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Category Management

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Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.

Reference Source: ACE for Services, Category Management

Category Management (CM) is an approach the Federal Government is applying to buy smarter and more like a single enterprise. Category management enables the government to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver more value and savings from the government’s acquisition programs.  It involves:

  • Identifying core areas of spend;
  • Collectively developing heightened levels of expertise;
  • Leveraging shared best practices; and,
  • Providing acquisition, supply and demand management solutions.


Reference Source: Category Management Policy Memorandum

The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) establishes a long-term vision for creating a more modern, more responsive Government – one that prioritizes mission outcomes, service delivery, and effective stewardship.  Increasing the use of common solutions and practices will allow agencies to focus their attention on critical efforts to modernize our information technology (IT) systems; improve data, accountability, and transparency; and develop a workforce for the 21st century to meet the promise of the PMA.  The Government must take action now to buy more like an enterprise, and less like hundreds of individual entities, for common requirements needed to meet core mission goals.  The PMA directs an agency’s Senior Accountable Official (SAO) to reduce unaligned spending, i.e., to bring “Spend Under Management” (SUM), and execute plans to increase use of contract solutions designated as “Best In Class (BIC)”. 

The General Services Administration (GSA) created a set of dashboards and tools to include SUM, so that each agency could regularly monitor its spending profile and bring more spending under smart buying practices, such as exerting strong strategic leadership/oversight and collecting and sharing critical information and data, such as terms, conditions, performance, and prices paid.  GSA also launched a small business dashboard, in consultation with the Small Business Administration (SBA) , to help agencies more easily track spending on common goods and services made from small businesses.  This Memorandum is designed to build on these activities in order to help the Government buy as a coordinated enterprise and avoid the waste associated with duplicative contract actions.  The Memorandum also provides guidance to ensure agencies act in a manner consistent with their ongoing statutory responsibilities to maximize opportunities for small businesses and acquire certain goods and services from AbilityOne and Federal Prison Industries (FPI). 

Best in Class

Air Force Category Management

Reference Source: ACE for Services, Air Force Category Management

Watch this video clip about the Air Force category management program:

Army Category Management

Reference Source: Category Management Training Resources

Watch this video clip about the Army category management program: