Introduction to Category Management | 2019 GovCon Chamber Educational Series

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2019

 *See video below

Developed by the Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC), Category Management is an evolving federal government initiative created to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of purchasing across all agencies. 

Category Management is described as:

 'a new paradigm in Federal procurement, a fundamental shift from managing purchases and price individually across thousands of procurement units ... to managing entire categories of purchases across government collaboratively'.

(from 'Transforming the Marketplace: Simplifying Federal Procurement to Improve Performance, Drive Innovation, and Increase Savings', OMB, 2014)

How Does This Impact the Other Stakeholders in Federal Acquisition? 

As shown above, the process of Category Management is typically explained from the federal government's perspective.

However, there are FOUR times as many Vendors as Contracting Officers involved in the world of procurement. Business owners need to understand the changes happening in government procurement – so they can continue to respond with the quality and efficiency the government requires.

Simply put, Category Management was created to make the lives of government acquisition professionals easier and to help them spend more efficiently. Consider who and what's involved–

  • 3,200 Buying Offices
  • 40,000 Contracting Officers
  • 160,000 Vendors
  • 3 Million Contracts
  • 12 Million Transactions on those contracts


'Understanding Category Management from a Small Business Perspective'

Announcing the 2019 GovCon Chamber Educational Series

Neil McDonnell, president and founder of the HUBZone Chamber (now GovCon Chamber), is on a mission to  help small business owners get the critical information they need to grow and thrive as federal contractors. It may seem confusing to some, but Neil explains how it is still 'just a process'.

In this new video Introduction to Category Management | Federal Government Contracting, Neil walks us through a general overview of Category Management. 

More importantly, he identifies the key leadership, categories and budgets and provides links to category-specific websites. 

This tutorial  specifically addresses the questions of Small Businesses. With 25 years experience as an small business owner and decades as a government contractor, once again Neil is showing that 'government contracting is not a secret. It's just a process.,' 


* data based on December 2018 update in GSA FY2018 Q3 Action Plan

Categories 1-10 | Categories for Common Goods and Services Across All Agencies

These 10 categories represent approximately 66% of annual federal expenditure, or roughly $300 billion dollars. Small businesses with less than $10M in revenue should be focusing on only 1 or 2 of these categories. 

  1. Information Technology
  2. Professional Services
  3. Security and Protection
  4. Facilities and Construction
  5. Industrial Products and Services
  6. Office Management
  7. Transportation and Logistics Services
  8. Travel and Lodging
  9. Human Capital
  10. Medical

Categories 11-19 | Department of Defense Centric Categories

  1. Aircraft, Ships, Submarines, and Land Combat Vehicles
  2. Weapons and Ammunition
  3. Electronics and Communication Equipment
  4. Sustainment Supplies and Equipment
  5. Clothing, Textiles and Subsistence Supplies and Equipment
  6. Miscellaneous Supplies and Equipment
  7. Research and Development (R&D)
  8. Equipment Related Services
  9. Electronic Communication Services 

This video will give an overview into each of these 19 categories. Doing your homework and researching the subject is critical to success in government contracting.


Success in competitive contracting requires businesses to be knowledgable about how the federal government procures services and the changes that may impact their business.

Be sure your and DSBS profiles are current and accurate and visit FPDS to research which companies are winning awards in these new categories. 

WATCH  "10 Tips for Small Businesses to Attract Federal Buyers in 2019" (pre-recorded webinar with Neil McDonnell) 


ABOUT NEIL MCDONNELL | Small Business Success Club 

“Government Contracting is NOT a Secret... it is  just a Process.”   – Neil McDonnell

Neil is a motivational speaker, trainer and vocal advocate for the potential of American small businesses. His passion is drawn from personal experience in the US Army, from contracting and subcontracting for decades with numerous government agencies, and from the many successful and failed companies he has founded since his youth. Neil is the youngest of ten children, a training ground for competition, determination, optimism and tenacity.

Neil is a HUBZone and Veteran-owned small business owner in the federal sector. He is also founder & president of the GovCon Chamber of Commerce and leader of the Small Business Success Club.

Do you have a question? Leave a comment or send us an email.  

CONNECT with Neil

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