Category Manager – Contact Centres & Supply Chain

O2 Telefonica

Grade: PCGU

Location: Slough, Leeds or Preston Brook – flexible 

Closing Date:10 September 2022


It matters to us that Team O2 is as diverse as the communities we serve. 

We’re aware that we need more diversity in our senior leadership roles, so we welcome and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply. 

Whoever you are, O2 has a place for you. 

Come join us.


About the Team

The principal purpose of this role is to maximise the value derived from key supplier relationships by leading the use of innovative category management, sourcing and supplier relationship/contract management techniques as well as sourcing tools and techniques that drive best commercial value, and mitigate VMO2’s business risk. This role will cover all commercial engagements with third party suppliers, in the category area.


About the Role

As a Category Manager you will be responsible for developing and implementing category plans which deliver your stakeholders’ requirements for third party goods and services whilst minimising whole life costs and mitigating commercial and operational risk. You will manage complex, high value purchases, working closely with senior technical, finance & legal colleagues in the UK to establish commercial and contractual requirements and with Group Procurement colleagues to agree and deliver sourcing and negotiation strategies.


Key Responsibilities 

Category Management & Supplier Strategy

  • To develop and implement category plans, in alignment with key UK & TGS stakeholders, that deliver operational requirements, meet budget & savings challenges, and mitigate against external & internal risks.
    • Develop category strategies which address spend & budget data, the current & potential supplier base and which consider all potential levers (including demand and specification management) to reduce cost and drive improved performance.
    • Implement and continuously review “living” category plans that remain aligned to company, stakeholder and Procurement objectives
  • Monitor and analyse the relevant supply market to understand best industry practice and ensure that TEF UK is best positioned to maximise its business opportunities and minimise its business risk.
    • Lead the development of specific contract and supplier plans in the relevant category and lead their implementation as part of the TEF UK’s sourcing / supplier management process.
  • Lead the delivery of cost saving initiatives by working in close cooperation with the relevant Telefonica stakeholders (including UK Finance and TGS).
    • Identify, prioritise, and maintain a pipeline of cost saving opportunities within that category.

Sourcing & Purchase Management

  • Lead complex and high-value sourcing activities with the Telefonica sourcing policy & guidelines whilst leveraging international opportunities to consolidate spend across the Telefonica Group.
    • Manage stakeholder engagement up to SLT Level in the UK and with the relevant Category leads within TGS.
    • Utilise category knowledge to create negotiation strategies & targets in cooperation with UK and corporate stakeholders.
    • Fully utilise O2 UK’s Ariba e-sourcing tools and capability (e-RFPs, e-auctions, workflow management and reporting).
    • Lead local negotiations and represent UK Procurement alongside TGS in Global processes.
    • Work with the UK Legal team to ensure that awarded contracts are formalised with suppliers and that the contract is accurately registered in the relevant contract register and enabled for ordering through the TEF UK eProcurement system.

Contract & Supplier Management

  • Manage the programme of in-life contract & supplier management activity within the team, cooperation with key stakeholders and in line with Procurement best practice and company policies.
    • Ensure contract compliance by ensuring that contract risk assessments are completed, and Contract owners identified in accordance with the Commercial Contract Management (CCM) guidelines.
    • Act as the commercial interface for the management of all contracts within the category with responsibility for leading supplier negotiations on all new commercial risks and opportunities, working in conjunction with the operational Contract Owners.
  • Act as the commercial interface for all suppliers within the category
    • Working with stakeholders to create and deliver agreed account strategies for all key suppliers and ensuring these strategies sit within a suitably tailored supplier management framework.
    • Supporting & guiding the stakeholders in relation to commercial risks and opportunities that may arise with non-key suppliers on an ad hoc basis.
    • Identifying the commercial benefit (e.g. cost reductions & process improvements) opportunities arising from those supplier relationships. Projecting those opportunities and leading the resulting commercial supplier interaction at executive level.

Stakeholder Management

  • Working regularly with stakeholders up to SLT level to ensure commercial opportunities are maximised and risks managed within a dynamic and fast moving environment
  • Understanding stakeholder strategy and motivation and ensure they are reflected in the strategic category planning and in the day to day conversations.
  • Bold, objective and creative communication with stakeholders, challenging as necessary and working through issues to ensure a convergence of objectives.
  • Understand the global context and apply knowledge to the benefit of VMO2 and other group businesses.  This will include working with senior UK & global stakeholders to ensure alignment of strategy and engagement of multiple teams to ensure the delivery of successful procurement projects.
  • Working with and alongside VMO2 Finance and Legal, delivering a cohesive decision making process and a smooth end to end procurement service to the business.
  • Ensuring compliance with VMO2’s Procurement Procedure and Policies including VMO2’s quality, environmental and corporate social responsibility requirements.


  • Apply Telefonica policy and best practice throughout the end-to-end Procurement process.
    • Ensure that all negotiated contracts include pricing schedules capable of incorporation as  e-catalogs.
    • Ensure compliance with O2’s Procurement Procedure and Procurement Policy.
    • Ensure compliance with TEF UK’s corporate product, quality, environmental and corporate social responsibility requirements.
    • Ensure Category Plans are recorded, maintained, and executed.
    • Ensure that appropriate management information and reporting is produced, and circulated covering pipeline and active activities as required.
    • Lead & participate in high-value and complex contract negotiations and the implementation of subsequent contracts. In particular the role holder will, from time to time, be called upon to take a lead role in key strategic procurement projects which may cross several categories.  
  • Work and deliver against a framework of targets including savings, effectiveness, and efficiency in delivery.
  • Working with O2 UK and Telefonica Group stakeholders at the highest levels to ensure full alignment with O2 UK and Telefonica Group objectives.


What We Need from You

  • Strong and proven commercial acumen, with a track record of delivering exceptional value from supplier relationships
  • Proven experience of:
    • Developing category, budget, and supplier strategies
    • Running eCommerce applications and substantive sourcing events within blue-chip organisations
    • Negotiating pricing & contract terms
    • Managing the commercial elements arising from contract implementation, amendments, extensions, and disputes with a nominated range of suppliers.
    • Experience of using management information from ERP and Purchasing systems
    • Deep contract law knowledge
  • Strong analytical and Desktop skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to work with and influence suppliers and internal stakeholders at the highest level
    • Strong stakeholder management skills: The ability to engage and influence effectively at senior levels internally and externally
    • Excellent people management skills
    • The ability to lead cross-functional teams and virtual teams
    • Strong negotiating skills
  • The drive and enthusiasm to shape the procurement agenda within their category, manage the stakeholder interaction and deliver exceptional results
    • A willingness and ability to work with the minimum of supervision
    • Resilient and assertive
  • Educated to degree level / post graduate level desirable
  • CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply) qualification
  • Spanish language would be advantageous
  • Category Knowledge & Experience
    • Expert commercial experience across categories is essential for this role.


We’ll be sending you emails about the status of your application. To make sure you receive these, please add and to your Safe Senders list.

We’re looking to pay a great compensation package (depending on experience) for this position. We also offer plenty of extras to sweeten the deal, which could include things like bonuses, life assurance cover, health care and lots of flexible benefits.  

Also, every employee has their personal development supported with a LinkedIn learning account; plus other role specific learning available through our award-winning digital learning platform – O2 Campus. 

We also believe a great work-life balance is important, so we’re open to considering flexible working arrangements. Like to know more, feel free to raise it.  

Join us and we’ll encourage you to be bold every day. So take a deep breath, your career is about to go to exciting new places. 

If you have any questions around the role then please email who will be happy to help. 

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