Category Management Foundation

Denali Academy’s blended learning approach to Category Management training employs hands-on methods supported by exercises and case studies. It teaches critical methodologies including category management processes, opportunity assessment, requirements analysis, as well as addresses key soft skills such as stakeholder management.

Denali Academy’s Category Management Foundation course is designed for:

  • New or aspiring category managers;
  • Category managers or procurement professionals who want to improve their strategic skillsets;
  • Category managers who are part of an organizational shift from a more tactical approach a more strategic one;
  • Procurement professionals seeking to earn continuing education hours for their ISM or APS certification.

Key Benefits

  • Learn to better understand stakeholder requirements, separate “wants” from “needs” and build learnings into sustainable strategies;
  • Build a strong project pipeline as a result of the category strategy;
  • Tie strategies and category plans to sourcing projects and learn to improve implementation;
  • Employ key elements of change management to get stakeholders on board with implementing category management;
  • Learn to communicate more effectively with stakeholders based on personality types so that they understand your message and see the value in your proposals;
  • Use templates for all steps of the category management process, including market analysis, category plan, requirements assessment, and stakeholder mapping (templates available to take home).

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand category management framework and processes that are applicable across industries and categories;
  • Know how to apply key methodologies such as requirements analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, and strategy development;
  • Develop a category management mindset that recognizes what it means to be strategic in day-to-day activities;
  • Understand critical soft skills and how to leverage them for success.


The course is a blended learning offering in which learners will complete a series of eLearning modules before participating in the two-day classroom training. Classroom training focuses on the practical application of key methodologies presented in the eLearning materials. The required pre-work is designed to take no more than 2.5 hours. Modules will be made available approximately 4 weeks prior and 6 weeks after classroom training. Each module has a knowledge check in the form of a 10-question quiz.

Classroom training offers practical examples that share participants’ experiences with certain topics. The majority of the time will be spent with case studies, exercises, and role playing.

Approximately 6 weeks after the classroom training, Denali Academy will offer an optional web session to participants, in which they can discuss successes and challenges so far, and get additional advice and guidance from the trainer.



eLearning Moduleselearning

Introduction to Category Management:

    This module provides a broader overview of the four-step process involved in any category management project. Each process is then broken down into sub-processes with playbooks and templates.

Internal Assessment:

    This module provides information as to which parameters should be considered during the internal assessment phase. You will learn how to perform demand analysis, gap analysis, and how to gain insights from spend analysis.

Total Cost of Ownership:

    This module will help you understand the difference between purchase price and total cost of ownership (TCO). It will also explain how to calculate TCO to help you compare supplier offerings on a “like to like” basis.

Market Analysis:

    This module will help you to understand why market analysis is such an important component for strategy development. You will learn how to gain insights from key pieces of information to guide your research efforts.

Personality Types:

    This module will help you understand four basic personality types and how they can affect perception and decision making. You will also learn how to communicate better and get decision-makers to buy into your ideas more easily.

Stakeholder Management:

    This module will help you to identify the different types of stakeholders. You’ll learn the keys of being able to analyze them and effectively manage your relationship with them.

Strategy Development:

    This module will help you to understand the difference between strategy and tactics, understand portfolio techniques to group similar categories, and develop generic strategies for the portfolio quadrants.

Opportunity Analysis:

    This module will help you to understand how to analyze the category portfolio to reveal untapped opportunities.


 Find a public training session at a Denali Group location, contact us at  (412) 228-5054, or fill out the form below to schedule your on-site Denali Academy training