Head of Category – Print and DML Digital (Fixed Term Appointment to end of January 2022) 25 views

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Building a strong Commercial Function in Government, and with it the right commercial capability, is at the heart of a far-reaching programme of Civil Service reform.

We are building a cadre of commercial talent in all Government departments; people who can manage our commercial portfolios, who can lead our most complex and novel programmes and projects, people who have the gravitas and depth of experience to work alongside our policy and operational leaders to develop innovative commercial arrangements, whether through joint ventures, outsourcing or best-in-class contracts.

The Government Commercial Organisation is an employer which is truly committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and are able to perform to their potential. We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and strive for a workplace that reflects the communities which we serve. We especially welcome applications from underrepresented groups including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, candidates with a disability and candidates with gender-diverse identities. Appointments will be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We have already made significant progress through the establishment of the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO), our single employer of senior commercial talent across government. This role will sit within the GCO, but based in our CCS commercial team delivering departmental objectives.

Job description

The post holder will be accountable for commercial activity and to develop, build, own and maintain category strategies whilst ensuring alignment across Government and the wider Public Sector (WPS).

They will be sharply focused on delivering business outcomes and targets (e.g. creating best in class commercial category strategies and driving spend growth through commercial agreements) with an extensive customer and stakeholder group.

The role will provide strategic overview to category leads in both Print and DML Digital. DML Digital is a new category area focusing on the use of digital tools to improve the customer buying journey across CCS and our customer base.

As a senior management role, the post holder will have formal line management of other team members and will have experience working in such a leadership capacity. They will work closely and collaboratively with colleagues in the immediate and wider teams to achieve their targets and will support and engage with a variety of stakeholders in the achievement of CCS goals.

The post holder will be responsible for a personal network of stakeholders; building strong personal working relationships with suppliers, senior internal customers, category experts across the Public and Private Sector, Cabinet Office and No. 10 Downing Street.


  • Own the creation, execution and evolution of world class, market leading category strategy across Central Government (CG) and the WPS including leading Category Boards;
  • Ownership of customer relationships to deliver efficiencies through their specialist category frameworks/Commercial Contracts and specific initiatives;
  • Utilise personal commercial intelligence and insights to understand the supplier landscape and engage the market to inform and improve the buying process;
  • Build and design end to end supply chains identifying Total Cost of Ownership and supplier associations across multi-tier suppliers and identify improvement opportunities;
  • Own and drive Contract Management and Supplier Relationship Management to improve performance across the whole category supply chain including identification and delivery of savings initiatives and innovation opportunities;
  • Liaise with stakeholders and customers at a variety of levels to present/promote the category products/procurement strategy via working groups, customer meetings, exhibitions and events.

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Coaching Manager – Proven ability of leading a team to deliver successful outcomes at pace and within a changing environment.
  • Procurement Process – Experience in complex Public Sector procurement with a track record of managing performance (driving uptake) and commercial risk across a number of commercial agreements to improve value through service and cost.
  • Assertive – Outstanding communication and stakeholder management skills, including ability to engage, influence and positively challenge in complex key customer and strategic supplier environments.
  • Market Insight – Exceptional market awareness; sufficient to act as an intelligent customer in dealings with suppliers and sufficient to present to or engage in meaningful, challenging conversations with customers.
  • Commercial Focus – Commercial acumen including proven delivery of commercial benefits and experience of budgetary and resource management.
  • Strategy and Policy Development – Ability to implement strategy. Able to translate sub-category strategy into practical implementation plans and outputs.

Closing Date: 11th April 2021

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