cooper says:

    Good use of steps, with the aid of a diagram to help explain how to attain goals.

  • Holly Fisher says:

    All three steps are so important. Knowing where you are, where you want to be and how to get there are all essential in any kind of analysis or development. Great article

  • Abi Crocker says:

    Really like the detailed breakdown of the table, includes all areas that you’d want to include. Author even went the extra mile and included a link for a more comprehensive scorecard, if the original one wasn’t enough. Really helpful.

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