Category Specialist

Job Description

Job Title

Category Specialist

Reporting to

Category Manager


Capital Programme and Procurement


London, Elephant & Castle

Reference Number


Employment Period


Contract Type


CiP/Bonus Level


Salary Range

Starting £45,000 (Depending on Skills and Experience)

Closing Date

20th September 2020


All applications will be reviewed after the closing date

We also provide the following additional benefits


  • Annual leave 25 days
  • Personal Pension Plan – Personal contribution rates of 4% or 5% (UK Power Networks will make a corresponding contribution of 8% or 10%)
  • Tenancy Loan Deposit scheme
  • Tax efficient benefits: cycle to work scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Occupational Health support
  • Switched On – scheme providing discount on hundreds of retailers products.
  • Supplier discounts, such as O2, EE, Vauxhall cars, Universal tyres
  • Discounted access to sports and social clubs
  • Employee Assistance Programme.



Job Purpose:

Supporting the Procurement & Supplier Relationship Management Team, you will play a key role in establishing and developing contracts and ensuring delivery of requirements within UK Power Networks Services. As a Category Specialist you will be responsible for procuring, awarding, and managing ongoing delivery of project contracts to an agreed strategy using acknowledged practices and mechanisms. Our projects drive value through strategic thinking, we work on major infrastructure and complex projects to provide solutions and meet client’s goals. You will deliver a demonstrable, high quality, timely and consistent service both internally and externally, focussing on providing procurement support for multiple projects across the UK. You will be customer focussed, professional and commercially minded. Be able to deliver innovative solutions to support the business in a cost efficient manner within applicable governance and relevant legislation. Your remit will be broad to accommodate the needs of the business on a wider scale but your work may include:


  • Procurement of project Direct materials and services
  • Managing ongoing delivery of contracts measuring KPIs and managing day to day performance
  • Manage relations with vendors, suppliers and contractors that facilitate smooth flow of services
  • Provide strategic procurement consultancy internally
  • Influence supply chain design
  • Reactive sourcing activities
  • Ensuring suppliers key documents are completed
  • Analysis of active and expiring contracts
  • Internal responses to procurement requirements
  • Category analysis and management
  • System and vendor management
    Annual Budget:            Circa £5-10 million of procurement portfolio spend per annum
    Staff:                No direct staff but may have responsibility for managing Graduates as and when placed in the Procurement Function         
    Principal Accountabilities:
  • At all times strive to safely engage, encourage and work throughout our business and beyond in a manner that embraces our values and aspirations
  • Provide a key customer interface for the wider procurement team, managing procurement enquiries and requests
  • Provide contract and vendor analysis, supporting the procurement team to avoid contract expiry
  • Support the business in a breadth of procurement requirements, direct sources, 3 bids and tenders in a timely manner based around the business outputs
  • Support the implementation of procurement and business initiatives by challenging existing ways of working and continuously seeking ways to do things better
  • Responsible for management of a specific project portfolio, including developing the category sourcing strategy, the selection of suppliers and contractual terms best suited to the items. This will include some detailed projects which will directly influence client offerings and business success. 
  • Maximise the value, measured through a range of indicators, from UK Power Networks contractual arrangements utilising the effective development of contract strategies, contract development and lifecycle management
  • Manage own element of Procurement Pipeline and procure contracts on time in accordance with UK Power Networks process
  • Perform activities that evaluate and leverage relationships with category suppliers
  • Manage compliance to all business, governance and legislative policies, initiatives and processes
  • Responsible for liaising with, and providing support to, other areas of the business and resolving queries. Develop relationships with suppliers and contractors alike
  • Responsible for supplier management for category suppliers including their development and segmentation
  • Responsible for accurate administration for in-category activities and ensures that all related data is up to date
    Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience:
  • Strong commercial acumen
  • Strong self-organisational capabilities
  • Ability to work under own initiative & demonstrate understanding of continuous improvement and team working
  • Good level of PC literacy, with the ability to learn and use a variety of systems with fast and accurate keyboard skills
  • Ability to work in a pressured environment as part of a highly focused team
  • Able to influence & challenge internal stakeholders and co-workers, as well as the ability to decant measurable business needs
  • Have a basic understanding of strategic sourcing execution, i.e. cost, price and financial analysis, internal & external market analysis, category strategy, market testing and innovation.
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Project and time management skills
  • Educated to degree level with focus on procurement, engineering or business studies.
  • Working knowledge of industry standard contracts, i.e. NEC3
  • Previous experience of procurement/purchasing
  • Previous experience of a utility/construction projects
  • Working towards CIPS qualification or equivalent
  • Working knowledge of SAP and Achilles an advantage
    Health & Safety Responsibilities
    Managers and supervisors carry both legal and company responsibilities for ensuring the health and safety of their employees, those under their control and those who might be affected by the work undertaken, i.e. public, visitors and employees of other organisations. This includes briefing individuals working for them and ensuring there is the necessary understanding, competence and application of requirements to work safely and without harming the environment.
    Employees are responsible for ensuring they fully understand the health and safety risks involved in their work activities and their responsibility to apply the controls needed to manage those risks to acceptable levels. Similarly where work activities can have an adverse impact upon the environment, and particularly where there are legal requirements, employees are responsible for understanding those impacts and the controls they must ensure are applied.
    If in doubt, ask!
    Employees need to be aware that for some craft and operational roles that work at height, or use fall arrest devices, there is an upper weight limit of 116kG due to maximum safe working load of the safety equipment that is used.
    We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, or veteran status. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.