Top THREE Reasons why Category Management Training is Important
Over the past 12 years, our company has had the good fortune of working with 7 of 10 largest Consumer Packaged Goods companies in the world. And we have also enjoyed skilling up many of the leading North American retailers, top-ranked brokers, distributors and higher education universities.
We regularly ask the leaders within our client’s organizations why category management training is critical to their business. What they tell us boils down to THREE key reasons.
#1. Gain Competitive Advantage
Competition is fierce in today’s market. Our most successful clients do not train for the sake of training. Rather, their philosophy with training is rooted in the belief that smart investments in both individual and team development establishes the core skill sets and capability to deliver real value and insights, which in turn fosters a more meaningful and collaborative trading partner relationship.
Many of our clients realize additional advantage when they expand their training effort to include cross functional roles that help create broader value through effective joint business planning. When team members learn how to leverage data for advanced shelving and assortment solutions, provide advanced pricing and promotion analyses, and generate true insights from shopper segmentation and shopper behavior, they often realize a step-change advantage over competition.
#2. Provide Career Paths
Winning CPG companies with Category Management capabilities understand that success in part depends on your ability to have a ‘farm system’ in place to continually replenish talent as team members get promoted to higher levels within the organization. Many of our clients align their training to match their organizational structure, both within and beyond Category Management roles. For example, many of our clients leverage portions of our training to skill up their Sales Analysts as these roles are often ‘feeder’ roles into Category Management.
New hires and new-in-role employees increase their ability to succeed when they are supported with basic category management training that not only helps build category and industry knowledge, but also establishes foundational data and analytic skills. As team members develop and progress, they are paired with intermediate and advanced training that help them connect more dots and think more strategically when developing comprehensive category reviews while elevating their effectiveness at joint business planning and collaboration with trading partners.
#3. Create a Common Language
For many of our clients, having a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce to compete in an ever-evolving retail market is a top sales and strategic business priority. They view training as a key enabler to create a common language internally and externally that helps align category management strategies and tactics to grow sales, share and shopper loyalty. This ultimately helps all employees be more effective in their various functional roles that collectively support the company’s vision and goals.
Finally, successful companies also leverage a blended approach of both online and instructor-led category management training to level-set their organization with a common approach and mindset that prioritizes and focuses on the things that matter most to the organization.
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About the Author
Scott W. Matthews
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=5949254
Scott Matthews is Managing Partner and CEO for Learning Evolution, LLC. Scott is responsible for all aspects of strategic business development, operations, and sales and marketing for the company. He has 33+ years of business experience, including 7+ years with Apple Computer Inc., and has technical expertise and experience in developing world class technology-based business learning programs and certification.
Scott was cofounder of Librix Learning, LLC, an early innovator in the emerging multimedia / computer based training field. He helped to design, develop and market one of the first web-based learning management system (LMS) technology platforms and built dozens of successful e-learning solutions. Scott and his partners sold this business to Maritz, Inc. in 2001. In 2003, he moved to San Diego to help launch and build Learning Evolution.
Scott can be reached at email@example.com