I was recently invited to speak to the Board of FSMA on an issue that has them totally perplexed. FSMA is an organization of large food manufacturers and their agents which has been experiencing the following: longer sales cycles, lower margins, demand for additional services, challenges to prove their value add, etc., etc. And lo and behold – they thought they had found what was causing them all this angst – it was this new thing called Category Management (CM). For those of you not familiar with the retail sector, this is an integrated process to manage the entire lifecycle of a category of consumer goods. What it is not, is the category management (cm) process that people in sourcing and supply chain use. And this is where the confusion and tension arises.