Category Management Strategy

Discovery’s data-driven category management strategy

PL Staff

PL Staff

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Following its acquisition of media company Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018, Discovery spotted an opportunity to consolidate its spend data across the newly merged enterprise.

Before then, the media company had been relying on spreadsheets to manage its spend, which made keeping an eye on what was being bought, by whom and from which suppliers time-consuming and inefficient.

They needed a spend analytics tool that could integrate data from various systems and provide its category managers with a clear view of the company’s overall spending. So they asked the procurement team to step in.

A harmonised view: What did they do?

The team opted for a tool from SpendHQ, which category managers use as the basis on which they develop their strategies. It harmonises all data and allows them to review historical spend data, identify sourcing opportunities and develop their cost-saving goals.

The tool provides users with a customisable dashboard that gives them a snapshot of where money is being spent across the company. “It shows us trends which can open the door to conversations with our stakeholders about their buying behaviour”, says Colin Gibson, category manager, IT hardware and professional services, who believes this is the tool’s most valuable feature. Being able to identify tail spend as well as maverick spend, he can clearly see opportunities for consolidation and potential cost savings.

Does it work?

Yes. The tool was intuitive and easy to integrate, and Discovery reports a host of benefits after embarking on using it, including complete visibility of company spending via a single source, a clear view of company buying behaviours and an increase in IT spend under management – from around 70% in 2020 to around 78% in 2021.

Many companies are managing their finances and supply chains more prudently in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the C-suite’s refreshed scrutiny on third-party spending – and Discovery are leading the way in leveraging technology to improve expense control.

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