Category Manager

Location: Birmingham

Develop and implement effective procurement & strategic category management solutions to support both Major strategic bidding opportunities and operational businesses to maximise benefit to Colas Limited. 

Ensure category management frameworks are managed effectively in line with Colas governance policies and procedures.              

Key Relationships/ Interfaces: Other Procurement team members, Commercial, Preconstruction together with operational delivery teams and business managers.



Colas Ltd are a UK subsidiary of the global Colas Group, which operates in over 50 countries worldwide and employs over 55,000 people. We are specialists in highways construction and have been involved in large scale UK and international construction projects within the highways, airfields and marine sectors as well as offering highways maintenance services and manufacturing our own innovative surfacing products. We hold a ‘Gold Investor in People’ award for continuously developing and rewarding our employees, offering excellent career potential.  

Main Activities

  • Procurement and commercial processes
  • Category management and contract administration
  • Use ERP platforms
  • Category management reporting
  • Report on category savings
  • Assessing, valuing and advising on commercial risk associated with supply chain
  • Ensuring that procurement policy, process and guidelines are applied in a consistent approach business wider.
  • Comply with all Colas and Group polices (Ethics etc) 


Principal Accountabilities: 

  • Create and maintain excellent supplier relationships to enhance and support the day to day delivery of the Colas business activities.
  • Support good corporate commercial governance and probity through promoting consistent and effective procurement processes procedures and practices.
  • Engaging key stakeholders at all levels.
  • Work with Senior Category Manager to develop companywide procurement strategies.
  • Identification, selection and management of Category managed supply chain.
  • Carry out quotation analysis, evaluation and make recommendation for selection of suppliers to key stakeholders
  • Report on category savings
  • Ensure compliance to Procurement Strategy, policy, processes & procedures
  • Accountable for performance of supply chain in areas of responsibility
  • Promotes innovative ways to add value and reduce costs within the team.  
  • Responsible for ensuring compliance to Procurement processes & procedures.
  • Achieves targets set by Senior Category Manager, prepares and presents reports in a timely & accurate manner
  • Work with the Senior Category Manager to prepare analysis of financial spend data and support deep dive reviews into of a spend category areas
  • Negotiate timely to establish good quality commercial procurement for Colas Limited, any JV and individual projects in material, plant and subcontract agreements
  • Work closely with the commercial team to secure the most effective commercial agreements in materials, plant and subcontracts


Beneficial knowledge

  • Working experience of ERP platforms
  • Good understanding of Framework agreements 




  • Relevant academic and professional qualifications or working towards such as MCIPS


  • At least 5 years Procurement management experience in a category Management role within the highways/Maintenance or Building sector. It would be preferable to have both pre-contract and post-contract Procurement experience.
  • Knowledge of the construction industry and its key category areas
  • Completing complex category areas on time, to quality standards and
  • Needs to have all round technical understanding of the activities for which they are involved
  • Understanding and delivering corporate requirements
  • Strong commitment to Health & Safety, Business Improvement, Quality and Environmental principles
  • Understanding and awareness of good customer service principles and practice 


Personal Attributes / Skills 

The role holder must be able to demonstrate that they have the following personal, interpersonal, professional practice and business skills


  • Excellent communication skills are essential.
  • Negotiation skills
  • Market intelligence and network of industry contacts
  • Time management and organisational skills.
  • Ability to think creatively and provide innovative solutions
  • Continually review and improvement performance
  • Work under pressure to tight deadlines
  • Market analysis and projections, including regular review and understanding of market trends and projections for goods, commodities and service relevant to Colas business activities
  • Good network of industry contacts
  • Experience providing a good understanding of the market sectors in which Colas operate
  • Good category management experience and understanding of key Colas activities associated with major highways and airfields projects.
  • Experience providing a good understanding of operational and technical considerations in determining effective solutions to support Major strategic bidding opportunities
  • Understanding of how ‘true’ cost is derived from first principals. Whole life cost modelling and understanding of how cost is derived of from source. Notably for asphalt material production.
  • Experience of engagement of the supply chain to contribute to value engineering and innovation of projects to achieve whole life cost savings
  • Ability to independently determine the ‘market’ rate for key commodities and services to support the bidding process.
  • Extensive supply base for major category activities including bulk earthworks, surfacing, concrete, aggregates etc.
  • Lead the negotiation of strategic framework agreements for key goods and services
  • Demonstrate extensive experience of utilising spend to maximise leverage on procurement for major projects. 

 Colas is fully committed to promoting equality and diversity and maintaining a culture of fairness, transparency and respect for all employees, clients, communities, suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders. Colas aims to be inclusive, meet diverse needs and promote awareness and ownership in the workplace and the communities in which we serve.


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Equal Opportunities

We are committed to being an Equal Opportunities Employer. We wish to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and appointed solely on their suitability for the post.

The equal opportunities information requested is strictly confidential and for monitoring purposes only. The information will be stored securely in line with the Colas Limited Candidate Privacy Notice and kept separate from the information used in recruitment decisions.

The Equality Act defines a disability as “A physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. To be protected by the Act an individual must therefore have: • A long term physical or mental impairment (lasting or likely to last for 12 months or more) and • A condition that has a substantial adverse impact on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities

In submitting this application, I acknowledge that I have read and understood Colas Limited’s Candidate Privacy Notice