Kraljic Matrix – A Strategic Procurement Tool

In today’s competitive business landscape, efficient procurement and supply chain management are important for organizations to maintain a strategic advantage.

The Kraljic Matrix, also known as Kraljic’s Matrix or Kraljic’s Portfolio Matrix, is a popular tool used in procurement to analyze and categorize a company’s purchasing portfolio.

Developed by Peter Kraljic, the Kraljic Matrix provides a structured approach to assess and manage suppliers based on their strategic importance and supply risk.

This article explores the key concepts and applications of the Kraljic Matrix, along with practical examples and strategies.

Understanding the Kraljic Matrix

The Kraljic Matrix is a two-dimensional framework that classifies products or services based on two key factors: “supply risk” and “profit impact.”

Supply risk refers to the potential disruptions in the supply chain, while profit impact represents the financial impact of a particular product or service on the organization.

By plotting products or services on the matrix, companies can identify different procurement strategies for each category, enabling them to allocate resources effectively.

The Components of the Kraljic Matrix

The Kraljic Matrix consists of four quadrants, each representing a distinct procurement category.

These categories are as follows:

Strategic Items

Strategic items are products or services that have a high impact on the organization’s profitability and are critical to its operations.

These items may have a limited number of suppliers or require specialized expertise.

Managing strategic items involves building strong relationships with suppliers, ensuring a stable supply, and collaborating to drive innovation and cost reduction.

Bottleneck Items

Bottleneck items are characterized by a high supply risk and significant profit impact.

These items are often scarce in the market or have a limited number of suppliers, making them vulnerable to disruptions.

Effective management of bottleneck items involves actively monitoring supply chain vulnerabilities, establishing contingency plans, and developing alternative sources of supply.

Leverage Items

Leverage items have a high profit impact but pose a low supply risk.

They are typically commodities or readily available products with numerous suppliers.

Organizations can leverage their buying power to negotiate favorable terms, drive cost savings, and optimize supplier performance.

Non-Critical Items

Non-critical items have a low profit impact and pose a low supply risk.

These items are usually readily available from multiple suppliers and require minimal management attention.

Organizations can adopt streamlined procurement processes, such as standardization and automation, to minimize costs associated with non-critical items.

The Kraljic Matrix Explained with Example

Applying the Kraljic Matrix

To effectively apply the Kraljic Matrix, organizations should follow these steps:

  1. Identify and categorize products or services: Analyze the organization’s purchasing portfolio and classify each item based on its supply risk and profit impact.
  2. Define procurement strategies: Develop specific procurement strategies for each quadrant of the matrix, considering the unique characteristics of the items within each category.
  3. Supplier segmentation: Segment suppliers based on their importance and develop tailored supplier management approaches. Strategic and bottleneck suppliers may require closer collaboration, while leverage and non-critical suppliers may focus more on transactional relationships.
  4. Continuous monitoring and improvement: Regularly review and update the Kraljic Matrix to reflect changes in the business environment, supply chain dynamics, and market conditions. Monitor supplier performance, identify opportunities for improvement, and adjust procurement strategies accordingly.

Practical Examples

To better illustrate the application of the Kraljic Matrix, let’s consider some practical examples:

  1. Strategic Items: In the automotive industry, specialized electronic components used in advanced driver-assistance systems would fall under the strategic items category. These components are critical for ensuring vehicle safety and performance, and their availability directly impacts the organization’s profitability.
  2. Bottleneck Items: In the pharmaceutical industry, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for life-saving drugs may be categorized as bottleneck items. These APIs often have limited suppliers and are subject to regulatory constraints, making them vulnerable to supply disruptions.
  3. Leverage Items: Common office supplies, such as stationery or printer cartridges, can be classified as leverage items. These products are readily available from multiple suppliers, allowing organizations to negotiate favorable terms and achieve cost savings through bulk purchasing.
  4. Non-Critical Items: Cleaning supplies or office furniture would typically fall into the non-critical items category. While necessary for day-to-day operations, these items have a low impact on profitability and can be easily sourced from multiple suppliers.


The Kraljic Matrix is a valuable tool for organizations to strategically manage their procurement and supply chain activities.

By categorizing products or services based on their supply risk and profit impact, companies can develop targeted procurement strategies, optimize supplier relationships, and mitigate supply chain risks.

The Kraljic Matrix provides a structured framework that enables organizations to allocate resources efficiently and enhance their overall procurement performance.

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FAQs – Kraljic Matrix

1. What is the Kraljic Matrix?

The Kraljic Matrix, also known as Kraljic’s Matrix or Kraljic’s Portfolio Matrix, is a strategic procurement tool developed by Peter Kraljic in the 1980s.

It provides a framework for analyzing and categorizing a company’s purchasing portfolio based on two key dimensions: supply risk and profit impact.

The matrix helps organizations identify different purchasing strategies for different types of products or services.

2. How does the Kraljic Matrix work?

The Kraljic Matrix categorizes products or services into four quadrants based on their supply risk and profit impact:

  • Bottleneck items: These items have a high supply risk but a low profit impact. They are critical to the organization’s operations but do not contribute significantly to profits. Strategies for managing bottleneck items typically involve reducing supply risks and ensuring a stable supply.
  • Leverage items: These items have a high profit impact and a low supply risk. They are important for generating profits and can be easily sourced from a competitive market. Strategies for leverage items focus on negotiating favorable terms, driving cost reductions, and maximizing value.
  • Strategic items: These items have a high supply risk and a high profit impact. They are crucial for the organization’s success and profitability but are vulnerable to supply disruptions. Strategies for strategic items involve building strong supplier relationships, ensuring continuity of supply, and exploring alternative sources.
  • Non-critical items: These items have a low supply risk and a low profit impact. They are typically low-value and readily available in the market. Strategies for non-critical items aim to streamline procurement processes, reduce transaction costs, and minimize administrative efforts.

3. What is the purpose of using the Kraljic Matrix?

The Kraljic Matrix helps organizations develop tailored procurement strategies based on the characteristics and importance of different products or services.

By understanding the supply risk and profit impact associated with each item, companies can prioritize their procurement efforts and allocate appropriate resources.

The matrix enables better decision-making in supplier selection, negotiation, and relationship management, leading to improved cost savings, supply chain resilience, and overall operational efficiency.

4. How can the Kraljic Matrix be applied in procurement?

The Kraljic Matrix can be applied in procurement in the following ways:

  • Supplier segmentation: The matrix helps categorize suppliers based on their offerings and importance to the organization, allowing procurement teams to focus their efforts on strategically significant suppliers.
  • Negotiation strategy: Different strategies can be employed based on the quadrant in which a product or service falls. For example, leverage items may involve more aggressive negotiation tactics to drive cost reductions, while strategic items may prioritize collaboration and long-term partnerships.
  • Risk management: By identifying bottleneck and strategic items, organizations can develop risk mitigation plans to ensure a stable supply and minimize disruptions that could impact operations or profitability.
  • Supplier development: The matrix can guide organizations in identifying areas where supplier development initiatives are necessary, such as improving the capabilities of bottleneck or strategic suppliers.

5. Can you provide examples of items in each quadrant of the Kraljic Matrix?

Examples of items in each quadrant of the Kraljic Matrix are as follows:

  • Bottleneck items: Specialized components for a unique product, rare raw materials, or sole-source suppliers.
  • Leverage items: Standardized office supplies, commonly available commodities, or goods/services with multiple competitive suppliers.
  • Strategic items: Key components for a flagship product, critical technological inputs, or suppliers with exclusive expertise.
  • Non-critical items: Generic office furniture, low-value consumables, or items with readily available alternatives.

It’s important to note that the specific items may vary depending on the industry and organization.

6. How can I create a Kraljic Matrix in Excel?

To create a Kraljic Matrix in Excel, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet and create a table with four columns representing the quadrants of the matrix: Bottleneck, Leverage, Strategic, and Non-critical.
  2. Label the rows with specific items or categories you want to analyze.
  3. Assign a score or rating to each item based on its supply risk and profit impact. You can use a scale of 1 to 5 or any other numerical system that suits your needs.
  4. Plot each item in the corresponding quadrant based on its scores. Items with high supply risk and high profit impact go in the Strategic quadrant, high supply risk and low profit impact in the Bottleneck quadrant, low supply risk and high profit impact in the Leverage quadrant, and low supply risk and low profit impact in the Non-critical quadrant.
  5. Format the matrix with colors or patterns to visually differentiate the quadrants.
  6. Analyze the resulting matrix to identify the appropriate procurement strategies for each item category.

7. What are some common strategies for managing items in each quadrant of the Kraljic Matrix?

Strategies for managing items in each quadrant of the Kraljic Matrix include:

  • Bottleneck items: Strategies may involve identifying alternative suppliers, establishing contingency plans, or collaborating closely with the existing supplier to mitigate supply risks.
  • Leverage items: Strategies may focus on negotiating favorable terms, driving cost reductions through competitive bidding, consolidating purchases, or seeking alternative suppliers to maintain leverage in the market.
  • Strategic items: Strategies may include building strong supplier relationships, establishing long-term partnerships, exploring joint development opportunities, or investing in supplier development programs to ensure a secure and uninterrupted supply.
  • Non-critical items: Strategies may revolve around streamlining procurement processes, reducing transaction costs through automation, implementing self-service ordering systems, or consolidating suppliers to improve efficiency.

It’s important to customize these strategies based on the specific needs and characteristics of the items in each quadrant.

8. What is the difference between the Kraljic Matrix and the Kraljic Portfolio Matrix?

The terms “Kraljic Matrix” and “Kraljic Portfolio Matrix” are often used interchangeably, referring to the same procurement tool developed by Peter Kraljic.

The matrix is sometimes referred to as a “portfolio” because it categorizes items based on their strategic importance and risk, similar to how investment portfolios categorize assets. So, there is no significant difference between the two terms in the context of procurement.

9. How do you pronounce “Kraljic Matrix”?

“Kraljic” is pronounced as “Krah-lee-ch.” The emphasis is on the first syllable, and the “j” is pronounced as a “y” sound.

10. Is there a specific location associated with the Kraljic Matrix?

The Kraljic Matrix is not tied to a specific physical location.

It is a conceptual framework and tool used in the field of procurement and supply chain management.

It can be applied by organizations worldwide, irrespective of their geographical location.

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