Brent Council
Morgan Law - Recruitment Consultancy

Job Description: Senior Category Managers (x3)

Post Title:

Senior Category Managers - Adults, Children & Schools




£46,959 to £49,842

Reports To:

Head of Service

Job Purpose

To support a Head of Service in securing the continuous development, improvement, efficiency and success of the Department as a whole through effective planning, budget management, staff management and governance. Set quality and professional standards and manage service delivery and have significant influence upon the structure and development of their area activity. The role will include developing and implementing operational plans which contribute to the longer term plans for the area that will fit with broader functional and Council strategy.


Financial responsibility

  • Annual budget responsibility
  • £100m influenced category revenue expenditure
  • Other

Staffing responsibility

  • No direct reports influence is respect of contract managers across relevant category areas 5-8 FTE
  • No total staff group
  • Responsible for all contracts within category across the council


View the structure chart. Post is responsible for a portfolio of services which may be altered from time to time but currently managing the procurement of all major contracts within the relevant category.


  • To develop 3-5yr strategies and lead on the development of purchasing activities in the corporate Procurement Department across Brent Council, through pro-active leadership of the Purchasing team, and acting as lead across all sourcing categories covering the whole commercial spend in the local government economy;
  • To be responsible for the identification and tracking of benefits to be delivered through the improved procurement strategies;
  • To support the Head of Procurement in the delivery of cost and efficiency savings across London Borough of Brent by analysing current spend information to develop procurement strategies;
  • As a member of the Management Team (MT), work collegiately and make a proactive contribution. This will include working flexibly and positively to achieve the objectives of the Council;
  • Manage a portfolio of contactors within the relevant category in alignment with both corporate and departmental aims and priorities;
  • Manage a customer focused service;
  • Foster a consistent cross One Council culture by ensuring that Council’s overall vision, values and ethos are central to the approach taken;
  • Provide leadership and management to staff teams to achieve high performance and effective operational delivery, which includes developing and improving the capability of staff within work area, motivating and mentoring them to better meet the current and future requirements of the council;
  • Manage the effective use of resources;
  • Working closely with the Head of Service to support effective working relationships and acting as an effective ambassador and advocate with external organizations;
  • The postholder must at all times carry out duties with due regard to the Councils customer care; equal opportunities; information governance and health and safety policies and procedures;
  • To understand the value of information to the council and to contribute to good information governance by keeping information safe, accurate and up to date and available to those who need it. Abide by the council’s information governance policies;
  • Undertake any other duties commensurate with the general level of responsibility of this post;
  • The post holder is required to take reasonable care for the safety and health of themselves and others who may be affected by their acts; and to work with management to comply with Service/Unit procedures and protocols and with Brent Council’s Health and Safety Policy and all guidance, instructions and risk assessments. In particular the jobholder is required to attend training relevant to their post in order to ensure their health and safety responsibilities are met.

Job Context

  • Wide range of internal and external contacts including directors, senior managers, elected members, professional bodies, contractors, suppliers partner organisations and government functions involving the use of a wide range of interpersonal skills;
  • Develop partnership working with key external stakeholders across the public, private and voluntary sectors;
  • High level of work related pressure in terms of deadlines, conflicting priorities including deliver of high level of savings targeted to the relevant category;
  • To be responsible for effectively leading a range of strategic sourcing activity that improves value for money within London Borough of Brent’s supply chain, including developing effective sourcing strategies and ensuring that the category management function is carefully coordinated and managed in line with requirements and objectives;
  • Operates within a framework set by Corporate and Departmental Management Team but with freedom to shape services and to ensure contract compliance across the council, pursuing procurement excellence through the implementation of efficient and effective procurement projects within key markets;
  • Leads on policy and development as directed by Head of Service to ensure implementation of new legislative and EU requirements;
  • Ensures high professional standards.


  • Ensure that purchasing strategies in all commercial spend categories, maximise the uptake of national and Local Government Supply Chain contracts;
  • To meet customer requirements by demonstrating best value for money, through compliance with category priorities and contracts, and by actively managing the market place through development of key strategies for supplier and contract management;
  • Senior activity in liaising with colleagues at all levels to ensure compliance in the use of agreed standardised products, ensuring the range of items within catalogues is rationalised to an optimum level;
  • Ensure processes are in place so that effective, collaborative equipment purchases, trials, and long term plans to allow for standardisation using evidence base and innovative practice across the local government and health economy of the region;
  • Work closely with department based specification leads to ensure cohesive strategies in the delivery of products and services, standardisation of services etc;
  • To proactively lead and strategically manage highly complex an multiple programmes and develop collaborative relationship management regimes with London Borough of Brent suppliers, ensuring maximum return on investment on commercial spend across the whole of the government sector;
  • To ensure that strategic organisational stakeholder "sign-off" for all priortised key category strategies/annualised work plans, ensuring integrated planning across national, regional and local strategies;
  • Key high level direct negotiation and influencer when handling very high value/critical or higher risk categories:
    • With key stakeholder groups in order to influence the outcome of discussions around product specification, agreeing the procurement strategy to be followed against a particular product.
    • With key suppliers of products to enable both cost reduction and service /quality improvements, this is in the form of face-to-face negotiations and via both electronic and manual tendering systems and procedures.
    • With internal category managers in agreeing personal objectives, targets and responsibilities.

These negotiations can be across several groups and suppliers and with people at varying levels of authority e.g. from sales reps to National Account Managers and London Borough of Brent Directors.

Person Specification

Please note. All criteria are essential. The successful candidate must satisfy all off the criteria. Short listing will be on the basis of the criteria indicated in the ‘Application Form’ Column.

Criteria: Method of Assessment
Application Form Interview Test

Qualifications, knowledge and understanding
Relevant professional qualification - only where this is a statutory requirement of the role.

  • Member of Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) or appropriate professional institute or relevant experience.
  • Project Management (Prince 2 Practitioner essential) and Evidence of continuous professional development (CPD)
  • Full knowledge of Council Standing Financial Instructions, EU procurement directives and UK legislation, eg TUPE, Competition Act, Race Relations, Data Protection, Freedom of Information, etc
  • Significant category knowledge within the market managed, in all aspects of the market, which also requires engineering knowledge, product knowledge, manufacturing processes, supply chain







  • Track record of achievement at a senior management level in a similarly large and complex political organisation including:
  • Substantial experience in a senior procurement and supply chain senior role including both Public and private sector experience
  • Significant experience & understanding and application of Strategic Sourcing methodologies
  • Advanced experience of contract management, delegation and enpowerment
  • Significant experience of project managing complex procurement activities from initial planning to contract award
  • Significant experience of management of resources and financial risk and commercial acumen and proven track record of ability to deliver against targets






Key skills and abilities

  • Ability to manage people, performance and budgets
  • Ability to contribute to the larger team development of the service area
  • Undertaking complex contractual negotiations using commercial and contractual knowledge regarding terms and conditions e.g. relating to indemnity and liabilities, warranties, specific performance and termination clauses etc., to ensure that individual organisations are adequately protected and have the ability to invoke any termination or remedies which may be required.
  • The ability to manage multiple contracts to ensure best value for money high service levels and achieve year on year targeted savings






Personal characteristics

  • Strong role model who demonstrates a personal commitment to high standards of public service, honesty and integrity and professionalism
  • Collaborative corporate player with a strong team spirit and respect for others
  • Demonstrate a customer focused approach with a personal commitment to service improvement, equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Demonstrate negotiating and influencing skills
  • Strong Leadership and management skills
  • Ensure that the service is effectively resourced to deliver to the required standard
  • Must be able to show a dynamic approach
  • Able to show resilience and drive to cope with the demands and pressures of the post including the ability to cope effectively at times of crisis










Additional Information

Delivering Procurement Strategy

  • To lead on the development of the strategic plan and that performance management systems are operating effectively to meet governance and achieve goals;
  • Ensure intergration of local, regional and national purchasing (including authority Supply Chain) with category management;
  • To provide specialist advice on local and regional purchasing activities;
  • To consistently meet best value for money by the effective sourcing of goods and services;
  • To develop key performance indicators to enable procurement performance to be monitored across the authority and its members;
  • To maximise contract compliance across the whole;
  • To ensure all procurement activities operate in full accordance with legal (EU legislation), environment and sustainability requirements.

Leadership & Team Development

  • To ensure key relationships with other purchasing professionals and Category and Procurement Specialists to enable key management decisions to be made;
  • To be responsible and to lead the category teams effectively in achieving results, undertaking coaching, mentoring and performance management of direct reports;
  • To ensure that purchasing process and strategy is delivered through effective performance management systems, establishing and implementing support activities to enhance professional expertise and to support the embedding of change management culture across the department as required.

Development of Networks

  • To engage and influence key stakeholders at all levels within the authority, in order to facilitate participation in identified procurement activity;
  • Liaising with specialists such as IT, Legal, HR, to ensure full compliance with current legislation and policies;
  • Ensure key links with national procurement e.g., regional hubs, local government and regional development agencies to ensure effective total category management;
  • Ensure links are made within the local economy, SMEs, Regional Development Agencies, Sustainable Development agencies etc to support the sustainable procurement agenda;
  • To ensure that processes are in place for category management to work closely with senior officers to match service needs with procurement planning;
  • To ensure a comprehensive data gathering process is in place and being performance managed from London Borough of Brent and its suppliers;
  • To strategically analyse data in order to identify major areas for cost savings and process improvements, to produce procurement plans for submission to the Procurement Service Director;
  • Programme management of the tendering process from initial scoping to contract award in accordance with EU procurement directives, UK legislation, and London Borough of Brent Standing Orders and Financial Regulations and Governance procedures;
  • Constant performance management against programme targets to enable systematic reporting to the executive teams for reporting to London Borough of Brent Finance Leads and Purchasing Committees

Planning & Organisation

  • Management of multidisciplinary project teams when undertaking procurement activities involves the co-ordination of effort to achieve the desired objectives;
  • Management, mentoring and training of Category Lead Managers, Category Managers and Junior Category Managers;
  • The Senior Category Manager is the centre of a network of key stakeholders, end users, suppliers and management functions and therefore the post holder has a daily responsibility to organise others. The post holder is responsible for ensuring other people make and have the time to work on parts of the project were they have a direct contribution to make.

Research & Development

The post holder is involved in reviewing and interpreting the following on a daily basis:

  • Surveys - compiling information on product preferences, speciality, ordering and stock holding trends, and supply chains;
  • Audits - following options appraisal on choice of device;
  • Developing measurement techniques to evaluate the effectiveness in quality terms of products and services;
  • Market Research to drive change and innovotive procurement;
  • Heads discussions with large groups of stakeholders and/or suppliers;
  • Evaluation of tenders provided by suppliers.

Resource Management

  • Coverage of £100k to £100m spend across all commercial categories within the authority to ensure strategies that deliver value for money and improved services;
  • Agree the annual workplan for staff which details the categories that they will be working on in the following year. Prioritise their work to ensure the most effective delivery of benefits to London Borough of Brent;
  • Update the 3 year procurement cycle that was developed at the business planning stage and develop 5 year workplans to identify resources required;
  • Working closely with social services departments and ensuring that they allocate appropriate resource to support joint initiatives.

How to apply »
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Morgan Law Recruitment Consultancy
4th Floor, Clareville House
26-27 Oxendon Street, London, SW1Y 4EL

Bradley Kleyn   Tel: 020 7747 6820

Gareth Elwin     Tel: 020 7747 4949