Category Manager (Estates Maintenance and Projects)

Finance Office, Estates, Campus Services

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 20th Dec 2021
  • Salary: £31,406 to £40,927, with potential progression once in post to £43,434
  • REF: 42739
  • Closes: 23rd January 2022
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time


The Procurement and Insurance Division of the Finance Office has overall responsibility for the effective procurement of; construction, equipment, products and services within the University. It has a key role in achieving best value for money in the utilisation of the University’s £230 million non-pay budget, ensuring statutory obligations relating to procurement are fulfilled. The Division also ensures that commercial risks and the University’s supplier base are managed. Specific experience would be in areas, such as;

• IT
• Professional Services
• Estates
• Campus Services
• Scientific Equipment

The University operates at Flexible Framework Level 5 for Sustainable Procurement and holds Superior Status in its Procurement Maturity Assessment (PMA). The Insurance Services function manages the insurance activity covering the; campus infrastructure, student and staff travel, clinical trials and day to day issues arising.

Job Summary

Leading on procurements and holding OJEU tendering experience, the post-holder would manage a procurement category and provide procurement tendering and contracting support and advice for all University Colleges and Professional Services Budget Centres, ensuring that best value is achieved and commercial risk effectively managed. Taking the lead role in establishing Frameworks and other Agreements as appropriate for; equipment, products and services as set within the category and establishing approved suppliers where appropriate.

Negotiating Express Contracts for the purchase of equipment, products and services within the lead role range set out below exceeding £25k in value. Maintaining effective communication and networking links with Colleges and Budget Centres and ensuring compliance with public sector procurement legislation where necessary. Ensure effective networking with Colleges and Budgets Centres predominantly by means of managing Special Interest and Commodity Groups and ensure that the performance of approved and Framework Agreement suppliers meet and maintain the standards set out in Service Level Agreements. Undertake regular supplier reviews involving College and Budget Centres as appropriate.

To seek to build in, where practical, environmental and ethical activities within the procurement process and the category under your control. Key developments would cover; Social Value, waste reduction, supply chain enhancements and ethics, student employment opportunities and develop wider initiatives.

Main Duties

  • Procurement Strategy; contribute to the development and implementation of University procurement strategies and policies and contribute to the development of consortia strategies. To take the lead role and establish and maintain expertise in a specific range of equipment commodity, product and service environments. Identify the requirements and needs of Colleges and Budget Centres for the equipment, commodities, products and services for which the Category Manager has the lead role.
  • Consultation; in consultation and liaison with; Colleges, Professional Services and Special Interest Groups, develop commodity strategies and/or process single contracts to fulfil the provisioning of; equipment, products and services in the most cost effective manner. Focusing upon achieving best value and ensuring value added benefits of economies of scale, by means of co-ordinating the University’s demand and expenditure to the fullest extent and category based training activities, as and when required.
  • Consortia; liaise with HE Sector Purchasing Consortia and Special Interest and Commodity Groups related to the equipment, commodities, products and services where the Category Manager has the Lead Role. Ensuring the University’s position and views are properly represented. Attend meetings, contribute to electronic consultations and activities, and provide demand and performance information and data as necessary.
  • Specifications; produce detailed specifications and commercial contracts for the supply of equipment, products and services to University Colleges and Budget Centres. Consulting with Colleges and Budget Centres to the fullest extent appropriate to the commodities, products or services concerned. Negotiate commercial specifications (including terms and conditions of contract) related to Framework Agreements and single purchase express contracts.
  • Tendering; administer invitation to tender and/or request for quotation processes for equipment, commodities, products and services and single purchases as necessary and appropriate. Ensure that such procedures are in accordance with current legislation (including Public Sector Procurement Regulations) and/or the University’s Manual of Financial Rules.
  • Contractual; create contractual documents for the procurement of equipment, products and services, combined with pre-commercial procurement market research and the development of improved ways to procure the commodities. To ensure to build within contract documentation appropriate ethical criteria and Key Performance Indicators.
  • Risk Assessment; where express contracts cannot be negotiated for single purchases using the University’s General Conditions of Contract/Standard Form of Contract, undertake a commercial risk assessment and advise the College/Budget Centre of specific risks as appropriate and necessary. Agree the way forward with the College/Budget Centre taking account of the commercial risks identified.
  • Supplier Base; manage and/or facilitate the management of, the University’s approved supplier base and manage and/or facilitate the management Framework Agreements and single contracts as appropriate. Establish and maintain appropriate supplier appraisal and vendor rating procedures, including regular Framework Agreement/single contract performance review procedures; the establishment of Service Level Agreements with approved Suppliers and monitoring of performance using appropriate Key Performance Indicators and management information.
  • Records; establish and maintain appropriate record systems and procedures such that the Framework Agreement, contract and/or commodity and supplier information is readily and easily accessible to all members of Procurement and Stakeholders.
  • Information; develop and maintain accurate guidelines and sources of information on Framework Agreements, established at National, Regional and University level, and any other procurement related topics. Ensure that such information is distributed by means, including the Procurement website, internal meetings and other media.
  • Knowledge; maintain knowledge and awareness of legislation related to procurement and commercial activities, including Public Sector Procurement Regulations (EC Directives), Trading Standards legislation, Health and Safety at Work, Contract and Commercial Law, import and export procedures, etc. such that appropriate advice is available to Colleges and Budget Centres.
  • Systems; maintain familiarity with Core Systems P2P system and ensure Management Information is used efficiently to assist in securing best value via running supplier spend information etc.
  • Visibility; attend College and Budget Centre meetings as required to discuss specific issues related to the equipment, commodities, products and services for which the Category Manager has the lead role. Also attend Procurement Division Team meetings and Finance Office meetings as necessary.
  • Benchmark; where appropriate, benchmark Framework Agreements and other purchasing arrangements against Sector, other external or internal information and report findings to Procurement staff and key stakeholders. Contribute to the development and publication of guidance notes to assist College and Budget Centre Staff and the maintenance of the guidance notes
  • Communications; deal promptly with telephone queries and personal callers to Procurement and attend meetings involving University staff at all levels as necessary and appropriate, and at the request of the Head of Procurement Contracting.

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications & Experience Required


• Public Sector procurement procedures and Regulations
• Tendering, request for proposal and contracting procedures including development for specifications, development and application of standardised procedures etc.
• Legislation applicable to the procurement of a wide range of goods and services
• Supplier appraisal techniques
• Contract and Supplier Management and appraisal techniques
• Key Performance Indicators and Service Level Agreements


• Ability to operate at strategic and operational/executive levels
• Excellent communication skills, with ability to communicate at all levels
• Negotiating and networking skills
• Adaptability and flexibility and ability to prioritise workload
• Work on own initiative
• Ability to work with minimum supervision, self motivated but also able to work as part of a highly motivated Team
• Ability to influence, persuade and to ensure that the University and/or the procurement function is properly represented at all levels
• Use of MS Word and Excel and computer skills in general
• Written, Verbal and Presentational skills


• Membership of CIPS / qualified to Level 6 (or willing to study for MCIPS) – desirable.


• Application of public sector procurement procedures and regulations
• Administration of Request for Proposal/Tendering/Evaluation and Contract Award procedures
• Contract and Supplier Management, including the development and application of Service Level Agreements either as part of formal contracts or as informal arrangements
• Working with the procurement of a wide portfolio of goods and services
• Networking and influencing people
• Working in Team environment
• MS Word and Excel and a computerised procurement system
• Use of MS Word and Excel and computer skills in general
• Written, Verbal and Presentational skills

Informal enquires to Jonathan Jones, email:

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working

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