09 July 2021
Topics in this article
  • Financial Services
  • Strategy & Planning

This 150-year-old organization is a leading insurer, offering a range of insurance, investment, and retirement services.

Following an internal audit report, the organization committed to undertaking a commercial transformation program to address the key recommendations and improvement points. The incoming Chief Procurement Officer put a new management team in place, and together, they sought to create a more effective and impactful function with greater relevance to the organization.

One of the primary initiatives was to implement a new Business Sourcing Process and a Risk Framework to be used by the organization. To support its implementation, the CPO selected Proxima to create a category management methodology, and then support the in-house team of category managers to create category strategies.

Because the in-house team was inexperienced, the engagement was planned to blend “strategy creation” and coaching, upskilling the in-house team where appropriate.


Proxima worked with the leadership team to create an approach to draw upon our wealth of tools and knowledge tailored to the organization’s specific challenges and the team’s maturity. Together, we created an engagement and communications plan to underpin the program and be monitored regularly through governance.

We then created a new category planning template and trained 28 people in the planning methodology, focusing on business alignment, formal analysis tools, and commercial strategy development. This was delivered as classroom training and workshops with stakeholders and the procurement team.

Finally, we ensured that 12 category managers received individual coaching to support the development of robust category plans and develop their ability to build better stakeholder relationships. All the plans were presented at the mid-point and final gates and then to the Group COO.


The key focus was on improving category managers’ market knowledge and then creating actionable initiatives rather than simply producing analysis or filling in a template. The program delivered:

  • A tailored category planning toolkit and process suite, embedded into working practices and aligned with the Business Sourcing Process and Risk Framework
  • An uplift of 270% against the previous benefits pipeline. These actionable initiatives were captured in twelve new category plans across indirect and corporate services
  • An upskilled and motivated Procurement team who was significantly more confident in challenging the status quo and finding new ways to deliver benefits
  • Closer relationships built between Procurement and stakeholder groups during the planning process
  • The Procurement team won the Transformational Team of the Year in the client’s annual internal awards ceremony

Start your Transformation Journey

Wondering how you can get started on your commercial transformation journey? Simply get in touch with one of our procurement consultants today.

Get in Touch

Let’s talk.

If you are looking to drive purposeful and profitable change, get in touch.

Contact us